Education investment is key to break cycle of poverty in Budget 2024
With almost 5,000 early school leavers in Ireland, Eurochild member Children’s Rights Alliance calls on the Government to invest in education and fight educational inequality.
End Child Poverty Week takes place between Monday 11 September - Friday 15 September, focusing on key thematic areas of child poverty including early years, education, income, national action and local plans and, child welfare and alternative care. With this initiative Children’s Rights Alliance wants to make child poverty a priority focus heading into Budget Day.
“Poverty is not inevitable. We have seen how policy decisions, and the right political action, can transform children and young people’s lives for the better. [...] Education can be a child’s key to unlocking a world of opportunity and potential. However, for children and young people in poverty, they often face barrier after barrier when it comes to accessing education.
Persistent inequality can trap children in a cycle of poverty that can follow them into adulthood. We need to be mindful that, for those children and young people who leave school with a primary education only, they have more than a one in four chance of living in poverty than their counterparts who go on to third level education.” says Tanya Ward, Chief Executive of the Children’s Rights Alliance and Eurochild Board member.
The burden that school costs places on low-income families is immense. The average cost of the basic needs for a fourth-class pupil is €320. This sharply increases for secondary school students with the average cost for a first-year pupil at €972. The Irish education welfare service (TESS) ensures that every child attend school regularly or is otherwise able to maintain their right to a minimum education. Yet TESS only has 120 Education Welfare Officers to work with thousands of children and education staff across Ireland’s 4,000+ schools.
The organisation is calling for a Children’s Budget that:
- Makes School Books Free at Second Level
- Properly Staffs Up our Education Welfare Service
- Helps children and schools outside the DEIS programme