Parents could face a £1.5 billion bill for the new school year

Parents of the UK’s 8.1 million school children aged 5 to 16 could be landed with a collective bill of £1.5 billion in school costs according to a report by Nationwide Building Society.

It is thought on average of £180 will be spent per child on clothing, uniform, sports kit, footwear, bags, lunch boxes, equipment and trips with parents aged 55 and above likely to spend an average of £212 per child.

The report also suggested that 22% of parents will turn to credit to pay for these goods as a result of the steeper cost.

Graham Pilkington, director for banking at Nationwide commented:

"With more and more items required to send kids back to school in September, the financial burden is becoming even greater. Parents understand this with nearly two in five admitting that they worry about how they are going to pay for everything.”

Of those questioned, 90% said that they will buy a new uniform this year. Branded school clothing, with bespoke logos and team house colours means can all restrict the opportunity for parents to shop around to get a better deal.

A similar report by the Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB) made similar findings this week. Commenting on their report, Gillian Guy, Chief Executive at CAB highlighted that:

"Mums and Dads are anxious about the cost of going back to school. Some parents are borrowing money to pay for school clothing because they fear their children will face punishment from teachers or bullying from other kids.”

"Plans to merge schools or create academies also need to consider the financial impact for families. For some parents, buying an expensive new school uniform because the school has merged is beyond their reach and completely unaffordable."

"It is worrying that many parents are forced to buy school uniforms from a specific shop. This puts unnecessary pressure on already tight budgets by prohibiting choice which stops people shopping around for the best deal.