The minimum cost of education

Post date: 
11 May 2023

Researchers have found that going to school in the UK costs families of primary school children at least £864.87 a year, or £18.69 a week. This is before childcare costs are accounted for. For families of secondary school children, the cost of sending a child to school is at least £1,755.97 a year. This is £39.01 a week.

The total cost of meeting a child’s minimum educational needs across all 14 years of school (primary and secondary but excluding household costs such as laptops) is £18,345.85. This can be broken down as £6,054.09 for seven years at primary school and £12,291.76 for seven years at secondary school.

Most families across the UK accessing state-funded education face these costs. Some families receive government support to help cover educational essentials, but this is most commonly means-tested and targeted at families on the lowest incomes.

This research shows that far more support is needed so all children have the essentials required to take part in school and learn. It also highlights that where you live in the UK matters when it comes to government help, with families in Scotland faring best overall, but particularly when comparing support for families on the lowest incomes across the UK. Families in England receive the least government support with the cost of going to school.

Child Poverty Action Group is calling on governments across the UK to ensure all children have what they need to take part and thrive in education.