September has rolled around and kids across the country are preparing for the new school year. Parents have been rushing out to buy stationery and what-not, but how essential are these school supplies?
When I was at school, I vividly remember spending the last week of the summer holidays each year kitting myself out with an armory of new pens, pencils and highlighters (half of which would inevitably get lost within the first two weeks). I’d then traipse around various shops trying to piece together the perfect school uniform.
As a teenager, I was less concerned about the cost of my back-to-school ensemble than I was about which shoes would look cooler with the ultra-black skinny jeans I’d finally managed to convince my parents were actually legitimate schoolwear.
But with parents reportedly spending nearly £175 per child on back-to-school ‘essentials’, according to a poll by Nationwide Current Accounts, I can now see why they call it the ‘back-to-school panic’.
The cost of going back to school
The bulk of the expenditure goes on school uniform, shoes, jackets and coats and sports kit.
But a separate survey by parenting website Channel Mum claims that 55% of children are given a new iPad or a similar device for going back to school.
From my own experiences of working with kids in classrooms, I think incorporating smartphones, tablets and the like into lessons is a great way of getting kids engaged in learning, providing use of them is monitored correctly.
But for all their use in the classroom, should these really be considered a new ‘essential’ in the long list of back-to-school purchases, considering the cost this would add to an already expensive time of year?
Although I’m not a parent yet, the thought of one day sending my child to school with an iPad is terrifying – I barely trust myself to look after one, let alone a 10-year-old!
Are you heading out to stock up on back-to-school supplies – what’s on your list? What items do you recall buying as ‘must haves’ when you were at school?