Monday 16 September 2019

Schools will have to check with parents over costs

Minister Joe McHugh will bring the bill to Cabinet today
Minister Joe McHugh will bring the bill to Cabinet today
Cormac McQuinn

Cormac McQuinn

Schools will have to consult with parents on issues like education costs and grievance procedures under a proposed new law considered by ministers this week.

Education Minister Joe McHugh brought the text of the Students and Parents Charter Bill 2019 to Cabinet.

The law would require schools to have a charter for interacting with parents and children.

A Government spokesman described it as "an important step towards improving the experience of students and parents in how they engage with schools".

One of the key areas covered by the bill is the need for schools to reduce costs for parents.

Schools will also be required to consult with parents and students and invite them to offer feedback on issues like costs.

It was revealed this week that a third of parents say they are being forced to deny their children some school items because they cannot afford them.

The finding was in a survey by the Irish League of Credit Unions.

Getting a child ready for secondary school costs an average of €1,400 this year, up €20 on the cost last year.

The survey revealed parents of primary school children are shelling out €940, down €50 from last year.

Other areas potentially covered by the proposed school charters include procedures for dealing with grievances of students and parents and also consultations on general school activities.

A Government spokesman said: "The minister envisages publishing the bill in the autumn following the commencement of the new school year."

Irish Independent

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