SVP calls for free school books to ease pressure on parents
A leading charity that works with people in financial difficulty has called for free school books and an end to voluntary contributions.
St Vincent de Paul made the call after reporting a rise in requests from families struggling with the cost of education. It said that it was now taking up to 300 calls a day from worried parents.
Last year, it saw a 20pc rise in requests for school costs. The smaller rise in calls this year suggests that the increase in the Back to School Clothing and Footwear Allowance in 2019 has lifted some of the pressure on families, it said.
However, with requests increasing for a third year in a row, SVP said much greater investment in the education system is needed so that costs aren't a barrier to participation at primary and secondary level.
It said more action was needed from the Government to ease the pressure. In a submission made last week to the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Education and Skills, it proposed making school books free in primary and secondary schools.