Back to school too expensive, says Family League

Back to school too expensive, says Family League
Girl with laptop. Credit: Annie Spratt on Unsplash

The summer holiday is almost over and a new school year is around the corner. Schoolbags are filling up and families are buying everything from stationary to gym shoes.

In addition, schools increasingly require IT equipment, which comes at a considerable cost for households, according to figures published by the association Family League on Wednesday and reported by RTFB.

School costs remain high in the Wallonia and Brussels regions, which the Family League showed by surveying parents three times during the 2020-2021 school year. 1,997 parents responded to the first questionnaire in September 2021, 976 to the second in January 2022 and 817 will respond at the end of the year.

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Feedback shows that the average cost per child at the start of the school year is €255 in primary school and €428 in secondary school. Importantly, these were excluding the cost of IT equipment.

Cost of IT

The League argues that these costs are too high and rise even more when the price of technology is included. For a child in primary school, the average cost including IT equipment is €483; for a child in secondary school, this rises to €655. These bills are a 70% increase for secondary school students and 90% for primary school children.

"More than half of secondary school students (56%) now require a computer," noted the Family League. 13% of primary school children require a computer.

This is in stark contrast to five years ago, when the League noted that "almost no family had to pay for computer equipment."

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