Almost half of parents say finances have worsened due to Covid-19 crisis

One in four say back to school costs increased as result of the pandemic, new survey says

Almost one in two parents sending their children back to school this week say their financial circumstances have worsened since the Covid-19 crisis began with one in four saying back to school costs have increased as a result of the pandemic, a new survey suggests.

All told, 42 per cent of those who took part in poll commissioned by life assurance company Zurich Life said their financial situation has been negatively affected by Covid-19 through reduced income and/or increased costs.

The poll suggested that 23 per cent of parents believe they will suffer from increased financial strain sending their children to school due to the economic impact of the crisis while a similar number say the cost of rearing children has increased as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic

The average annual calculated spend to send a child to secondary school is now €1,891 up €156 when compared to last year, the survey says.


Not doing enough

While most secondary school expense categories remain relatively steady compared to last year, the Zurich research shows the highest spend during the secondary school year was grinds which was put at €368) and lunch which was said to cost €224.

Parents of primary school children now estimate it costs €668 annually, an increase of €180 compared to last year while the the average calculated cost is actually €1,010 for one year of primary school;

When asked to grade schools 6 per cent of parents said primary schools were not doing enough to keep back-to-school costs down. While three quarters of parents believe secondary schools could do more to help parents keep the costs of going back to school down.

To ease the financial burden of education costs, 13 per cent per cent of primary school parents have taken out a loan to cover the cost of education while almost 16 per cent of secondary school parents have sought financial assistance to cover the financing of their child’s education.

Conn Ó Midheach

Conn Ó Midheach

Conn O Midheach is Assistant Business Editor - Digital of The Irish Times