Published on 

Minister Bruton Announces Measures to Tackle School Costs

20170418 Bruton Schools

Minister Bruton who today announced Measures to Tackle School Costs

Education Minister Richard Bruton today announced that he will publish a circular to be adopted by schools to reduce the cost of school uniforms and other costs. 

The Minister will also introduce a requirement for every school to develop a Parent and Student Charter, which will ensure that the interaction between students, parents and schools, is always done in an open and progressive way.

School authorities will be required to adopt the following principles of cost-effective practice which will put a greater emphasis on reducing the cost of school uniforms and other costs:

All elements of a school uniform should be purchasable from various stores;

  •        Only “iron on” or “sew on” crests should be used
  •        Wherever possible, generic rather than branded items should be specified (e.g. uniform, clothing, IT tablets, sports equipment etc.)
  •        Provide parents with a list of all required items and indicate the likely costs of these required items at best value stores
  •        Provide a book rental scheme
  •        Ban the use of workbooks which cannot be reused
  •        Where an exclusive supply arrangement applies, it should be tendered for regularly.
  •        The Board of Management in each school will have to review the cost of items which they require parents to purchase and to make this information available to the school community.

The Action Plan for Education, which aims to make the Irish education and training service the best in Europe, commits to restoring capitation payments to schools, as resources permit. Schools that have not adhered with the principles of cost-effective practice will receive a smaller increase in capitation.

Speaking at the I.N.T.O. Conference in Belfast, Minister Bruton said:

Schools have to do everything possible to keep costs down for parents, including the use of generic items, sew on or iron on crests, and making sure that various elements of the uniform can be purchased in multiple stores. In the Action Plan for Education I have committed to the restoration of capitation payments. In restoring capitation payments, where schools have introduced these cost effective principles, they will receive a premium capitation payment.  

Read the full press release here.