Cost of schooling: Struggling parents identify 10 areas where costs are too high

A quarter of parents are struggling with the cost of sending their children to school – with the top three challenges being uniform, trips and school meals.
Image: Adobe Stock

The annual National Parent Survey shows that 27% of parents and carers are struggling to afford school – rising to half of parents with children entitled to free school meals (FSMs).

It equates to as many as 2.8 million children living in UK families who struggle to afford school.

The survey has been published by charity Parentkind and was carried out in June 2023 involving 5,126 parents and carers.

Only 60% of those parents believe that the costs of school are acceptable. Of those who had concerns over the affordability of schooling, 10 areas of cost were identified:

The findings come after research from the Child Poverty Action Group (CPAG) earlier this term calculated that the annual price tag for going to a state school is £18,346 across all 14 years of school – breaking down to £1,756 a year per secondary child and £865 a year at primary level. The hidden costs of schooling included school uniform, sports kits, school bags, learning materials, school trips, packed lunches, transport and more.

Register now, read forever

Thank you for visiting SecEd and reading some of our content for professionals in secondary education. Register now for free to get unlimited access to all content.

What's included:

  • Unlimited access to news, best practice articles and podcast

  • New content and e-bulletins delivered straight to your inbox every Monday and Thursday


Already have an account? Sign in here