The cost of sending your children back to school has sky-rocketed to this HUGE number

We all know that returning the children to school come September - with all the new kit they'll need for the coming year - can be an expensive thing.

First, there’s all the essentials that need buying for their school uniform, and the total quickly adds up when you factor in PE kit, cooking equipment, and stationary.

So it may not come as a surprise to many that in 2018, parents spent a combined £1.16 billion buying items for their children’s upcoming school year.

Read more: John Lewis slammed for offering ‘back to school’ make-up lessons for young girls

The findings, from market research group Mintel, also found that families spent way more than the year previously. In 2017, the spend was a lower, but still staggering, £855 million.

Parents who were surveyed in the research explained that they felt ‘pressure’ to buy branded items. And in some cases, they said, their schools insisted on these such items, meaning they have no choice but to buy the more expensive option.

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According to Metro.co.uk, they spent on average £134 on shoes and new school uniform, while 11% of parents also bought new technology, spending an average of £220.

Samantha Dover, a senior retail analyst, explained that a lot of the expense comes with parents feeling like they need to help their children ‘keep up’ with their peers.

She said: ‘There has always been an appetite for branded products when buying things like trainers, bags and coats, which aren’t part of the traditional uniform.

‘However, this pressure is moving into new categories like computing equipment and stationery as parents are keen to ensure their children are keeping up with their peers.’

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The UK government does offer some help to families who feel unable to afford school uniform – you can find out more on their website, here.

Do you think the price of sending kids back to school has become unreasonable? Do you find yourself spending hundreds on new school kit every September? Let us know.