Dad dot info
Free online course for separated parents
Forum - Ask questions. Get answers.
Free online course for separated parents | Fatherhood | Latest News | More than half of parents worried by school costs, survey finds

More than half of parents worried by school costs, survey finds

Parents are concerned about the rising cost of sending their child to a state school, with many worried about increasing prices of uniforms, dinners and trips, according to a survey


It also indicates mothers and fathers are increasingly contributing towards the running of their youngster’s school, with some helping with maintenance, such as redecorating classrooms, or supplying essentials such as toilet paper.

Overall, the PTA UK poll found just over half (55%) of the 1,500 parents questioned said they are concerned about the cost of sending children to school.

A survey conducted by the charity last year found 47% of mothers and fathers were concerned about this.

Almost eight in 10 (78%) of those surveyed this year agreed the cost of sending youngsters to school is increasing, compared to 72% last year.

Half of those polled this year said they are concerned about the price of school trips, making it the top cost parents are anxious about, followed by uniform (48%), school meals (23%), technology, such as computers and internet access (22%) and the cost of materials for classes such as music, art and PE (20%).

The survey also found about a third (34%) of parents say they have donated to their child’s school fund this year, compared to 29% who said the same last year.

About one in four (26%) said they give between £10 and £30 a month while 50% said they give less than £10 a month.

The findings come amid continuing concerns from school leaders about a squeeze on budgets.

Education Secretary Justine Greening has announced an extra £1.3 billion will be found for schools from existing budgets, although some unions have suggested this will not be enough to plug funding gaps.

The survey asked parents about any cost-cutting measures their child’s school has implemented to address funding shortfalls.

Some 15% said class sizes had been increased while the same proportion said the number of teaching assistants had been cut and that parents had been asked to supply equipment such as stationery and books.

Around 13% said their child’s school had implemented a scheme of parents paying a regular monthly or annual contribution to the school fund while the same proportion said parents had been asked to help with maintenance activities such as redecorating classrooms and cutting grass.

Just over one in 10 (11%) said subjects had been dropped and the same percentage said the number of supply teachers had been cut.

Around 10% said schools had cut back equipment like computers and the same proportion said money had been used from the PTA fund to support the school’s core budget.

A total of 8% said the length of the school day had been reduced, 8% said teachers’ training had been cut and 7% said parents had been asked to supply essentials such as toilet paper.

Around 5% said their school had reduced the school week to four days.

PTA UK acting chief executive Michelle Doyle Wildman said: “Parents have always contributed to schools, whether that’s through voluntary contributions, via their PTA or by volunteering their time or skills, and this looks likely to continue.

“Their support helps give every child the best possible educational experience and so it’s important parents have a say in what goes on in their child’s school.

“Parents are reporting that they are contributing more to provide the essentials which many expect to be provided by the state.

“If this is a growing trend, then it’s crucial that schools work in partnership with parents to address their specific concerns, taking their views into account when prioritising difficult funding decisions and exploring realistic alternatives with them, not in isolation.”

A Department for Education spokesman said: “No parent is required to make a contribution to their child’s education.

“The rules are clear on this and no policies have been introduced by this government to allow schools to charge for education provided during school hours, and this includes the supply of any materials or equipment.”


:: The poll questioned 1,507 UK parents.

Related entries

A Life of Service

A Life of Service

Our thoughts at this sad time are with the members of the Royal Family and we join the nation in mourning the passing of Her Majesty the Queen. She has been a faithful and dedicated servant to the Crown, a loving mother, grandmother and great-grandmother who will be...

Merry Christmas from

Merry Christmas from

Christmas is a mixed affair. A general sense of fun coupled with exhaustion as we get closer to the actual date. A nagging sense of having not bought enough...sometimes any....presents. Guilt as we are thanked for presents we didn't know existed. Dreading younger...

How divorcing couples can save thousands this Christmas

How divorcing couples can save thousands this Christmas

Every day at we talk with parents who are struggling through costly court hearings. We strongly believe that mediation is a route that can take the conflict out of separation. Hands up who would like £500 towards mediation sessions? Too Late for Court...

Latest entries

Prostate problems: what you need to know

Prostate problems: what you need to know

As it's Men's Mental Health Month (Movember) in November, Dad Info is focussing on awareness of men's health issues. As part of this series we are focussing on prostate problems. What is a prostate? The prostate is a small tube found only in men, surrounding the tube...

Black Friday: don’t waste your cash

Black Friday: don’t waste your cash

It's tempting, isn't it? The promise of bargains, money saved and Christmas all wrapped up. However, once you look beyond the gloss and excitement of Black Friday, are the deals really worth it? Do I need it? Can I afford it? The first thing to consider when...

Pin It on Pinterest