The first year of secondary comes in at €765 per pupil

The cost of sending children back to school has risen again this year, with many parents being forced into debt as a result.

They're among the findings of Barnardos Annual School Costs survey released today.

The basic cost per year for a senior infant pupil is now €360.

That rises to €380 by fourth class, while the first year of secondary school now costs €765 per pupil.

Image: Barnardos 

According to the children's charity, 11% of primary school parents and 21% of secondary school parents find themselves forced to borrow money to cover school costs.

More than 50% of parents reported an increase in the cost of school books, while more than two-thirds have been asked for a voluntary contribution.

June Tinsley, Barnardos Head of Advocacy, argued: "It is time for the Government to fulfil their constitutional responsibility to provide truly free education.  

"We’re calling on all politicians to make free education a political priority and end this fallacy once and for all."