Know Your Rights: Help With School Costs

Posted by



Know Your Rights has been compiled by Kerry Citizens Information Service which provides a free and confidential service to the public…

Question: My four-year-old son is starting primary school in September. My only income is my One-Parent Family Payment and €120 from a part-time job.

I don’t get any maintenance and I’m worried about the extra costs involved in sending my son to school. What help can I get?  

Answer: As you are getting a social welfare payment, you may be entitled to the Back to School Clothing and Footwear Allowance (BSCFA) which can help with back-to-school expenses. Your weekly income must be below a certain level.

Continued below…



You are currently getting a One-Parent Family Payment of €229.80 (including a child payment) and earning €120. Your weekly income of €349.80 is below the income limit of €425.10 for a lone parent with one child so you qualify for BSCFA. In 2018, the payment is €125 for a qualified child aged 4–11.

The Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection pays BSCFA automatically in many cases. If you haven’t received a letter from the Department by mid-July, you need to apply by 30 September 2018.

Application forms are available on, or from your local Intreo Centre or Social Welfare Branch Office. You can also request a form by texting ‘Form BTSCFA’ followed by your name and address to 51909 or by emailing the Department at

The Department of Education and Skills runs a School Books Grant Scheme which is available to State-funded schools to help with the cost of school books.

Some schools run a Textbook Rental Scheme or can help with the cost of buying textbooks. You should contact the principal of your son’s school to find out if any of these options are available.

• Contact us in Tralee on Tel: 0761 07 7860 Killarney 0761 07 7820, Listowel 0761 07 7840 Kenmare 0761 07 7810, Killorglin 0761 07830 & Caherciveen 0761 07 7780.

Information is also available online at and from the Citizens Information Phone Service, 0761 07 4000

Comments are closed.