School of high-cost knocks
ALMOST two-thirds of Australians believe school costs are unaffordable for many families, a 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, textbooks 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 believe low-income families should be given extra support to help pay for their kid’s education.
Werribee mother Carol Achison-Mills says the lead-up to the new school year has 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 could cost up to $500 a child while her two older children were required to have laptops for high school, Ms Achison-Mills said.
“Kids shouldn’t be punished or bullied for something they can’t control,” she said.
“They don’t understand why some kids can afford things when others can’t.”
She 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.