How much are you spending on back to school essentials? Our research shows that back to school will cost an average of £239.87 per child in 2021, with parents of girls paying out more.
We’ve also forecast the total cost of clothing kids for back to school between Years 1 and 11; parents can expect to pay £2,918.94 in uniform essentials for children starting school in 2021 and completing their education in 2031.
The data is based on a Department for Education (DfE) study, which surveyed 1,183 parents on school uniform costs, and has been adjusted for inflation*.
The research highlights the increasing cost of clothing and footwear essentials for school children, including shoes, a coat, school bag and uniform clothing.
- 2021 back to school uniform essentials to total £239.87 per child
- 2015 back to school uniform essentials totalled £213 per child
- Back to school uniform essentials for Years 1 – 11 total £2,918.94 per child
Helping Children Put Their Best Foot Forward
School shoes are one of the biggest expenditures faced by parents, with an average cost of £34 per pair, and the costs soon add up. Parents of children starting school in 2021 will have spent a whopping £413.72 on school shoes by the time their child leaves school.
With this knowledge, Deichmann has partnered with the UK’s leading children’s charity Barnardo’s for its ‘Best Foot Forward’ campaign, providing a school shoe donation scheme to support disadvantaged families and schools in deprived areas.
We’re donating £50,000 ahead of the new school term in September 2021 and will provide an allocation of shoes directly to families in touch with Barnardo’s services, making them directly accessible to those most in need.
Josephine Soei, Marketing Manager at Deichmann, comments: “School uniform costs are a big concern for parents, especially for those with limited budgets.
“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.
“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.
“We are pleased to be supporting families with this donation, which will help to ensure every child gets a comfortable pair of shoes for school.”
Making Back to School Shoes Affordable
To help parents manage budgets, we’re 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.
We’ve also made it easier to shop for school shoes from home. 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.
Check out our 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.
Back to School – The Gender Divide
Our research highlights a clear gender divide, with parents of girls facing higher costs for back to school uniforms.
During their entire schooling, parents of girls can expect to spend £3,001.48 on essential school uniform items, while parents of boys will pay out £2,866.29 – a difference of £135.19.
For girls, the average cost of primary school uniforms (Years 1 – 6) totals £66.76 more than the cost for boys’ uniforms; £1,422.26 compared to £1,355.50 for boys during the same period.
At secondary school (Years 7 – 11), uniform costs for girls add up to £1,579.22, compared to boys, whose uniform costs totalled £1,510.79 during the same period.
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.”
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.
“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: “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 2021 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 was 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 2021 and 2031.