Parents spend average of almost £3,000 on their child's first year of school

Costs rise during secondary education and total more than £60,000

Primary and secondary school is getting more expensive for parents, even if children are state educated
Primary and secondary school is getting more expensive for parents, even if children are state educated

Parents spend almost £3,000 on their child’s first year of school, according to new research.

Over the course of a child’s education, parents reportedly spend an eye-water £60,000 – excluding school fees – on food, technology, childcare, transport and extracurricular activities for their child.

The research, commissioned by John Lewis, found the cost of a child’s reception year in primary school was £2,744. Overall, the study claimed parents spent £29,512 per child on primary school outgoings and £34,440 on secondary school costs.

Food and drink was the most expensive outgoing – costing parents £944 annually per child.

Technology was the next most expensive item, with the costs of mobile phones, laptops and tablets totalling £607. The study also found that transport (£536) and childcare (£589) followed as the next most expensive outgoings for parents.

It claimed that Year 7 – the first year of secondary school – was the most expensive overall, with parents spending £6,794 on average. But costs for the GCSE year fell, with Year 11 only costing £2,792 in comparison.

Bad luck if you have three sons: on average boys cost £1,600 more every year than girls to send to school.

Regional differences also emerged with London being the most expensive region to educate a child per year (£8,500) compared to Wales (£2,800).

The results demonstrate how state school costs for parents have rocketed in the past two years. A 2013 Aviva study estimated the total cost at £22,500 – roughly a third of the total costs now.

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