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Parents blow £2.3bn preparing kids for the new school term

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Parents spend an average of £224 per child preparing for the new school term – up 27% on 2012, according to a report by Santander.

The total cost of kitting out the nation’s school kids with clothes, books, stationery and other necessities in preparation for the new school term is a staggering £2.3bn.

The report also found that the cost of keeping a child at school is £44 per child per week in term time or £1,723 per child per school year, up 13% from last year – when keeping a child in school cost £39 per week.

This means that once the school term begins, the collective cost runs up to £447m per week on packed lunches, bus fares, school trips and after-school activities.

The report found that the cost of getting ready for the new term has risen 27% compared to last year, when the average parent spent £177 in preparation for the new school year.

Excluding private education, parents with children at grammar schools spend the most, at an average of £284 in the run up to school term plus an additional £68 per week.

This is followed by parents of children attending foundation and trust schools who spend £276 getting ready for term time and £60 on a weekly basis. Corresponding costs for academies are £243 plus £45 per week and for community schools, £210 plus £41 per week.

Alan Mathewson, CEO Santander Cards, said: “The end of the summer holidays means the annual ‘back-to-school’ shopping trip for many parents. Unfortunately kitting out children for the new school term is an expensive task, which comes at a time when many families are under financial pressure and looking to rein in their spending.

“There are ways to make the ‘back-to-school’ shopping spree a little easier and spending on a cashback card is a great example of how parents can earn, while their children learn.”

However compared to 2012, there has been some respite for parents in that the amount spent on the school run has fallen slightly. Last year the average annual spend on fuel for the school run was £163 and the average number of miles travelled was 908.