Back to school costs - uniform one of the biggest burdens

Published 13/08/2016 | 00:00

The cost of providing a new uniform for a child can be one of the biggest burdens on parents as the new school term looms.

Figures from Barnardos estimate that the cost of primary school uniforms can range between €95 and €105 per pupil, while footwear was priced at €45 to €50. Meanwhile, they have found that a uniform for a first year pupil costs an average of €200, with footwear priced at €65.

However, in some situations, steps can be taken to reduce the cost of school uniforms. In Wexford, many of the local charity shops sell uniforms at a cut price and managers say that they are flying out the door.

'We get a lot of uniforms in and we only sell the ones that are of good quality and fit for wear,' said Kitty Hynes, President of Vincent's of Wexford in Selskar. 'A lot of people come in looking for them. They tell me how much a new uniform costs and the price is astronomical. If a parent has to buy more than one uniform, it is a huge burden on a family.'

Manager of the NCBI shop on Wexford Main Street, Rob Kirk, said that they their uniform sales are also attracting much attention from local parents, adding that they put them on their stands early than planned due to customer demand. They provide generic uniforms, as well as those with school crests which can often prove to be more expensive.

'A lot of the customers come in looking for the crested jackets and pullovers. They say that if they could buy a normal jumper and sew a crest on, they would, but this doesn't seem to be possible,' he said. 'Many who come in say that the price of a new jumper or coat is ridiculous. They just haven't got the money.'

Wexford People

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