27th August 2014
The total cost of kitting out the nation’s school kids with clothes, books, stationery and other necessities in preparation for the new school term is a staggering £2.5 billion, equivalent to £240 per child according to Santander.
The cost of keeping under 18s across the UK in school once term begins totals £526 million per week. This works out at roughly £50 per school child per week and includes everyday costs such as packed lunches, bus fares, school trips and after-school activities.
Costs have increased since last year, when the average parent spent £224 in preparation for the new school year – a rise of seven per cent on 2013. Weekly costs are also up 14 per cent since last year, when keeping a child in school cost around £44 per week.
Excluding private education, parents with children at grammar schools spend the most, at an average of £265 in the run up to school term plus an additional £64 per week.
This is followed by parents of children attending foundation or trust schools who spend £261 getting ready for term time and £56 on a weekly basis. Corresponding costs for community schools are £250 plus £51 per week and for academies, £232 plus £41 per week.
More than half (54 per cent) of parents with children of a school age drive them to or from school at least once a week, with the average number of journeys being three per week. The average parent that drives spends an estimated £220 on fuel each year and clocks up an additional 1,285 miles.
Collectively, this amounts to a national £1.5 billion fuel bill and a distance travelled of around 8.8 billion miles per year. On a per child basis, school uniform (£39), school shoes (£29) and jackets and coats (£28) are the biggest outlays for parents in advance of school term time.
Once the school term begins, the biggest regular outgoing (per child per week) is school trips (£10) followed by packed lunches, extra-curricular activities, and school meals all at £8.
Ruben Justel, Head of Santander Cards, says: “The end of the summer holidays means the annual ‘back-to-school’ shopping trip for many parents. Unfortunately kitting out children for the new school term is an expensive but unavoidable task.”
TABLE ONE: Amount spent per school child on items in preparation for the school term
|Items purchased by parents in preparation for the new school term||September 2014||September2013|
|School uniform (clothes)||£39||£41|
|Jackets and coats||£28||£25|
|Trainers and plimsolls||£23||£22|
|Technology (e.g. e-book)||£20||£17|
|Backpacks and school bags||£19||£16|
|Average amount spent per child||£240||£224|
Source: Santander 2014
TABLE TWO: Amount spent per week per school child on items during term time
|Items purchased each week by parents of school children||2014||2013|
|Bus or other transport fare||£6||£5|
|Average amount spent per child per week||£50||£44|
Source: Santander 2014