20% of parents in Connaught/ Ulster say they're getting into debt to cover back-to-school costs.

That's considerably lower than the national average of 36% of parents getting into debt.

The findings are revealed in the annual school-costs survey commissioned by the irish League of Credit Unions.

11% of parents in debt say they have turned to a moneylender to cope with costs.

The study found that overall back to school costs have fallen somewhat since last year.

Parents are now spending €999 per primary school child - €49 less than last year.

For secondary school students, parents say the cost per child has fallen by €22 to €1,379.

Books and uniforms are the most expensive items for second-level students, while extracurricular activities and school lunches are the biggest costs for primary school children.

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