What Costs to Expect When Your Kids Start School

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In the UK, parents can choose to send their kids to a public school, which is funded by the government, or an independent school which charges a fee each term. However, there will always be significant costs to factor into your budgeting, even if you choose to send your child to a government funded school rather than a private school.

School Uniform

One of the main costs to consider when your child starts school is their uniform, school shoes and P.E. kit. Here are some tips to reduce the blow:

Tip 1: Purchase the school uniform in instalments a few months before the start of school term so that you can spread the cost rather than buying it all at once. Many school uniform shops make spreading the cost even easier by offering helpful payment options.

Tip 2: Buy the uniform in a marginally larger size so that your child has some growing room, otherwise you’ll likely have to buy it all again in a few months.

Tip 3: Stitch labels into the main garments so that if they go missing, they are more likely to be returned to their owner.


Extra-Curricular Activities

If your youngster would like to take piano lessons or join a sports club, there will probably be costs involved. However, there are many benefits to having hobbies that usually make the fees worthwhile. Both public and independent schools usually offer a range of extra-curricular activities to their pupils.


School Supplies

Before the start of term, your youngster will need new stationery, a pencil case and a school bag. 

Tip 1: Check with the school to see what supplies they provide before you start your shop, but bear in mind that it’s always handy having some at home too.

Tip 2: Hunt for back to school deals in the shops so that you don’t end up spending a fortune unnecessarily. 

Tip 3: Try browsing your local charity shops if you want to save some pennies. You’ll probably find a pre-loved school bag perfect for your youngster.


School Dinners

All children will receive a free school meal until the end of Year 2 in government funded schools. After this point, you will have to provide your child with lunch money so that they can buy their food or ensure they have a pack-up each morning. The latter is usually less expensive and you can ensure your child gets all their favourite foods.

Tip 1: Check on your local authority’s website to find out if your child is eligible for free school dinners after Year 2, as this is often the case if your family receives certain benefits.


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