The summer is over, my kids are heading back to school soon and my wife was moaning about how expensive it was to get them ready for school. Recent research from Zurich has the average cost of sending a child to primary school each year is €830. The average annual cost of education for a child entering secondary school is €1,495.

The Back to School Clothing and Footwear Allowance can help parents meet the cost of uniforms and footwear for their children. The allowance paid for each eligible child aged 4-11 is €150. Children aged 12-22 in full-time second-level education in a recognised school or college in the autumn of 2019 is €275.

Parents who automatically qualify would have received their payment during the week starting 8th of July 2019. The latest from the Department of Social Welfare is that they expect to pay over 150,000 payments.

If you haven’t received the payment then you still may be able to qualify for this means-tested payment, however, you will need to send off the application ASAP as the closing date is 30th of September 2018.

Log on to for the application form. You can also apply online but you will need to have your Public Services Card and a verified MyGovID account. Go to

Means Test

To qualify for the Back to School Allowance, your total household income must be less than the amounts set out in the table below. Unfortunately, if you are in receipt of Carer’s Allowance or Carer’s Benefit then this will also be assessed and all savings over €5,000.


Weekly income limits for couples 2019

Couple                       Income limit

1 child                                    €600.70

2 children                  €637.70

3 children                  €674.70

4 children                  €711.70*


*The income limit is increased by €37 for each additional dependent child.