Dublin South West Sinn Féin TD, Seán Crowe, has welcomed the news that Minister for Education, Ruairí Quinn, has committed to facilitating a survey of parents on the cost of school uniforms.

Crowe has long campaigned and lobbied the Minister for Education to reduce unnecessarily high back to school costs, and in particular the rip off cost of many school uniforms.

Deputy Crowe said:

“I welcome that the Minister for Education has agreed to survey parents on their views on the cost of school uniforms. The Minister must ensure that school uniforms are affordable to all.

“Families are being crippled by this government’s austerity measures and budget cutbacks, and the last thing they should have to worry about is will they be able to afford to send their children to school.

“Barnardos 8th annual report on back to school costs, which was published in August, found that 74% of parents of primary school children and 97% of parents of secondary school children responded that they had to buy uniforms with the school crest on them, which greatly added to the cost.

“I am on record for having publicly called on the Education Minister Ruairí Quinn to pro- actively introduce measures to eliminate this school uniform racket.

“Many schools view uniforms as tool of equality when everyone has to dress the same, however if they are not affordable for some they exacerbate inequality.

“No matter what comes from the Minister’s proposed survey, he must ensure that school uniforms are affordable to all families, and begin to seriously tackle the extortionate back to school costs.

“Parents don’t want to hear any more excuses from Minister Quinn they want to hear that he is finally going to do something practical to tackle these scandalous and unacceptably high costs.”