DebtBuffer recently conducted a survey of 1,330 Parents with children 17 years and under and found that more than half are facing additional financial hardships due to the cost-of-living crises.
These include increased expenses for childcare, uniform, food, and the technology needed ahead of the new school year.
- 53% of parents said they’re already struggling financially to keep kids entertained and fed during the current summer holidays.
- 34% with 2 or more children said they are worried about having to find the money for new uniforms.
- 27% said they are going to be turning to BNPL (buy now pay later) to fund uniform costs.
- 18% said they have taken out a loan from friends or family to help them through the school holidays.
The rocketing cost of living in the UK this year is causing parents severe anxiety and financial stress.
School uniforms can become a serious expense for many families, with many surveys of parents finding that the annual costs for purchasing all the different required uniforms can reach to £300 per child, or more. However, all local authorities in Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales have schemes in place to help parents and carers cope with this cost. However, it seems England is a postcode lottery as many councils offer nothing.
With over half of parents surveyed saying that at the halfway point in 2022’s summer holidays they are struggling to afford the cost of keeping their children entertained and fed, it appears kitting the kids out for the start of the term will cause a big issue for family finances.
Tom Johnson, DebtBuffer spokesperson said “this year more than any other, parents all over the UK are going to struggle with the back-to-school requirements. Schools are simply going to have to be more accommodating over this winter period to those children whose parents have had to make hardship-based choices such as only being able to afford one pair of footwear. Although usually less of a concern in Primary schools, it is secondary education where rules are often enforced in the strictest ways, with frequent reports of children being sent home for being “non-compliant”.
This survey reveals many parents, 27%, say they will use buy now, pay later services such as Klarna to fund the new school year’s uniform needs. However, DebtBuffer warns parents:
The DebtBuffer spokesperson says: “buy now, pay later services such as Klarna are now reporting missed and late payments to credit reference agencies so parents absolutely must be confident in their ability to repay this form of debt in full. However, we are also concerned there will be many parents who unwittingly overspend and create more of a debt problem for themselves. These payment solutions are proven to tempt consumers into spending over 45% MORE on their purchases than they otherwise would have. In the most basic terms, that is creating 45% more debt.”
Where in the UK is a uniform grant available?
|Council||Amount you could get||How to apply|
|ALL COUNCILS||Up to £67.20 per child||Online via the Education Authority|
|ALL COUNCILS||At least £120 per child (councils can choose to pay more than this)||Online – see mygov.scot for links to your council’s application form|
|ALL COUNCILS||Up to £200 per child||Online – see gov.wales for links to your council’s application form|
|Barnet||Up to £100 per child||Online via council’s website|
|Bolton||Up to £30 per child||Online via council’s website|
|Bristol||Depends on your circumstances||Online via council’s website|
|Bury||Up to £50 per child||No need to apply – vouchers distributed by schools to those eligible|
|City of London||Up to £150 per child||Call its School Admissions Service on 020 7332 1002|
|Cumbria||Up to £100 per child||Online via council’s website|
|East Riding of Yorkshire||Up to £40 per child||Online via council’s website|
|Enfield||£30||No need to apply – vouchers distributed by schools to those eligible|
|Greenwich||Up to £100 per child||Online via council’s website|
|Hackney||£100 per child||Online via council’s website|
|Hammersmith and Fulham||Up to £79 per child||Online via council’s website|
|Haringey||Up to £60 per child||Online via council’s website|
|Hounslow||Up to £60 per child||Online via council’s website|
|Islington||£150||Online via council’s website|
|North Lincolnshire||Up to £30 per child||Online via council’s website|
|Nottingham||Up to £40 per child||Online via council’s website|
|Rotherham||£30 per child||No need to apply – vouchers distributed by schools to those eligible|
|Sandwell||Up to £25 per child||Online via council’s website|
|Southwark||£45 per child||Online via council’s website|
|Stockport||£40 per child||Online via council’s website|
|Tower Hamlets||Up to £110 per child||Online via council’s website|
|York||Up to £100 per child||No need to apply – vouchers posted automatically to those eligible|
|A further nine councils in England – Bexley, Essex, Lancashire, Liverpool, Nottinghamshire, Redbridge, South Gloucestershire, Southend-on-Sea and Tameside – offer grants but only in very exceptional circumstances, for example where you’ve suffered a fire, flood or have been made homeless. Click the links for more info on each council’s website.|