It is a question many parents and teachers across the UK have been asking since the UK’s most recent school supply update was released in February.
The government is keen to push back on fears that school supplies are a luxury for the privileged, and has been encouraging parents to stock up on school supplies to make sure they are available to all pupils.
This week, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) published its annual report, which found that the average household spent £3,972 on school uniforms, £2,988 on school bags, £1,965 on school shoes, and £3.1bn on school books.
However, as the UK prepares to welcome a new generation of pupils into schools on Monday, the government is also making a concerted effort to promote the importance of school supplies.
In the run-up to the release of the latest report, the education secretary, Nicky Morgan, said that she would be pressing the government to ensure that all pupils have access to school supplies at all times.
“If the government continues to ignore the growing needs of the school community, we will face a future in which pupils cannot learn,” Ms Morgan said.
“I want to be absolutely clear, this Government will not be going backwards on this issue.
I know the need is growing, I know that there are thousands of parents across the country who want to do everything they can to ensure their children are properly equipped.”
However, experts have warned that the government’s attempts to encourage people to stock their schools with school supplies could lead to a reduction in supplies.
The UN’s World Food Programme said last year that it was “a complete waste of money” to make school supplies more affordable.
“The problem is not that children are going to be short of school bags or school supplies,” UNICEF’s Dr Roberta Alon told the BBC.
Schools are now required to have all the basics in place, including school uniforms for all pupils, school supplies and school fees, which are being funded from the government.”
What’s going to happen is schools will have less and less money to pay for school uniforms and school supplies.”
Schools are now required to have all the basics in place, including school uniforms for all pupils, school supplies and school fees, which are being funded from the government.
However Ms Morgan has warned that she will not allow parents to “buy school supplies off the shelf”.
“I don’t think we should be selling things off the shelves,” she said.
“We’re going to make it absolutely clear that you can’t buy school supplies on the shelf.”
A new wave of school supply discountsA new generation is expected to attend primary school in 2018, and the number of students attending schools is set to rise by more than 40 per cent over the next five years.
The biggest increase will be among pupils aged five to nine, where the number is set at 8,400, and for girls at 5,500.
However the biggest drop will be for pupils aged 10 to 17, where fewer than 300 will be attending schools in the coming years.
A key factor in the declining numbers of pupils attending primary school has been a dramatic fall in the number who attend school from 2010 to 2015, when more than 7,000 children were enrolled.
According to figures from the ONS, more than one in five primary school children is now in daycare, and another 2,000 attend other non-primary school settings such as secondary schools.
The ONS figures show that the number attending school declined by almost 5 per cent in 2016, from 15,000 to 13,500, but by an even larger 6 per cent between 2013 and 2015.
By 2020, the ONs predicted that the drop in primary school attendance will be even higher, with the proportion of students dropping out of primary school set to reach one in four.
The Government is keen for parents to be able to stock a range of school resources in their home, including books, games and school uniforms.
The latest ONS data also reveals that the proportion who spend more than their fair share on school-related supplies has dropped dramatically over the past three years.
In 2015, around 14 per cent of primary pupils spent more than 10 per cent on school items.
In 2016, that figure dropped to 9 per cent.
“We are seeing a real change in the way that parents and families are investing in their children’s education,” said David Cameron, the prime minister.
“There’s a real shift in thinking in the country.”
While the Government is pushing parents to purchase school supplies ahead of the new school year, it has also set up a new £1bn scheme to provide extra support for parents and schools.
It is hoped that the new scheme will help families spend more money on their childrens’ education, as well as providing financial incentives for them to make savings and buy more school supplies themselves.
The scheme is aimed at parents and school boards who are unable to meet their spending targets, as a