Sinn Féin TD for Dublin South West Seán Crowe said that the myth of free education is struggling with reality as more and more parents are struggling with the costs of sending their children to school each year.

Speaking after the release of the Barnardo’s survey on back to school costs, Teachta Crowe said:

“According to the latest Barnardo’s survey on back to school costs, it now costs an average €972 to send a child off to first year in secondary school. The myth of free education cannot stand up to the hundreds needed to be spent on sending children to school, particularly with the new costs such as on digital learning aids that were not an issue even ten years ago.

“This is only further confirmation of the Irish League of Credit Unions survey last month which showed that more and more families are struggling to meet the cost of sending their children to school on top of the other rises in the cost of living.

“Sinn Féin have a plan to cut back-to-school costs and to end this financial pressure on families. We would introduce affordable school uniforms, expand the school transport scheme, ensure every child has access to a hot meal in school, and stop families being pressured into paying voluntary contributions.

“Sinn Féin would ensure families get a break from back-to-school costs now. This would help families by ensuring that they get the support they need.

“I want to again warmly welcome this timely Barnardo’s survey. It highlights many of the challenge facing parents with back to school costs and needs to be acted on immediately.”