Parents are asked to stump up for children’s pencils and crayons

Adele Kerr

Adele Kerr

CASH-strapped parents are being asked to supply school resources including pencils and sellotape in a bid to ease the burden of education funding cuts.

The Integrated Primary School in Enniskillen is one the schools which has suggested that parents purchase a range of items for the start of the school year.


The list for primary 1 to primary 3 pupils includes pritt stick, crayons, big and small sellotape, magnetic letters, coloured craft paper, poly pockets, blu tack, craft material including pom poms, feathers and pipe cleaners.

However, a number of the school’s parents have criticised the move saying they can’t afford the extra materials.

But the school principal, Adele Kerr has denied the items are compulsory saying that they are “suggested lists of resources”.

She added: “Parents Council on June 11 talked about fund-raising for the year and in these minutes we agreed to a list of suggested resources children could bring in September which was suggested by a parent. These will be placed in a classroom box and used to top up the resources which are always used up very quickly like pencils and glue. This is not compulsory but would be very much appreciated.

“It was suggested that rather than do a fundraiser we would do this. That list has been put into the report. Because of budget constraints it would help the school, but lots of schools do it.

“It’s a different way from asking for money. I complied the suggested list.

“I sent out a thank-you letter to all the parents for the resources. Even a child coming to school with a pencil is not compulsory.”


However, parents say they feel pressurised into buying the items and claimed that “no one is happy about it”.

One parent told the Fermanagh Herald: “I believe the letter said that every child must have these items. Loads of people are not happy about it because they can’t afford to buy.

“We haven’t got the items yet. A lot of pupils turned up today (Tuesday) and everyone in the class didn’t have them.

“No one is happy we have to pay for this. We already paid £250 to send them out and another £10 a child on school supplies. Why would a child need blutack?  Children were asked did they have their stuff with them. The kids didn’t turn up with what they asked of.

“I’m going to have to buy these but not for all of the kids. Everyone has been saying it’s ridiculous. No other school is doing this. It’s terrible we have to pay for this.”

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