The True Cost of Going Back to School

    The Summer holidays are either a great time to spend with the family in the great British sunshine (of sorts), or a time when you wonder how you’re ever going to keep the kids entertained for weeks on end.

    When we were young the holiday seemed to last forever and you would play with your friends from sunrise to sunset, breaking for meals and then heading straight back. These days, it’s more of a chore to get the children away from their games consoles and tablets, with expensive family holidays or days out proving to be the best way of getting them up and about.

    So having spent hundreds, even thousands just to stop them from saying those dreaded words “I’m bored”, the last thing we want to be doing is shelling out even more on sending them back to school.

    With everybody now back in the classroom and the prospect of half-terms already looming large, the Great British Bingo team decided to look into the true cost of going back to school, asking 500 people from across the United Kingdom how much they spent on back-to-school essentials for each child in their household.

    By looking at this information, it enabled us to see how trends varied and just how much it cost families in terms of items like uniform, shoes, lunch boxes, coats, PE kit, stationery, bags and other genuine school essentials.

    Interestingly, more than 50% of those who took part in our back-to-school survey, said that they only spent as much as £10 per child on essentials showing that it’s not as costly as some parents believe it is.

    The 260 people who said that they spent between zero and ten pounds on the essentials show that you can find great deals on equipment and clothing, and that with a little bit of shopping around, budgeting, and encouraging their children to look after their possessions, you don’t have to break the bank.

    At the other end of the scale, 64 people, working out at just over 12% of those surveyed, said that they spent more than £100 per child on back-to-school essentials. It may be that these parents were buying for young children going up from nursery for the first time, or it might have been for those moving up to secondary school – the kind of children who needed new uniforms ahead of their first days at their new schools.

    In the remainder of the survey, 86 people (17%) said that they spent between £10 and £50 per child, 59 (11%) said they spent between £50 and £75, while 32 (6%) spent between £75 and £100 on getting their children ready to go back-to-school.

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