Rising costs create class struggle
Students Ruairi O'Shea, 11, and Aoife O'Shea, 7. Back to school this week. Picture: Simon Santi/The West Australian

Parents are increasingly concerned at the rising costs of public education, according to WA Council of State School Organisations president Kylie Catto.

"The cost of schooling is just going up so much," she said. "We've certainly heard from more parents concerned about the rising costs of education."

Some people were paying $2000 a year at a government school in voluntary contributions, uniforms, books, bags and shoes.

Ms Catto said people could save money by buying second-hand uniforms and books. They should also talk to the school about any difficulties with paying contributions or other expenses.

The Smith Family charity said some children were advised to avoid certain subjects because of the cost. Parents were also considering personal loans because of the struggle to sending their children to a public school.

Smith Family WA general manager Greg Ryan-Gadsden said education costs were getting beyond disadvantaged families.

Before their child walked in the front gate the average parent spent more than $700 on uniforms, shoes and stationery.

"When children - increasingly at primary school - are also expected to have either a laptop or tablet and access to broadband at home, it's no wonder many financially disadvantaged families can't cope," he said.

Ronan O'Shea said he and wife Desley were lucky they had friends who could pass on uniform items for children Ruairi, 11, and Aoife, 7, who attend Beaumaris Primary School. They also bought a computer and software for the children's school work.

Bethany Hiatt

Some people are paying $2000 a year to send a child to a government school." WACSSO's *Kylie Catto *

The West Australian

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