Cost of Back to School hits hard pressed parents
The children’s charity Barnardos has today estimated the ‘true cost’ of Back to School expenses at about €815 for a child entering first year in secondary school which clearly demonstrates the pressure ordinary families will be under this year.
“I have been contacted by many people who are concerned about the ever increasing back to school costs. It is hardly surprising that this year the numbers seeking information and help has increased greatly”.
“With the huge increase in unemployment in Dublin 15 and with people experiencing other financial difficulties such as mortgage arrears it is no wonder that they are worried about back to school costs”
“I will be distributing a ‘know your rights’ leaflet to households across Dublin 15 to make sure parents know what they are entitled too”.
“It is at times like this that the decisions taken by Fianna Fail to cut jobseekers payments, child benefit and impose levies on low paid workers are hitting home. Sadly, this is in stark contrast to the ‘blank cheque’ bank guarantee they have provided to irresponsible banks like Anglo Irish”.
Back to School entitlements :
BACK TO SCHOOL CLOTHING AND FOOTWEAR ALLOWANCE
If you are in receipt of :
• A social welfare payment a Health Service Executive payment,
• You are taking part in an approved employment scheme, or a recognised education or training course. You may be eligible to apply for assistance with Back to School costs.
The rate pate per child under 11 years is ?200 and this rises to ?305 for each child aged between 12-17. You should Apply NOW. Simply text FORM BTSCFA to 51909 followed by your name and address. Application forms are available online at: www.welfare.ie/EN/Forms/Documents/bscfa.pdf
SCHOOL BOOK GRANT SCHEME
A grant scheme is available for students in schools to help with the cost of school books. The scheme is mainly aimed at pupils from low-income families and those experiencing financial hardship. You should contact your child’s school principal for further details.
EXEMPTION FROM STATE EXAMINATION FEES
If your child is sitting the Leaving or Junior Certificate in 2011 and you are in receipt of a Medical card then you are exempt from paying examination fees. Contact the State Examinations Commission, Cornamaddy, Athlone, Co Westmeath. Tel: 090-644 2700.
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