£550 back-to-school bill for parents


Electronic gadgets for children for when they return to school will be costing parents £550, according to high street retailer, John Lewis, reports the Telegraph.

The cost of today's school uniform, school bag and its contents amounts to an average of £550.80. This compares, in today's money, with £252.40 in the 1980s and £231.20 in the 1960s.

Matt Leeser, head of buying for communications technology, said the huge shift towards gadgets meant John Lewis expected to sell two computing devices every minute in the two weeks up to the August Bank Holiday. The chain also expects to sell two touch screen tablets to every one laptop or desktop as more children take tablets into the classroom.

Research suggested 45 per cent of kids take a smartphone to school, costing an average of £362, while 35 per cent carry headphones. Nearly fifth of kids take an MP3 player into school, 5 per cent take a tablet and 2 per cent an ereader.

It marks a stark contrast with school bag of the Sixties, when the most expensive items were two text books, costing around £45.10. Today, while the cost of lunchboxes, calculators, and pencil cases have come down, the rise in demand for technology means parents face having to find a small fortune for the Back to School rush.

Mr Leeser said: "Technology is evolving at such a rate that we predict in another 10 years' time in the top 10 school bag list will be unrecognisable as today's digital natives grow up and become parents themselves."