After school clubs are costing parents £28k - and most people don't even realise

15 May 2019, 15:53

Parents will pay an eye-watering amount for their kids extracurricular activities
Parents will pay an eye-watering amount for their kids extracurricular activities. Picture: Getty
Naomi Bartram

By Naomi Bartram

UK parents are reportedly paying up to £28,000 for childhood extracurricular activities.

It’s bad news for parents in the UK, as a new study has revealed it will cost mums and dads a whopping £28,000 to send their kids to after school clubs.

According to the report “Out of School, Out of Pocket”, extracurricular activities such as dance, sports, swimming and music lessons are putting back Brits a small fortune.

While the government have previously funded a range of after-school clubs, recent budget cuts mean educational professionals are warning that schools can no longer afford to keep up with rising number of students.

In turn, this has left 77% of parents admitting they feel “under pressure” to find the extra cash to pay for their kids.

Among the stats, it’s reported that sports lessons can cost up to £3,380 in a childhood, while extra tuition in subjects such as Maths and English will rack up a whopping £6,084.

Gymnastics comes in at a total of £5,408 and teaching your child a musical instrument can also cost up to £2,704.

Musical lessons can cost up to £208 a year
Musical lessons can cost up to £208 a year. Picture: Getty

According to the report, the average British child does three activities a week with swimming lessons proving the most popular activity (45%), followed by sports training (28%), while 10% take their kids to painting lessons and another 10% pay for drama classes.

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The survey - carried out on 2,000 parents by education communications consultancy GKP - also found that 58% of mums and dads feel they have to find the money because their children love their out-of-school clubs

Just less than a third (30%) also said they want to look back on and say they did as much as they could for their kids, with a further 20% adding they want their kids to be more successful than they were.

Speaking about the shock results, a spokesperson at GKP, Mark Cooper, explained why many parents feel they have no choice but to spend the money.

“If cash-strapped schools can’t provide an education in the broadest sense then parents will do what they can to plug the gaps – even if meets cutting back elsewhere,” he said.

Mark went on to add that it’s “comforting” that parents are focussed on the future success of their kids, as he continued: “That indulgence isn’t cheap. But the spending on activities that can be loosely termed ‘non-academic’ – sports, music and drama – rather than on extra tuition, suggests that parents are interested in giving their children an ‘education’ in the broadest sense rather than merely helping them to improve their school grades.”

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And these clubs aren’t just a strain on the purse strings, as the study also found that it’s the average parent spends 156 hours taking their children to and from activities, with most having to be up and out by 8am during the weekends.

Adults have said they feel pressure to pay for their kids' after-school clubs
Adults have said they feel pressure to pay for their kids' after-school clubs. Picture: Getty

See the full list of average extracurricular costs below…

Sports/clubs/training/lessons - £260 a year, £3,380 in a childhood

Dance/Ballet/clubs/lessons - £208 a year, £2,704 in a childhood

Drama/clubs/lessons - £156 a year, £2,028 in a childhood

Extra tuition/maths/English - £468 a year, £6,084 in a childhood

Musical instruments/lessons - £208 a year, £2,704 in a childhood

Swimming/lessons/clubs/admission - £312 a year, £4,056 in a childhood

Gymnastics/self-defence/Judo/Karate - £416 a year, £5,408 in a childhood

Arts/Painting/lessons/clubs - £156 a year, £2,028 in a childhood

Total: £28,392