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Back To School An Exciting But Pressured Time

Media Release 1 February 2008

Back To School An Exciting But Pressured Time

As the summer holidays draw to a close, most children are excited about the prospect of returning to school, according to a survey of 3000 Kiwi parents conducted by one of New Zealand’s largest book and stationery providers Paper Plus.

But the mums and dads become a little anxious about the costs of uniforms and stationery, and of course the prospect of missing their children after so much fun in the sun.

Paper Plus, conducted the survey on its website to find out what goes on in households around the country during this busy back-to-school period. Most students return to state schools nationwide this year on Thursday, February 7.

Paper Plus Group chief executive Rob Smith said, “A surprising finding was that children are actually happy to go back to school - according to more than 78% of respondents. These parents said children were happy to see their friends, meet new teachers and new classmates.

“But sadly 13.38% stated their children suffered from back to school blues, for reasons such as they were going to boarding school or felt nervous, they just enjoyed sleeping in too much.”

And how do parents feel about losing their children back to the school system?

The biggest single positive factor was the return to routine (for more than 41% of respondents).

But the worst aspect, mentioned by 31.37% of parents, was the rush of weekday mornings. Other not so positive aspects were managing homework, missing their children, making lunches and having to do the housework on their own!

To prepare for returning to school, a number of parents start to get their children back into the routine a few weeks beforehand; eg, reverting to normal bed times and making children get up earlier.

But when asked what the biggest influence or stress was during planning for the new school year, more than 48% of people rated financial pressure as worst. The cost for more than 38% was at least $150 to prepare each child for the new school year. Most people find this expensive; however, they are happy to pay – grudgingly.

Time and organisational pressures were the next biggest stressors, with more than 35% rating it as the biggest influence. Other influences included children nagging and making special requests, as well as parent’s fear of the unknown and concern over a compulsory new school uniform.

Uniform was rated as the most expensive item followed by stationery, shoes, equipment such as lunch boxes and bags, other clothing such as sports gear and school lunch supplies.

When asked what influenced their stationery purchases, 41% of parents stated price was number one.

“There were a lot of comments relating to the fact that although this is a grudge purchase, shoppers are happy when they can benefit in some way from the purchase.”

As the only New Zealand book and stationery retailer with Fly Buys, purchases at Paper Plus allow parents to earn points for their back-to-school shopping.

“The research has helped the group get a better understanding of what’s happening at this time of year, and allows our stores to provide services that will take some of the pressure off parents.”

A number of Paper Plus stores work with schools in their areas to provide services that will make shopping as stress free as possible for back-to-school shoppers. For example, some stores sell stationery pre-packaged according to the school’s stationery list, or fill a shopper’s order to fit their list of requirements, or pack a shopper’s pre-ordered stationery for them.


© Scoop Media

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