Can you handle school uniform costs?

school uniform costs

school uniform costsSchools have just broken up and the summer is here, so surely the inevitable 'back to school' shopping trips are far from the minds of most families in the UK.

Think again, as after a tough year for our economy many parents are already switching their attentions to the worries associated with the rising costs of their children heading back to school in September.

In fact, some parents are fretting so much about the increased expense of buying school uniform and stationary for their children's return that 40% say they will reduce the number of days out and time spent away on holiday this summer in order to pay for it all.

Parent survey results

The Omnibus survey of 1034 parents throughout the UK, for supermarket Aldi, also found that the average cost of kitting out a child for the new school year now sits at £182.85.

This price includes £15.08 on stationary, £57 on uniform, £33.86 for a coat, £36.32 on shoes, £14.36 for a new bag, £19.07 on a PE kit and £7.16 on a new lunchbox.

Furthermore, as many as a third of parents said they would miss out on meals this summer in order to accommodate these rising costs, while 25% would give up cinema visits and 22% would refrain from buying new clothes.

The major pressure for buying new school uniforms, according to the majority of parents, comes from the schools themselves, as it is they who decide the type of uniform their pupils must wear.

However, in London one in seven said the pressure to buy new uniform for their children comes from wanting to keep up with other parents at the school - and 25% in the North East said the pressure comes from their own children.

Save on your kids' school uniforms

There are, however, many ways of reducing the costs of your child's back to school essentials. Before splashing out, it is worth working out exactly what your child needs and speaking to other parents to see what their costs are.

It is also worth considering pound shops for many essential stationary items, and second hand uniform and PE gear can also be found without too much trouble.

As a result of these findings, supermarket Aldi has launched an offer for parents to buy a complete school uniform for their child for only £4.

The offer begins on 4 August and Aldi claim it is the cheapest price in the UK, offering to lower the price further if they are matched by any of their rivals.

The Aldi uniform offer includes a round neck sweater (£1.25), two plain polo shirts (£1.25) and a pleated skirt or trousers (£1.50). This price equates to just 2p per school day.