According to today's Indo, the cost of so-called voluntary contributions to schools is set to rise by up to 50% (not available on Indo website, AFAIK).
Indo consumer correspondent Aideen Sheehan wrote:
Schools are under serious financial pressure because of cutbacks but there is no justification for embarrassing children whose parents are having financial difficulties. Correspondence between schools and parents should take place only by post, e-mail or phone and must be kept confidential. The policy of giving different coloured letters to parents who cannot pay the contribution leads to bullying."The kids that do not pay get a different coloured letter a few months later to remind us to pay, so everyone knows we haven't paid and it is very embarrassing for the children," one parents said.