herald

Tuesday 28 January 2020

School asks parents to donate toilet paper in bid to cut costs

St. Maelruain's Church of Ireland School, a small primary school run under the ethos of the Church of Ireland in Kilclare Avenue, Tallaght
St. Maelruain's Church of Ireland School, a small primary school run under the ethos of the Church of Ireland in Kilclare Avenue, Tallaght

PARENTS of children attending a national school in Tallaght were "disgusted" after they received a letter from the principal requesting donations of basic items including toilet rolls.

Principal Jennifer Hackett of St Maelruain's National School in Jobstown sent out the letter which asked parents to voluntarily donate "sealed packets of toilet paper" and stationery to help ease the running costs of the school.

Ms Hackett's letter explained that stationery, reams of A4 paper and laminating pouches were "some of the highest costs in the school budget" and the school would be grateful for donations.

One parent who wished to remain anonymous said they were stunned at the request for the basic items.

"The letter asked us, 'perhaps when you're out doing the shopping, you'll pick up something for the school'," they said.

"I can't believe that in this day and age. It's like we are back in the Stone Age.

"We are constantly donating money to the school for this and that. Money is tight enough and a month before Christmas as well."

Attempts by the Herald to contact the school and principal yesterday were unsuccessful.

The local rector, Rev William Deverell, said Ms Hackett is currently out sick with a chest infection and is not expected back within the week.

He said the school is in a disadvantaged neighbourhood without the advantage of regular donations that many national schools in more affluent areas can rely on.

A spokeswoman for the Department of Education and Skills said capitation funding for the day-to-day running of all recognised primary schools is provided by the Government, with the Board of Management of each school responsible for its own budget.

Voluntary

She said schools are entitled to request donations provided it is made absolutely clear they are voluntary.

She said the Minister for Education has identified improved capitation funding as a priority "on foot of economic recovery".

hnews@herald.ie

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