State education is free at the point of access – and yet attending secondary school costs families a minimum of £39 a week per child.

Research published by the Child Poverty Action Group (CPAG) finds that a range of elements essential to a basic education still require parents to spend a substantial amount of money.

These include school uniform, sports kits, school bags, learning materials, school trips, packed lunches, transport and more.

The study – which covers the whole of the UK – uses the Minimum Income Standard research programme to calculate what parents consider to be the minimum required to meet children’s educational needs.

Excluding before and after-school childcare and household costs like printers, the research found that the annual price tag for going to secondary school is £1,756 per-child and £865 for a primary school child. That’s £18,346 for children to go through all 14 years of school.

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