22 August 2018
- Total spend up from £1.48bn in 2017 with per child spend increasing by around £15
- Londoners set to spend the most per child with Yorkshire parents spending the least
- Increasingly more parents worrying about the cost of kitting out their kids – up by 13%
- More than one in ten turn to Bank of Grandparents for funding and a quarter use a credit card
While the UK's 8.63 million1 school children enjoy the last of the summer holidays, parents have already started to turn their attention to the new school year because of the feared costs of kitting out the kids.
According to the annual Nationwide Credit Card 'Back to School' survey2, they are planning to spend around £1.63 billion (£189.29 per child) to ensure their children have all the necessary kit for the start of the new school year.
That represents a 10 per cent increase (£1.48bn) on the amount parents planned to spend in 2017 – equating to a £15 increase per child, and a four per cent increase on 2016 (£1.56bn).
Like last year, school uniform and shoes account for the biggest proportion – around a third (34%) of total expenditure. In preparation for the forthcoming school year, parents surveyed said they are likely to spend an average of £36.70 on uniform and £28.35 on shoes per child – small increases on the previous year (12% and 4% respectively). Jackets and coats will also likely see a small increase (12%) in spending this year, with an average of £25.26 set aside per child. However, more than a third (36%) of parents admitted that school uniform spend will exceed £51 per child with around one in ten (9%) set to spend a similar amount on shoes and more than one in ten (12%) on jackets and coats.
Parental worries on the rise:
The Nationwide poll, which surveyed 2,000 UK parents with children aged between four and 16, also highlights an increasing concern amongst parents with nearly three quarters (72%) admitting that they are worried about how much it is costing to kit their children out ready for the new school year – a 13 per cent increase on 2017 (59%).
Mums are more likely to worry about the back to school outlay that dads, with more than three quarters (77%) admitting their concerns compared to less than two thirds (62%) of dads. Across the parental age groups, parents aged 25-34 worry most (76%) compared to two thirds (66%) of those aged 45-54 and over 55. Regionally, Northern Irish parents (83%) tend to be most concerned about the cost of kitting out their kids for the start of the new school year, according to the poll, with Scots (63%) and Londoners (63%) least concerned.
School holidays or back to school:
Parents are also more likely to be concerned about the cost of kitting our their children ready for the new school year (45%) than they are about how much the school summer holiday period is going to set them back financially (38%).
Almost half of mums polled (48%) said the cost of the 'back to school' period worries them more than the cost of school holidays. Regionally, Northern Irish parents are more concerned how much the 'back to school' period is costing (66%), whereas North East parents worry more about the cost of the school summer holidays (43%). More than one in five (21%) of Londoners worry about neither.
Average amount spent per item per child:
Regionally, London parents spend the most at £227.06 per child, followed by Northern Ireland (£208) and Wales (£196.33). Yorkshire parents likely to spend the least (£173.49 per child) along with parents in the South West (£178.35).
As is the case nationally, total expenditure has increased across most parental age groups. The following tables provide a breakdown of the specific items purchased and how much the average British parent is likely to spend this year versus how much they planned to spend in 2017: