Thousands of kids across the country are heading back to school this week, and once again many parents are struggling to cope with the exorbitant costs of sending their children to school.
The total outlays on getting kids back to school continues to be extremely high, from costs of schools uniforms and books to factors such as voluntary registration and the breadth of hidden expenses involve.d
And all at a time when the Back to School allowance has been reduced, as has the the school book grant.
The latest research suggests that the back to school costs of primary children is approximately 487 euros per child, while it is 620 euros for secondary school.
Most families will of course have more than one child in school.
How difficult is it. Well in its most recent survey, Barnados found that parents are going without food or paying bills to pay for school related costs.
The survey of 1,000 parents saw many of them express anger and frustration at the high costs.
And unfortunately, many parents are getting into debt to pay for uniforms, books and other expenses.
While the back to school allowance has been reduced, Barnados found that between 2007 and 2012 the number of children benefiting from the back to school allowance increased by 113 per cent.
It is a hugh burden. What can be done?
A lot of schools have book rental and IPad rental schemes. It should be mandatory for all. At a time when the value of education has never been a greater priority, greater assistance needs to be given parents in defraying some of the costs of sending their kids to school.
Schools and parents need to work in tandem on this issue, box clever and ensure that the greatest economies are found.