Back to School Allowance in Ireland


Back to School Allowance. August is a very expensive month for parents. Between the cost of school books, uniforms and other school supplies it all adds up. This is particularly the case if you have more than one child. A recent survey by the Irish League of Credit Unions found that the average cost of sending a child to primary school is €940 per year. A huge burden for already stretched parents.

Back to School Allowance

The Back to School Clothing and Footwear Allowance (BTSCFA) helps parents meet the cost of uniforms and footwear for children going to school. It is a means-tested one-off payment paid in July each year.

It is paid automatically to over 110,000 parents who qualify for the payment. A letter confirming that you qualify is sent out directly to parents. If you did not receive a letter automatically then you can apply online at To apply online you must have a Public Services Card and a verified MyGovID account.

It is means tested and details of the weekly income limits are here. They vary for couples and single parents, see Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection for more details.


Who qualifies for the Back to school allowance?

To qualify for the allowance, a person must be receiving certain social welfare payments or taking part in training, employment or adult education schemes.

These include:

  • In receipt of a social welfare payment (including Working Family Payment (was previously called FIS) and Back to Work Family Dividend) or a Health Service Executive payment, or
  • Participating in an approved employment scheme (back to work scheme) or
  • Participating in a recognised education or training course, or
  • Involved in an Area Partnership Scheme, or
  • Attending a FET (formerly Fás) or, Fáilte Ireland training course.


How much is the Back to School allowance?

The allowance for each eligible child aged 4-11 on or before 30 September 2019 is €150

The allowance for each eligible child aged 12-22 on or before 30 September 2019 is €275.

If any of your children are aged 18 or over, you must apply for the Allowance for them and confirm that they are returning to second-level education.