The collective cost of the school year? A hefty £2.9bn claims new research from Santander

24th August 2015


British mums and dads will collectively shell-out an eye-watering £2.9bn preparing their kids for the new school year, according to new research from Santander.

With the nation gearing-up for the majority of schools to re-open next week, the total cost of kitting out the nation’s school children with clothes, books, stationery and other necessities in preparation for the new term is equivalent to £236 per child the study found.

To add to the financial strain, the cost of keeping under 18s across the UK in school once term begins totals £628m per week. This works out at approximately £52 per school child and includes everyday costs such as packed lunches, bus fares, school trips and after-school activities.

Parents with children at foundation or trust schools spend the most, an average of £375 in the run up to the school term plus an additional £93 per week. This is marginally more than the £371 upfront cost and £93 weekly cost shelled out by parents of children attending private school, without factoring in the private school fees. Parents of children at grammar schools spend £329 getting ready for term time and £76 on a weekly basis. Corresponding costs for community schools are £226 plus £49 per week and for academies, £262 plus £56 per week.

On a per child basis, a school uniform, at £40, school shoes, at £31 and jackets and coats, costing around £24 are the three biggest outlays for parents in advance of school term time. And once the school term begins, the biggest regular outgoing, per child per week, is school trips at some £10 followed by extra-curricular activities, at £9 and packed lunches at around £8.

Matt Hall, director of banking & unsecured credit at Santander said: “Kitting out kids for the new school year can be an expensive business, as most parents know. There are ways parents can cut back on costs and make the ‘back to school’ shopping trip a little easier, for example by buying school uniforms, in the sales or using a cashback credit card. The Santander 1|2|3 Credit Card pays cashback in supermarkets and department stores rewarding parents with money back on their pre-school term purchases.”


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