Parents are spending more than £300 per child kitting them out for school and some are ending up in serious poverty, an Ulster Unionist councillor has warned.
Father of two girls, Ballymoney Councillor Darryl Wilson said he has learned some families are spending so much on uniforms they have problems paying for food and fuel.
Cllr Wilson said: “As a parent of two pupils attending Ballymoney High School, I am all too aware of the high costs involved in getting children kitted out to return to school. School uniforms, PE kits, and stationery can run into hundreds of pounds per child.
“I have learned that a local charity has said that some families in Northern Ireland are spending so much money on school uniforms they have problems paying for food or fuel to heat their homes.”
He urged parents to consider recycling uniforms by donating them to local charity shops as this would help others.
And he urged parents to apply for a School Uniform Grant via the website http://www.nidirect.gov.uk/sm/school-uniform-grant
The Society of St Vincent de Paul also warned that due to the pressures of the cost of children going back to school, more and more families are struggling to afford other necessities. President Aidan Crawford said: “We are finding that more and more families are coming to SVP across Northern Ireland for help.”