How much are you spending on back to school essentials? We’ve been crunching the numbers and have discovered that in 2020, back to school uniform costs will total £235 per child, on average, and the yearly expenditure soon adds up.
Parents of children starting school in 2020 can expect to shell out a whopping £2,862 for school uniform essentials by the time their child leaves school.
- 2020 back to school uniform essentials to total £235 per child
- 2015 back to school uniform essentials totalled £213 per child
- Total cost of back to school uniform essentials to total £2,862 per child
We’ve forecast the annual cost of clothing kids for back to school between Years 1 and 11, starting in 2020, using a Department for Education (DfE) study, which surveyed 1,183 parents on school uniform costs in 2015, adjusting the data for inflation*.
The research highlights the increasing cost of clothing and footwear essentials for school children, identified as £213 per child in 2015.
The figure includes shoes, a coat, school bag and uniform clothing, but does not include the cost of a PE kit.
Josephine Soei, Marketing Manager at Deichmann, comments: “School uniform costs are a big concern for parents, especially for those with limited budgets, and these costs only take into account the essentials.
“The full cost of providing uniform for a child’s entire schooling are staggering and these are just for one child, many parents face a bigger bill due to having more than one school-age child.”
Back to School Uniform Costs – The Gender Divide
The research highlighted a gender divide, with parents of girls facing higher costs for uniforms.
For girls, the average cost of primary school uniforms between Year 1 and Year 6 totalled £1,395, compared to £1,330 for boys during the same period.
At secondary school, uniform costs for girls add up to £1,548 between Year 7 and Year 11, compared to boys, whose uniform costs totalled £1,482 during the same period.
During their entire schooling, parents of girls can expect to spend £2,943 on essential school uniform items, while parents of boys will pay out £2,812 – a difference of £131.
Small cost differences between blouses and shirts, skirts and trousers, dresses and shorts add up significantly over the course of 11 years of schooling.
Josephine says: “The gender difference is a surprising finding and a reminder to retailers that it is our responsibility to ensure back to school items are fairly priced for all pupils.”
Making Back to School Shoes Affordable
Shoes were found to be the third biggest spend for parents, after blazers and coats, with an average cost of £33 in 2020 and set to reach £41 by 2030.
Josephine adds: “Shoes are the third biggest spend for parents, so providing quality footwear that is also affordable is our priority to help back to school budgets stretch further.”
To help parents manage budgets, we are running our annual Buy One Get One Half Price offer on back to school shoes and trainers, including brand name footwear from Hush Puppies, Nike, Adidas and Skechers.
Making Online Back to School Shoe Shopping Easier
Offline shopping is still the preferred method for stocking up on back to school essentials.
Additional research that we have conducted through YouGov has found that 28% of parents mostly shop offline and 26% complete all of their back to school shopping offline.
Only 3% of parents currently purchase all items online.
While our stores are now open nationwide and our back to school shoe ranges available to try on, we understand that many parents will prefer to social distance and shop online this year.
To simplify the process and stop the big shop becoming a big headache, we’ve created the Deichmann downloadable foot gauge.
Simply print out the gauge at home and measure your child’s feet to ensure you purchase the correct shoe size.
We also stock a range of Hush Puppies Dual Fit styles, which come with two sets of insoles – one standard and one wide fit – so your child can find the perfect fit without you having to spend extra. Download the Deichmann Hush Puppies foot gauge and shop the range today.
To help keep shoes looking smarter for longer we recommend:
- Clean shoes regularly to prevent deterioration
- Use specialist shoe cleaning products to protect materials and lengthen the life of your shoes
- Polish leather shoes to keep shoes soft and supple, and to prevent cracking
- Choose Microfresh insoles where possible to reduce unpleasant odours
- Look for a reinforced toe when choosing shoes for kids who are always on the go
- Dirt blockers and weather protection products help to protect shoes from damage
Shop back to school shoes for girls and boys.
What Parents Think about Back to School Uniform Costs
Lancashire mum and blogger at Five Little Doves, Laura Dove, has four children to clothe for back to school, which means the uniform costs soon add up.
Laura says: “With four children we spend an absolute fortune on school uniforms and unfortunately, due to growing so fast, the uniform rarely even lasts the full school year.
“When you add in the cost of shoes and PE kits and all of the branded uniforms with school logos, it really can be extortionate.
“I find it a huge pressure on families, more so after the summer holidays when money has been spent on an annual holiday or entertaining the children whilst they are off school.
“We try and save money throughout the year as it’s a huge amount to find all in one go.”
For Norwich mum, Sarah Anguish, who blogs at Boo, Roo and Tigger Too, the uniform costs for secondary school have been surprising.
Sarah comments: “At first glance, I would say that £235 per child is quite a lot to spend, however, when you think about the individual items that make up school uniform essentials it doesn’t seem ridiculously expensive.
“Having children in both primary school and high school, the difference in cost is unbelievable. Not only do they require more school uniform essentials, but many of the items need to include the school logo, which always bumps the cost up.
“Other than the mandatory school clothing items such as a blazer, which you can’t shop around for, I would say that school shoes and trainers are the biggest expenditure and gaining that balance between affordability and hardwearing as I don’t want to be replacing them time and time again across the school year.”
Both mums agree that there are potentially some quick ways to cut costs, if school would take a more flexible approach to having logos on clothing.
“I think schools should be more lenient about branded uniforms bearing the school logos,” Laura explains. “Supermarkets have very affordable alternatives, but I know many schools insist on the logos, which can bump up the price by double, or even treble.”
Sarah adds: “Cutting back on the school logo mandatory items, possibly schools offering parents the opportunity to purchase patches that can be sewn onto PE shirts, blazers, etc. rather than insisting that we purchase through their chosen uniform supplier.”
To calculate back to school costs for 2020 and beyond, we used existing research from the Department for Education (DfE) conducted in 2015, which questioned 1,183 parents on school uniform costs and were adjusted for inflation by Mintel in 2019.
Average costs were highlighted for primary and secondary pupils and split by gender. These figures were used as the starting point to calculate the cost of Back to School for a child’s entire schooling between Year 1 and Year 11 (ages 5 – 16).
The average annual inflation rate was identified as 2%, between 2015 and 2019, and the original figures were adjusted to calculate the cost of back to school uniforms for every year between 2020 and 2030.