Families struggle with cost of schooling
ALMOST two-thirds of Australian’s believe school costs are unaffordable for many families, a new survey has found.
As thousands of children prepare to head back to school, families across the country are struggling under the burden of expensive uniforms, text books and technology.
The survey, commissioned by the Smith Family, found 84 per cent of respondents did not want children to miss out on educational opportunities due to financial difficulties.
And three-quarters of those surveyed believed lowincome families should be given extra support to help meet rising education costs.
Werribee mother Carol Achison-Mills said the leadup to the new school year had become increasingly stressful as costs add up.
“It takes away the excitement for them if they’re worried about whether or not they have the right uniform or books,” she said.
School uniforms can cost up to $500 a child, while her two older children are required to have laptops for high school, Ms AchisonMills said.
“Kids shouldn’t be punished or bullied for something they can’t control,” she said.
“It’s not fair on them — they don’t understand why some kids can afford things when others can’t,” she said.
Ms Achison-Mills said without the support of charities like the Smith Family, her children would likely have missed out.
The Smith Family’s Victorian general manager Anton Leschen said the ‘back to school’ period was one of the busiest times for the charity.
“No parent wants their child to start the school year feeling isolated from their peers,” Mr Leschen said.
COSTLY LESSONS: Carol Achison-Mills with her kids, from left, Lachlann, 13, Mykaylah, 12, and Harley, 10. Nearly two-thirds of families surveyed said the cost of sending their kids to school is "unaffordable".