Back to school blues

Back to school bluesAfter what feels like a relatively short summer holiday, our daughter Lottie went back to school today.

My wife Becky is a primary school teacher and returned to work yesterday, although her new reception class won’t be joining her until next week.

Our youngest, Ryan, starts primary school next Monday, and my eldest daughter Megan also has to wait until Monday for her return to junior school.

The back to school blues (and, naturally, some excitement) are definitely here.

New research from price comparison website Confused.com found that the start of the new school term resulted in parents spending £164 on average to kit their children.

Parents in the UK are facing increasing costs to get their child ready to go back to school after the summer holidays, with prices rising by 6.5% since last year.

This is likely to be unwelcome news for parents who have already spent £516 on childcare and activities for their children over the summer holidays.

If the price of family holidays are also factored in, costs can rise to £1,567 over a six week period.

As a result, more than two fifths (42%) of parents say they spend more money during the summer holidays than over Christmas.

New gadgets and technology are also contributing to the rising cost of returning to school.

Nearly one in 10 parents say they will be buying their child a mobile phone (9%), a tablet (9%), and even a laptop (9%) for their child when sending them back to school.

It’s therefore unsurprising to hear that half of parents (50%) believe they have spent more money this year kitting out their children for school, compared to last year.

More than one in 10 parents are worried about sending their children back to school as they are dreading all the expenses.

There is no doubt that children and their education is expensive.

When we see price inflation figures of around zero, these averages hide the fact that many of the goods and services on which we spend money are rising in value by a reasonably large amount.

We have often written here before about the phenomenon of ‘silver inflation’, where inflation is usually much higher for older people.

Price inflation for private education is notoriously higher than average price inflation too.

It appears this educational inflation effect could be filtering through to the price inflation associated with state education costs as well.

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About Martin Bamford

Martin Bamford is a Chartered Financial Planner, Certified Financial Planner (CFP) professional and published personal finance author. He works with elderly clients to provide advice on funding residential care fees, hosts the Informed Choice Podcast and is a keen ultra runner.
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