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High cost of 'back to school' kit

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Parents are being advised to make sure they have adequate home contents cover after it was revealed that kitting out a child for the start of the new school term could cost more than £1,500.

Research for Sheilas' Wheels found that the a new school uniform, combined with the cost of the latest gadgets and designer 'must-haves', could set families back by a massive £1,623 per child.

A poll of almost 900 parents showed that 43% of children, almost half under the age of 10, take a mobile phone to school with them. Other gadgets that many youngsters insist on keeping with them at all times are MP3 players and portable games consoles.

And a massive 87% said they tried to make savings where they could, by shopping around for the cheapest price on school uniforms. Some 41% said they preferred to buy clothes from their local supermarket, and 28% from high street stores, rather than from a traditional school shop.

Parents are advised to check whether their policy includes cover for personal possessions while away from the home. This will insure possessions against loss, theft and damage while out and about - including while children are at school.

© The Press Association 2008