40% of parents worried about back to school costs


As parents begin planning for the September term, our new research reveals the financial pressures and stress parents are under from the costs associated with returning to school. 

Two-fifths (40%) of British parents say they are worried about the costs involved with getting their children ready for the new term. Over a third (37%) of parents say they are concerned that the additional spending may impact on their ability to pay everyday household bills and expenses, and 32% state that they may need to cut back their spending on food to afford the costs of getting their child ready for the new school term.

In addition, 34% of parents say they feel guilty that their child may not have the newest or best clothes and equipment for school - and, as a result of these costs, almost three in ten (28%) say they may have to borrow money through credit cards, overdrafts or loans over the summer.


Simon Hopkins, Chief Executive of Turn2us, said: “Our research shows the extent to which families are already struggling with the costs of housing, food and other essential bills due to the costs of returning to school. Yet we know that people aren’t always claiming the support available to them, and shockingly, the latest statistics show that around £16 billion in welfare benefits goes unclaimed each year.

“I would urge families struggling to make ends meet to find out what support they may be entitled to. The good news is there are lots of sources of help, not just by way of welfare benefits but also charitable grants and other practical support from a range of organisations like ourselves”

Find support

We’re encouraging parents who are struggling to check their eligibility for additional financial support. Our free Benefits Calculator can help you check your welfare benefit entitlements and tax credits. Even if you have checked before, it is worth doing so again, especially if there has been a change in your circumstances.

You can also use our Grants Search to find out if you are eligible for a charitable grant, or other support. If you are worried about any issues and would like further advice, you can use our Find an Adviser tool to locate face-to-face advice in your local area.

We also have information pages on help with childcare costs and other support available to parents.


  • All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from an online poll conducted by ComRes in August 2016. ComRes interviewed 516 British parents with children under 18 online between 10th August and 11th August 2016. Overall data were weighted to be representative of all GB adults aged 18+. ComRes is a member of the British Polling Council and abides by its rules. Full data tables for this research can be found on the ComRes website.
  • *The latest figures released by the Department of Work and Pensions (2014-15) and HM Revenue and Customs (2013-14)