COVID stressed parents spending big on back-to-school - Education Matters Magazine
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COVID stressed parents spending big on back-to-school

A new survey of 1000 Australian parents delved into the past two years of on-and-off at home learning, financial stresses, and how much they will be spending on essential educational items.

The survey, conducted by Savvy shows that technology purchases such as laptops, tablets, and accessories are topping the bill for back-to-school purchases in 2022.

60 per cent of parents said they were feeling COVID fatigue or weariness associated with the ongoing pandemic, (43 per cent answering somewhat and 17 per cent, significant.). The highest proportion was found in the ACT (82 per cent) followed by the most locked-down state in the world, Victoria (68 per cent).

Of the parents surveyed, 71 per cent were sending their children to primary school and 29 per cent to high school. 17 per cent of parents overlapped, sending at least one child to each.

Further outlined in the report, 36 per cent of parents said they were more confident than not to send their children back amid the COVID-19 Omicron outbreak. 30 per cent of parents said that school should start as normal while a further 30 per cent said that school should start on time, provided greater COVID-safety measures are in place.

Tech tops the back-to-school bill

In addition, 59 per cent of parents say they’ll be spending up to $500 on back-to-school items per child, followed by a quarter who will be spending between $500 and $1,000.

Laptops (28 per cent) and tablets (25 per cent) are the must-have items for school, in light of schools not providing them for children instead. Other items are headphones (41 per cent), USB drives (31 per cent), and computer accessories such as mice and keyboards (22 per cent).

Parents reported a mean average spend of $1035 on laptops and $604 for tablets. Computer accessories were the next most expensive item (avg. spend of $230) and headphones ($71.)

39 per cent of parents are sending one child to school; 41 per cent are sending two. For the 5 per cent who are sending four or more, their tech bill may be very costly indeed.

Though tech is one part of the back-to-school equation, parents are spending up on school essentials such as uniforms (68 per cent of parents), shoes (74 per cent), stationery (65 per cent), and backpacks (54 per cent). 48 per cent reported that they would be purchasing COVID-safety equipment such as masks and hand sanitiser.

“An investment in personal tech it is much more a necessity than it was ten or fifteen years ago,” says Savvy managing director Bill Tsouvalas.

“Having one laptop or tablet per child is still a quite costly upfront purchase, especially with financial stress on the rise in Australia. For households with more than one child, this can add up fast. However, owning the latest and greatest tech should not come at the expense of sacrificing educational needs in other areas.”

To gain further information from the full report click here.


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