Over half (57 per cent) of parents in the UK have already purchased or plan to purchase second-hand items, including clothes, accessories and supplies, ahead of their children going back to school for the start of the new term. This is according to new research announced today by quantilope, the research platform that automates advanced research methodologies.

Quantilope surveyed 400 parents in the UK with at least one child under the age of 18 to see how they are preparing for the return to school in the context of the cost-of-living crisis.

Around three-quarters (77 per cent) of parents are planning to reduce spending in other areas to save money as they get their children ready to go back to school. These include going out/out for meals, holidays, clothes, food, takeaways and days out/trips.

“The return to school this year for many parents and children will be very different as people struggle to meet the cost of what is often an expensive time of year,” comments Alex Hall, Associate Director of Research Consulting at quantilope. “The new term means new uniform, shoes, PE kit, and other equipment, often at inflated prices. While supermarkets do offer cheaper plain versions of school uniforms, it’s clear from our research that more parents will be using charity shops, free sharing platforms and even so-called ‘uniform banks’ to buy what they need.”

On average, parents with children in state schools spent GBP337 per year on school uniform for each secondary school child, and GBP315 per year for each primary school child, according to research by The Children’s Society in 2020.

Last year, the UK government passed legislation that requires schools to make school uniforms more affordable. The new guidance states that while schools can still provide their own higher-priced uniforms, often branded, an alternative must be made available. Schools will also have to make sure second-hand uniforms are available to buy, while high street versions are also acceptable alternatives.

More information is available from quantilope’s blog: Inflation’s Impact on UK Parents’ Back-to-School Shopping in 2022. Access quantilope’s Back-to-School Insights Dashboard here.


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