Friday 07 October 2022

More families ask for help with basic school costs

Photo: Depositphotos.com

Charities have seen an ‘explosive’ growth in the number of parents asking for help to buy items for children’s schooling and clothing, reports the Parool.

Stichting Leergeld Amsterdam, which assists parents with a low disposable income with school-related costs, told the paper it has had thousands of requests including from parents on average incomes.

‘The numbers have gone up especially in recent months,’ Carolien de Jong, manager, reportedly said. ‘We are an extra, though, so only when people are not eligible for local government help which is focused on minimum wages, do they come to us. We don’t look at their income but their disposable income.’

The body has helped parents with money for plimsolls and clothes for gym lessons, bicycles to get to school, laptops and books. From secondary school level, families are also expected to pay for some of their own school books and calculators for use in the lesson, a subject of discussion for MPs.

A spokesperson for Amsterdam council told the Parool that applications for help with school costs have risen and the Jeugdeducatiefonds charity said it was particularly concerned about the ‘new group of poor’.

Primary and secondary schools told the paper that they are concerned families will be affected by inflation and spiraling energy costs.

Maryse Knook, director of the Open Schoolgemeenschap Bilmer group of schools said that many families cannot pay the ‘voluntary’ school contribution of around €100 a year. ‘Ever fewer parents can pay this,’ she reportedly said. ‘I suspect that this year, the group will get larger.’

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