Back to School Costs Burden Parents in Northern Ireland: According to new research, the costs of children returning to school are a burden on parents in Northern Ireland. The findings suggest that around one in five parents has had to cut back their spending on food (17%), with more than two thirds (70%) stating that the amount of cash they need to spend on school uniforms is creating a ‘burden’.
Speaking in more detail about the cost-burdens returning to school places on parents, three quarters (74%) felt that schools were not helping them enough. The average spend for primary school parents on uniforms was £96 per child, rising to almost double for secondary school parents at £180 per child. A quarter of parents said they would find themselves slipping in to debt to cover costs, with 12% saying they would be considering using a money lender this year.
The survey also found that costs did not stop when the school gates re-opened, with school lunches costing parents £131 for primary children and £156 for those at secondary school. In addition, primary parents forked out an average of £86 on school trips, rising to £224 for parents with children at secondary school.
This is not the first piece of research to highlight the costs encountered by parents. Earlier this year, VoicED reported on research findings which suggested that school trips were too expensive for parents. In addition, previous research has found that UK parents were struggling with child care costs; and for those sending their children to private school, the average cost for the full 14 year term comes to £286,000.
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