Minister, instruct schools to ditch custom uniforms
Sadly, the heady hazy days of July have slipped by and a more typical Irish summer has emerged with wind and rain which reminds us if we needed reminding that the school holidays won't last forever.
Parents flustered trying to amuse energetic children and bored teenagers are bracing themselves for the annual assault on their wallets and purses brought about by the crazy costs of going to back to school.
Every year, parents bemoan the costs of schoolbooks, workbooks and uniforms. Politicans take to their airwaves wringing their hands and saying that the system has to change. It never does.
This is the sixth year of a devastating recession and Education Minister Ruairi Quinn should exercise his authority in this matter rather than make recommedations, to help struggling families, but yet again another back to school season will come and go without the required enforcement.
Schools need to ditch their custom uniforms of shields, highlighted accent colours in grey school jumpers and individual non-generic colours and choose a simpler, plainer and more value-friendly uniforms, which will soften the price.
The bugbears that are school workbooks, new editions of schoolbooks and voluntary contributions are also huge burdens on family budgets at this time of year, but the decision to choose more generic uniforms differentiated by custom school ties would be a great starting point. n LEFT: Minister