Tuesday, 17 July 2012

Questions (47)

Dessie Ellis

Question:

51 Deputy Dessie Ellis asked the Minister for Social Protection if she or her officials have had discussions with the Department of Education and Skills or others with a view to reducing the cost of school uniforms in order to improve the adequacy of the back to school clothing and footwear allowance payment. [34950/12]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Minister for Social Protection)

Officials from the Department of Social Protection have not engaged in discussions with the Department of Education and Skills with regard to reducing the cost of school uniforms as this is primarily a matter for my colleague, the Minister for Education and Skills.

The Department of Education and Skills has encouraged schools to consider, where possible, the use of generic uniforms or any other measures that can reduce the cost for parents of school uniforms. Decisions regarding school uniforms are a matter for the Board of Management of each individual school.

The back to school clothing and footwear allowance scheme provides a one-off payment to eligible families to assist with the cost of uniforms and footwear for children going to school. These payments are currently issuing to approximately 115,000 families with up to an additional 70,000 further payments expected to issue before the commencement of the school year at a cost of €63.7 million.