The start of the school year, in addition to the concern about security measures against covid-19, brings with it a significant outlay for families. A study by the Organization of Consumers and Users (OCU) has calculated that during the next academic year Spanish families will spend an annual average of 1,890 euros per child. The data, based on a recent survey carried out by the association among 1,115 parents with children between 3 and 18 years old, details that on average the students who attend a public center will face an annual expense of 968 euros, 2,704 euros if it is a concerted school and 6,247 euros if they go to a private one.
The study details that enrollment and fees – which do not officially exist in public education – are the concepts that have the most weight in the school bill. Specifically, they account for 57% of the annual cost of a subsidized center (1,222 euros on average) and 82% in a private center (about 4,492 euros on average). Dining room expenses are the next most important financial burden depending on their amount: 95 euros per month on average if it is a public center, 127 euros in a subsidized one and 146 euros if this service is used in a private school. Expenditures that are more common among students in the nursery and primary cycles. The report concludes that the level of studies to be attended is a determining factor in spending and that it is the parents of secondary school students who, on average, spend less money, while the education of the youngest children is more expensive because they are the ones , in general, they entail more fixed costs.
The other expenses that concern parents and that must also be faced almost at the same time, at the beginning of classes, are those destined to the acquisition of books and uniforms in the case that they go to a school that requires them (they suppose around of 176 euros per year). The books chapter is not the same whether you choose a public center or a private one. In the first case it reaches 148 euros on average and in the second it reaches 234 euros, the latter figure varying very little if you go to a subsidized center. In addition, this expense increases as students progress through the year. Although the OCU recalls in its study that some autonomous communities maintain programs of free access to books.
The rest of the amounts that the OCU collects in its report correspond to the chapters referring to school supplies (88 euros on average per year), excursions (79 euros) and fees from the Associations of Mothers and Parents of Students (AMPA). The families of Catalonia and Madrid are the ones that spend the most on their children’s education, according to the study – about 2,400 euros on average – compared to families in Castilla-La Mancha, Castilla-León and Galicia that pay around 1,100 euros per year for the same concept.