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Back to school costs per child – £1,192 for primary school and £1,108 for secondary school

2nd September 2016

The average cost of preparing a child for school in the UK has reached £1,192 for primary school aged children (4 to 10 year olds), and £1,108 for secondary school pupils (11-18 year olds).

Research from Lloyds Bank shows the average cost of preparing a child for school in the UK has reached £1,192 for primary school aged children (4 to 10 year olds), and £1,108 for secondary school pupils (11-18 year olds).

According to the Lloyds Bank Spending Power Report, which polled 2,070 people, parents spend an average of £132 per child on school uniforms and PE kit at the start of the year– the biggest single back-to-school cost.

But the largest ongoing cost for parents of primary school children is childcare at £329 a year, followed by lunches for 11-18 year-olds at £260. Other substantial costs include clubs and activities, where parents of primary school children can expect to fork out £170 over the course of the year, and £204 a year on secondary school trips.

The headline figures mask considerable differences in expenditure across the country. Parents in the South of England expect to spend 23% more overall than the rest of the UK at the start of the new school year and a whopping 40% more during the course of a full school year or £1,175 per child, versus £837 for the rest of the UK.

The estimated amount spent on a school uniform and PE kit is more than twice as high in the South than rest of UK at the start of the school year, whilst childcare costs are estimated to be 78%higher during the school year.

Joanne Overton, head of personal current accounts at Lloyds Bank said: “While the supermarket price war may have helped reduce the cost of uniforms and PE kits, the cost of sending a child to school still represents a significant chunk of a household’s budget.

“Our research also highlights a marked difference in the costs depending on the age of your child and where you live.

“These costs shouldn’t be underestimated and we’d encourage families to plan for them throughout the year, not just at the start of the new school year.”

The back-to-school research forms part of the Lloyds Bank Spending Power Report for July, which tracks both spending habits and consumer confidence. This also found that in the weeks following the EU poll almost seven in ten (67%) believed their own personal finance situation was either “excellent”, “very good” or “somewhat good” – the highest level in the survey’s history.

The report, conducted in conjunction with Ipsos MORI, revealed that in July spending on essentials such as food, drink, rent and utility bills rose for the first time since November 2014, albeit by only 0.1% on the previous year.

School costs for parents across the UK:

The methodology –

The Lloyds Bank Spending Power Report is derived from independent consumer research and current account data of Lloyds Bank, Halifax and Bank of Scotland customers.  This provides a robust and representative sample of the entire UK market and its essential spending behaviours.Essential spending components are made up of rent, mortgage and required debt payments, utility bills, council tax, TV licences, food and fuel, which are identifiable from card spending, direct debits and standing orders from current account data. There are strong calendar effects within essential spending components, some of which will be accounted for using year-on-year growth rates while we attempt to adjust for irregular calendar effects. As a longer history of data becomes available, the adjustment methodology may be altered in future to better correct some of these changes.

Contains public sector information licensed under the Open Government Licence v3.0.

Each month, over 2,000 adult bank account holders are asked about their current and future spending habits and how their commitments affect their spending power. Consumer research is compiled in conjunction with Ipsos MORI: Ipsos MORI interviewed a representative sample of 2,070 adults who hold a bank account aged 18-75 across the United Kingdom. Interviews were conducted online between 8th-21st July. Survey data were weighted to the known population proportions of this audience. People or people’s refers to people surveyed as per Editor’s notes.

Research conducted by TNS during January 2011 – December 2014 (Feb 2011 Base: 2001). Jan 2015 – July 2016 research conducted by Ipsos MORI.

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