THE start of the new school year is set to cost parents an average of average of £180 per child.

Included in the figure is £110 on new school clothes, such as uniform and sports kits, £50 on new school shoes, including trainers and plimsolls, and £20 on school bags and other essential items.

Research by Nationwide Building Society has found more parents are turning to supermarkets to buy their children’s school uniform and other clothes, with around three fifths (58 per cent) saying they make these purchases there. Department stores are also a popular choice for buying uniforms with 42 per cent of parents.

However, some parents appear to have little choice about where to buy uniform and other clothes, with nearly a quarter (24 per cent) indicating they will be visiting a shop that has been requested by their child’s school.

Around two out of five parents (38 per cent) are worried about how they will pay for everything.

As a result, more than a fifth of parents (22 per cent) will rely on their credit card, with one in ten parents admitting they will turn to the grandparents for financial help.

A further 15 per cent of parents say they will need to dip into their savings to ensure children have everything they need for the start of term.

Graham Pilkington, Nationwide’s director for banking, said: “Even when the kids are at school, parents have to spend money. Following on from the summer holidays, where our recent research showed that parents are likely to have spent £1,000 per child, this latest expense makes the July to September period one of the most expensive of the year for parents.

“With more and more items required to send kids back to school in September, the financial burden is becoming even greater. Parents understand this with nearly two in five admitting that they worry about how they are going to pay for everything.”

Do you struggle with kitting the kids out for school? Do you think it costs too much? Are schools too demanding when it comes to uniform lists and other items children are required to have? Add your comments below.