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For immediate release: 5 September 2012
As cuts, salary freezes and childcare fees continue to wipe out
family earnings, UK charity Turn2us is urging parents to check
their eligibility online to help pay for uniforms, class materials,
school trips and lunches.
Anyone can visit the free website www.turn2us.org.uk in confidence
to find out what welfare benefits or charitable grants they may
receive and make sure that their children get the best start
The push comes in response to yesterday’s news that schooling
has made up the largest increase in family spending with costs
estimated to have increased by almost a quarter (24%) from £694 a
year in 2007 to £849 in 2012.* According to other reports last
week, parents face having to fork out £1,200 on school extras per
The research confirms the charity’s own findings that sending
children back to school is a major strain for many families who are
already struggling financially.
One in three parents (33%) surveyed said they were worried about
the costs they would incur in the new school year, and over a third
(34%) said they felt there are too many extras – such as school
trips, books and sports equipment – to pay for when sending
children to school.
Tragically, around one in eight (12%) parents said their child
had been bullied in the last 12 months because they didn’t have the
newest or best clothes or equipment for school, and around one in
seven (14%) said that their child had not been able to attend
school trips the previous year because of the costs involved.
For Rachel, a full-time mother of three, the inability to afford
a computer at home meant her children were at risk of falling
behind with their homework and couldn’t keep up with their
“We ended up walking to the library, friend’s houses, absolutely
anywhere just to borrow one. It was soul destroying because my
partner was working every hour he had then there were days when we
didn’t have a penny in our pockets.”
It was only when Rachel came across Turn2us that she discovered her
family were entitled to Housing Benefit and help with Council Tax.
This allowed her save up enough to buy a computer and relieve some
of the financial pressure.
“We were already claiming Child and Working Tax Credit and had
been told that added help such as free school dinners were
off the cards so I thought we were already receiving all we
“I would say to all other parents out there that the system is
very complicated so it’s worth checking Turn2us even if you are
already claiming grants and benefits, or have been turned away
For more information, please contact: Maria Fsadni,
Telephone: 020 8834 9200
Turn2us is part of Elizabeth Finn Care, a national charity registered in England and Wales: 207812; and Scotland: SC040987.
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Visit the Elizabeth Finn Care website