April 21, 2015

“Can the Crest” a national campaign to cut back-to-school costs, Ireland’s biggest online parenting community launches a landmark national initiative to save parents thousands of euros. The petition based ‘Can the Crest’ campaign has already received the support of thousands of families in Ireland to date.

Now MummyPages is urging all parents in Ireland to support the money saving campaign and vote for their child’s school to change their uniform policy. The innovative campaign hopes to turn the tide on escalating school costs by encouraging hundreds of Irish schools to ‘Can the Crest’ on school jumpers, tracksuits, t-shirts and coats in favour of cheaper generic alternatives.

The online parenting community is calling on the Irish government and Minister of Education and Skills, Jan O’Sullivan TD to enforce new uniform regulations that could save families in Ireland hundreds of euro on their annual back to schools costs by allowing parents to iron or stitch school crests on to generic uniforms.

MummyPages are calling on parents to get involved by:

  1. Visiting
  2. Click on the ‘Can the Crest’ badge
  3. Vote ‘Yes’ for their child’s school to ‘Can the Crest’ policy

The campaign will run for several weeks culminating in the presentation of the MummyPages campaign petition to the Department of Education and Skills on behalf of MummyPages’ 600,000+ online community of mums.

Each year, parents all over Ireland are struggling to cope with back-to-school costs and the requirement for parents to visit specialist school uniform shops is putting huge unnecessary financial pressure on parents, costing them up to €400 per child per year. In contrast, the average generic uniform costs just €86 for two sets saving families over €300.

Last July, launched Ireland’s most comprehensive report into all aspects of back-to-school. This research revealed that 51% of mums experience financial difficulty in putting their child through school and 88% of parents think their uniform is unnecessarily expensive.

In Ireland, most primary and secondary schools still require crested uniforms despite previous efforts to implement change. In 2013, Tánaiste Eamon Gilmore proposed new uniform regulations designed to help families cope with rising education costs. While then Minister of Education and Skills Ruariri Quinn T.D. recommended setting up a parents’ charter to help strengthen their role in decisions regarding schools uniform policy, which concluded in a survey sent to schools for onward completion by parents.

The paper based survey received little response, with many schools failing to take any feedback on-board with some schools even choosing not to conduct the questionnaire.

Our MummyPages research conducted after these government efforts, showed that less than 10% of parents were allowed to purchase a full generic school uniform from their local supermarket, while just one third of parents were able to access a generic school jumper.

Commenting on MummyPages ‘Can the Crest’ campaign Laura Haugh, Mum-in-Residence for said;

 “The financial pressure placed on parents to buy the school-specific, crest-emblazoned clothing is too much and completely unnecessary especially when there is an easy, cost friendly solution available.

“It is completely unreasonable for any school to ask parents to buy expensive school uniforms, especially given their short life span with children going through growth spurts and heavy daily wear and tear.”

“Successful implementation of this initiative would involve school management buying school crests in bulk on behalf of parents and selling them individually to parents. The cost per crest would amount to €1 to €1.50 each. Parents could then be allowed to buy a full generic uniform in a specified department store for as little as6.

 “The crests can be ironed on to jumpers, blazers, tracksuits, pinafores, t-shirts and even school bags saving parents hundreds of euro. Parents should be given the chance to have their say and at we are providing a forum to do just that. The results will then be presented to government and school boards nationwide. ”