Chapter 5: Staying Alive
Footnote: Cost of Our Children's Education
Our sons attend a state school where education is supposedly free. But over the years, we have felt increasingly pressured to spend more and more on our sons' education. This may well have gone unnoticed were our family budget not capped by the miserly level of State welfare.
Our younger son's school requirements for the year 1993-94 are listed on the right. This included buying items second hand when available. He also needed:
- a maths set
- fountain pen
- 3 art pads
- coloured pencils
- lead pencils
- felt pen
These came to £22.63. The total, which we were required to spend on mandatory items for our younger son's supposedly publicly funded 'free' education during the financial year 1993-94, was therefore £239.84.
At that time, our older son attended a 'special needs' school. His needs were generally more complicated but roughly the same in quantity. They cost pretty well exactly the same. The total cost of school requirements for our sons was therefore £479.68 for the year 1993-94. They were both growing fast and therefore needed new clothes and shoes more and more frequently.
By 1999 the mandatory costs relating to our sons' education had soared to include the cost of a suit each, expensive text books, stationery, and above all field trips. This included for our younger son a 6-day trip to Russia. And supposedly we are expected to meet these costs out of our miserly State welfare, or alternatively have our sons lose out on certain aspects of their education which their peers enjoy. Their school has been willing to help with such costs at times, but has always expected us to pay half.
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© July 1994 Robert John Morton