The cost of sending a child to school in the UK frequently stretches the typical household budget, making it difficult to build savings and protect families from dips in income.
We’ve known this for some time; a 2014 report from the Children’s Commission on Poverty has stated that parents are paying out £800 a year on average to purchases books, uniform and school meals.
The report also revealed that this places pressure on household budgets in some instances, with parents often cutting back on other areas of life to afford their children’s education.
Today the Everyday Loans team is looking at the subject in more detail. The costs of raising a child are significant in this area alone, and by arming ourselves with this information we can come to make better decisions for our families and loved ones.
The challenging cost of school
The ability to afford costs at school has an impact on a child, and this affects their life in a real way, with some missing out on opportunities as a result.
Some three million families have struggled with the costs of school, while 95% of people polled in the 2014 report stated they were “not well off at all” and that they struggled with school costs. Common reports from children include feeling embarrassed about money, with many being bullied as a result.
It’s a startling picture that many families experience every year: The UK spends around £6.4 billion a year on school costs which equates to around £800 for every child in primary or secondary education.
Of this figure, £168 typically goes towards school meals. £159 can often only cover a uniform and sports kit, with £82 going on travel costs and over £100 on school trips.
The latter was a particular problem for hard-hit families, as two in five children were found in the report to miss school trips as they simply could not afford to go on it.
Similarly, affording technology in order to do homework was also identified as an issue – three in ten children reportedly fell behind with their work as they lacked the necessary technology.
Russell Hobby, the general secretary of the National Association of Head Teachers welcomed the report and some of the recommendations found within it.
NAHT works with schools to try to limit the number of children who miss out because of how they live. This has a real impact on communities and our society as a whole, helping to improve opportunity and quality of life for our children.
A helping hand
For families looking for support, a great resource for the UK is the Citizens Advice Bureau. The benefit of a one-stop shop, so to speak, is profound. In challenging circumstances, it can be problematic to look in many different areas for support and advice, and the CAB helps make the process easier by offering comprehensive support.
This page on the Citizens Advice website is a fantastic tool, listing all the ways a family can receive assistance from schools, government, and local authorities.
Common benefits available include help with free school meals, grants for activities and uniform purchases, and assistance with transport for your children.
A better future ahead
Kids: they’re worth it! We hope you’ve found today’s blog interesting and informative. It’s a challenging subject, but we all know and understand just how important it is. By learning how we can receive support for our children in school, we can help craft a better life and future for them. That’s worth doing, indeed.
For more on the services available from Everyday Loans, visit our website main page.