Italian parents are expected to spend 3.2% more this September compared to the previous year to buy schooling material for their children, according to a report released on Friday by a consumer association that is monitoring the prices of products such as school books, bags and pencil cases. The average expenditure per student will be about 995 euros, according to the survey released by the Osservatorio Nazionale Federconsumatori.
Parents are expected to spend 6% more this year to change or upgrade worn-out student materials such as pencil cases and bags, or 488 euros compared with the 461 euros average spent in September 2011. This expenditure has been lifted by a disproportionate increase in the price of school bags, pencil cases and writing materials such as pens and pencils that specifically reproduce cartoon characters or that are of a high-end brand. Prices of pencil cases and writing materials embellished with characters from television series or football teams have declined compared to September 2011, as has the price of smaller notebooks, as demand has dropped since there are increasingly less used in junior and middle schools. Each student this year on average will spend some 5% more - or 507 euros - for the purchase of school books and two dictionaries. Middle school students will spend 452 euros, or 4% more than in September 2011 to buy the obligatory schoolbooks and two dictionaries. The cost of general school items and annual replacement of wear and tear of these needs to be added to the total, bringing the overall costs for a parent of a middle school student to 940 euros. Instead, a high-school student will spend 2% more in September to buy school books and four dictionaries, for a total of 745 euros. In addition, they will spend about 488 euros on school and writing items and their replacement during the school year due to wear and tear, bringing the overall total expenditure to over 1,233 euros.