Families in the UK spend £23,000 on extra school costs

Classroom equipment costs parents about £1,004 over 11 years. Photo: Ben Birchall/PA Archive/PA Images

The average family in Britain spends £23,000 on extra costs while putting their children through compulsory education, according to a new report.

A survey of 2,000 parents by price comparison website MoneySuperMarket, has found that each child’s education costs parents an extra £1,334 every year – adding up to £23,405 over 11 years.

Legally, children in the UK have to attended school from the age of five until the end of upper school at 16.

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With the average family having 1.7 children, the cost of putting kids through 11 years of education can add up – lunch money alone can mount up to £2,784.

But after-school clubs and groups are the most expensive, costing parents about £2,839 over the years, followed by school trips, at about £2,837.

Meanwhile, school uniforms cost the average family £2,193.

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Research by the Children’s Society in 2018 shows 13% of families are getting into debt to cover the cost of their children’s school clothes. This figure was almost double that at 7% in 2015.

Some parents are now forced to skip meals to feed their children during the holidays, with the rising cost of uniforms only exacerbating these struggles.

The UK government pledged to clamp down on school uniform costs in 2015, but has yet to do so.

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Getting kids to and from school can also be expensive, amounting to about £1,812 over the years.

Necessary classroom equipment alone costs parents £1,004, while technology is an additional £1,907, sports equipment adds on £1,322, and books come to £1,169.

And for kids who need extra tutoring, parents will have to pay about £1,064.

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Social activities cost parents about £2,120, while other miscellaneous costs come to about £1,458.

And Christmas presents for teachers tack can on about £893 over the years.

The report also reveals 79% of parents worry about financially supporting their children through school, resulting in 69% seeking financial help.

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Of those who struggle to pay for a school essential, a fifth (22%) use a credit card, 14% rely on their overdraft and 7% take out payday loans.

A whopping 88% feel pressured to pay for unnecessarily expensive school items, and over a quarter (28%) believe that financial pressure comes directly from the school.