High time parents had say on school uniforms
SUCCESSIVE governments have never wasted an opportunity to remind us that Ireland has a "free education" system. It is "free" insofar as parents are not liable for tuition fees, unless they so choose, but the mantra rings hollow when it comes to totting up the actual cost of sending a child to school.
Parents are asked to pay voluntary contributions, to pay for books and for uniforms; they have to stump up for basic classroom materials while fundraisers to help with building costs are commonplace.
All those charges, some voluntary some not, mount, often to a point where they can be too much to bear for some households, particularly in these difficult financial times.