Getting a social welfare payment (including the Family Income Supplement and Back to Work Family Dividend or a Health Service Executive payment.
Taking part in an approved employment scheme.
Taking part in a recognised education or training course.
Involved in an Area Partnership Scheme.
Attending a FET (formally FAS), Failte Ireland or LES training scheme.
Aged 4 to 11 on or before September 30 is €125.
Aged 12 to 22 on or before September 30 and in second level education the rate is €250.
Children in third level education are not eligible.
Ask the principal if the school offers the Book Rental Scheme or other supports available under the School Books Grant Scheme.
Check if the school runs a second-hand book and uniform sale.
Ask friends and family if they have any of the books on the list or organise your own book and uniform exchange with friends and neighbours — you’ll never know unless you ask.
Ask your local book-shop if they offer instalment plans and pay for the cost of books over the next couple of weeks.
Copybooks, pens and pencils can all be cheaper if bought in large quantities — will a friend or neighbour split the costs with you if you buy a lot together?
Re-use stationery items such as folders, files and pockets if they are in good order — no need to buy new.
Watch the shops for special promotions on uniforms. Most stores are offering discounts in the lead in to the school year.
Shop around for generic uniform items like shirts, t-shirts, trousers and skirts in local chain stores — there are great offers out there — check them out.
Check with the principal on other costs that come up over the year for things like art & craft, photocopying, school trips etc. and plan for them.
Remember the voluntary contribution is voluntary — speak with the principal if you have any difficulty.
List the costs using our budget guide.
Check if you qualify for the Back to School Clothing and Footwear Allowance.
Subtract it from the total cost to find out the balance needed.
We have a handy guide of all items for your use — drop in or contact us to get a copy.
Work out how many weeks are left until September and how much you will need to save each week to cover the cost.
Ask yourself can you afford to cover the costs from your income or Child Benefit Payment? If not, look at your budget again and see if you can reduce the costs further.
If you have to borrow, think about whether you can afford the repayments, make sure to get the best rate (APR). Your local Credit Union will usually have the best lending rate. They are now also offering a new scheme known as the “Micro Credit Scheme also known as “It Makes Sense Loans” are available to people getting a social welfare payment that may not be able to get credit from other sources so contact your local credit union to find out more.