Back to school costs £224 per child

School kids

Parents spend £224 per child preparing their kids for the start of the new school year - up 27% compared to 2012, according to Santander Credit Cards.

School uniform accounts for most of the spend (£41), followed by school shoes (£29) and jackets and coats (£25).

Once term gets underway, the cost of keeping a child at school is £44 per child per week - that's £1,723 per child per school year.

The biggest weekly outgoings are school trips (£9), packed lunches (£8), extra-curricular activities (£8) and school meals (£7).

Excluding parents of children who attend private schools, those with children at grammar schools spend the most, at an average of £284 in the run-up to the school term plus an additional £68 per week.

They are followed by parents of children attending foundation and trust schools who spend £276 getting ready for term time and £60 on a weekly basis. Corresponding costs for academies are £243 plus £45 per week and for community schools, £210 plus £41 per week.

Parents who drive their children to school do so four times per week on average, at an estimated fuel cost of £158.34 each school year.

Alan Mathewson, chief executive of Santander Cards, said: "The end of the summer holidays means the annual 'back-to-school' shopping trip for many parents.  Unfortunately, kitting out children for the new school term is an expensive task, which comes at a time when many families are under financial pressure and looking to rein in their spending."

More about