Back to school bags

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The contents of the average child’s school rucksack are worth more than the items found in a mother’s handbag for the first time, research by Meadowhall Shopping Centre has revealed.

A survey conducted by Shopping Centre found that more than 50% of mums spent more kitting out their kids with school essentials than they had on the items in their own handbag.

The cost of equipping a child for their return to school in September continues to rise with the total cost of contents now exceeding £550 while the average women’s handbag is almost half that at £290.

More pupils than ever before are carrying high-tech gadgets through the school gates, with two-thirds of school aged children owning smart phones, one in five taking along an MP3 player and headphones and one in ten even packing a tablet each morning.

While, 58% of school-run-mums own a smartphone, less than ten per cent carry a separate MP3 player and only a handful of those questioned keep a tablet device in their handbag.

Despite this, figures also showed that while gadgets are the must-have item for the students of today, sales of old fashioned essentials are also rocketing including lunch boxes, exercise book, pens and pencil cases.

Retail Director at Meadowhall Mark Bruce said: “The latest figures, which reveal that mums are sacrificing their luxuries so their children can have state-of-the-art gadgets make it impossible to ignore that technology is creeping into classrooms across the region and resulting in an ever-changing list of high-tech ‘essentials’ come September.

“However, traditional school tools such as notepads and pens are also flying off the shelves this August, showing that technology is far from taking the place of good old fashion pen and paper.”

He added: “Meadowhall is a one stop shop for all your back to school needs from techno tablets through to retro rucksacks all under one roof – so drop in and get everything to kit out your kids all under one roof.”

Meadowhall, one of the region’s top shopping centres, is host to a variety of stores stocking all the back to school essentials from uniforms at Marks & Spencer and BHS, those high-tech gadgets at Apple and Currys, through to PE kits at JD Sports and Sports Direct, books at Waterstones and WH Smith and all your stationary needs at Paper Chase and Blott.

The centre is open seven days a week and has a variety of transport links. It has an impressive range of eateries including restaurants, bars and cafes alongside its family friendly facilities such as the cinema and crèche area.

For more information about Meadowhall Shopping Centre, please visit: