Cost of putting a child through school to year 13 has risen to more than $38,000

From Stuff:

For a child born today, the cost of 13 years of “free” schooling has risen to more than $38,000, up 15 per cent on 10 years ago.

Shoes, stationery, uniform, class trips, textbooks, school donations, bus passes, and laptops – they all mount up as parents prepare to send their children back to school.

Research by ASG Education Programmes shows that, for a child born in 2017, 13 years of school will cost parents $38,362.

Sarah Pope with her sons Nico, 9, and Isaac, 6. She has made saving for their future education a financial priority.


Sarah Pope with her sons Nico, 9, and Isaac, 6. She has made saving for their future education a financial priority.

For parents considering private education, that bill is now $345,996, or 48 per cent more than a decade ago, while integrated schools will cost $109,354 over 13 years.

Families struggle to afford the rising cost of back-to-school requirements

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ASG said the figures are the “average estimated costs and represnt the highest amount parents and families could expect to pay”.

Secondary Principals’ Association Sandy Pasley says schools do what they can to help parents suffering financial stress at the start of the school year.

Porirua mother of four Dinah Ostler-Malaulau said the family was likely to spend hundreds of dollars to get her year 12 daughter Tisa set up for the year. “It’s expensive, really expensive.”

On top of standard stationery requirements, the 16-year-old Tawa College student needed a graphics calculator, and art supplies. Fees for sport and school trips would add to that. The school also asks for a voluntary donation of about $200.

Ostler-Malaulau recently finished working as a teacher at Porirua College, a decile 1 school, where she saw how stressful the start of the school year could be for families.

Education Minister Hekia Parata says spending on education has increased by 35 per cent since 2008-09.

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