School basics 'cost parents £5,000'
Filed under: News
Providing a school uniform, sports kit and stationery costs parents £209.72 per child at the start of each school year or £5,033 for a family of two children over 12 years of education, the survey for Staples found.
A new school uniform accounts for almost a quarter of the money spent each year at £45 for each child every September, followed by school shoes (£32) and a new coat (£30).
The poll revealed 75% of parents are worried about affording school basics, with the average parent now saving for two months or more before the start of term to make sure they can meet the costs.
A fifth of parents (20%) admitted to sending their child to school in a uniform that was too small because they could not afford to buy a new one.
More than a quarter of parents said they felt pressure from other mums to kit their children out with the right brand or type of clothes, bags and stationery, while 15% revealed that their children had been teased for not having the same bags or stationery as the other students.
Amee Chande, managing director at Staples, said: "The list of things a child needs for the new school year can feel endless. Uniform, shoes, a new coat, sports kit, stationery and even a new school bag all add up, especially if you have more than one school-age child you need to kit out.
"As your children get older, there can be added pressure to spend more money than usual on a certain brand or special stationery equipment, and it can be difficult to say no. But with the recession hitting families hard, many parents have no choice but to save money wherever they can, meaning the back to school shop has had to change.
"To help ease the burden of the new school year there are a few simple steps that can be taken. Parents shouldn't feel they have to replace everything with something new just because it's a new school year.
"It's likely that last year's fountain pen will work just as well again this year. Parents could even think about setting their child a budget so they take extra care over choosing their purchases and look after their new kit."