As a parent and social researcher I believe the "Voluntary Contributions" asked of parents undermine the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child to Free Education.
I am currently carrying out research on this hypothesis for my Master's in MRes Social Research Methods
at Queen's University of Belfast. Of great concern to me as a parent is the pressure to not fail your child by not providing this money which is implied in the letters sent to parents at the start of the year, or the helpful reminders which precede any failure to pay. Similarly the lack of public access to information as to how these contributions are spent or justification on spending is concerning to me. I help out with my time locally and believe in helping those less fortunate than others. However I do question just how much benefits our children and how much benefits the education system itself.