Families fear school costs during crisis
CASH-STRAPPED parents need to find at least £39 a week for their child’s secondary school education and £19 for primary-aged pupils, research has found.
The cost of uniforms, learning materials, school trips, lunches and transport is increasing the financial burden on mothers and fathers struggling in a cost-of-living crisis.
Excluding before and after-school childcare and household costs like printers, the annual price tag for going to secondary school is £1,755.97 per child and £864.87 for a primary school child.
That’s £18,345.85 for children to go through all 14 years of school, or a weekly average of £39.01 for a secondary school child and £18.69 per primary child, according to the Child Poverty Action Group.
Uniform – including PE kit and school bags, costs most for parents of primary children and comes second only to transport costs for secondary school children.
Food – with the minimum defined as a packed lunch – is the second biggest cost for parents of primary pupils and is a major weekly cost for secondary school families.
The CPAG’s Kate Anstey said: “Parents are guilt-stricken when their kids are left out at school, but when you can’t cover the electricity bill how is a new PE kit affordable?
“Our research shows there’s a hefty and often hidden price tag for just the basic essentials.
“For struggling families it can feel more like pay-as-you-go than universal education.”
She continued: “It’s on each government to intervene and ensure that every child has at the very least the essentials required to take part in school and learn.”