The cost of going back to school? For parents, almost £200 a child

Parents should expect to spend nearly £200 on sending their child back to school after the summer break, a survey has found.

Tes Reporter

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The research among parents of children aged between 4 and 16 found that the average cost of sending a child back to school is £186.

This could mean that parents across the UK collectively spend more than £1.5 billion on sending their offspring back to school, according to the research from Nationwide credit cards.

Clothing and footwear makes up the bulk of the costs, the research found, with school uniforms, shoes, jackets and sports kits costing more than £100 combined.

Sports equipment, school bags, stationary, books and technology – such as tablets – help to bump up the cost.

Uniform wars

The findings also show how many parents are turning to supermarkets to kit out their children for the new school year. Discount chains Lidl and Aldi have been helping to fuel school-uniform price wars.

Some 46 per cent of parents said they would buy their child's school shirt from a supermarket, while 47 per cent said they would go to a supermarket for their child's school skirt or trousers.

Forty-three per cent of parents plan to buy their child's school shoes from a department store, and 25 per cent from a supermarket.

More worrying than a holiday

The research suggests parents are more likely to worry about the cost of the back-to-school period than they are about the cost of the school holidays.

Some 40 per cent of parents worry about their finances over the back-to-school period, while 36 per cent worry about funding the long summer break.

More than half (51 per cent) of parents will use money in their current account to fund their back- to-school purchases. But many will be relying on their own parents to foot the bill – more than one in 10 (11 per cent) said that their child's grandparents would be financing back-to-school purchases.

More than 1,700 parents took part in the survey.

The costs

Here is the average amount parents expect to spend on back to school costs per child, according to Nationwide:

  • School-uniform clothing: £31.29
  • School shoes: £25.90
  • Jackets and coats: £22.17
  • Sports shoes: £19.44
  • Sports kit: £16.36
  • Sports equipment: £8.95
  • School bags: £12.35
  • Stationery: £9.21
  • Books: £7.85
  • Lunch boxes: £6.60
  • Technology: £26.12
  • Total: £186.24

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