09 December, 2013 - Schools to begin surveying parents on school uniforms

Part of Minister Quinn’s strategy to reduce the costs of going to school for parents

The Minister for Education & Skills, Ruairí Quinn T.D., is requesting schools to start balloting parents on school uniform policy.  This move is aimed at giving parents a much greater say on what uniforms, if any, a school should have and in turn to tackle the high costs of some uniforms. 

Schools are today (9th December) being sent a ballot paper to issue to parents on school uniforms.  The survey, which was developed in consultation with the education partners, asks two main questions:

-      Do parents want their school to have a uniform?

-      And if so, whether they want generic or bespoke uniforms?

The first question aims to simply ascertain if parents want their school to have a uniform.  While the second question aims to identify if parents want to see changes to uniform policy which could reduce costs and make uniforms more affordable. 

Schools are being asked to send the surveys to parents by February to allow Boards of Management the time to consider the results and to make any changes warranted by September next. 

Minister Quinn said, “Parents are the ones who have to bear the cost of school uniforms so it is only right that they are given a role in deciding the type of uniform they have to pay for.”

“This survey is part of a drive to both reduce the financial burden on families with school going children and to give parents a stronger voice in key decisions in schools such as the type of uniforms used.” 

“Parents should be the ones to decide if schools have bespoke uniforms or generic, wear blazers or not or use designer sportswear.  This survey aims to let parents have their say,” Minister Quinn concluded. 

The surveys will be of particular relevance to schools which currently have a uniform, or are contemplating introducing one for the coming school year.  However, they should also assist schools consult parents in the future when they are considering introducing a uniform. 

The full circular issued to schools today can be accessed at:

http://www.education.ie/en/Circulars-and-Forms/Active-Circulars/cl0063_2013.pdf

ENDS