The conclusion shared by the platform, which analysed the average price of a group of school items, including pencils, pens, books, bags, pencil cases, compasses, scientific calculators and USBs.

“The average cost of the basket for a 2nd cycle student hit 122.58 euros on August 27th of this year, an additional 15.22 euros in relation to the same time in 2022, when it cost €107.36,” the platform stated in a press release.

According to KuantoKusta’s analysis, buying new school material for pupils this year is 14.2% more expensive than in 2022, registering an increase of about 33% since 2021.

Among the items that make up the basket, the biggest difference is in the price of pens, which have gotten 57.9% more expensive, with compasses, pencil cases and scientific calculators also standing out (19.8%, 18.5% and 18.4% more expensive, respectively).

On the families’ side, the price hike is felt “on every level” and school material isn’t the exception, the president of the National Confederation of Parents’ Associations (Confap) explained to Lusa.

“There are many materials that are in fact indispensable, and families have to cope with these costs,” they stated, pointing out that despite some local councils supporting low-income students with some of these supplies, “all families should have the same opportunities.”

According to KuantoKusta, a way to try and minimise these costs is to compare the lowest prices of each item, which allows a saving of 21€.

“The return to school period is marked by campaigns and discounts which are always important to keep up with and take advantage of,” Ana Rego, of the platform’s marketing team, explained.

The strategy is already adopted by families, who many times rely on these discounts in the return to school season by large retailers. But in this case, the president of Confap laments, the expenses aren’t tax-deductible.

“There’s not even the chance of reimbursement. They should, at least, have a strategy that assures some financial returns from the IRS which in these cases doesn’t happen,” they argued.

To some families, the usual expenses associated with the return to school will be compounded with the expense of buying new school manuals this year, as schools have informed that students coming to 4th grade would lose the right to the voucher which allows access to new, free school manuals due to the books being given back in poor quality.

Despite the Ministry of Education having in the meantime decided to open an exception period to correct the voucher policy, many parents have already bought the books for next year, the director of Confap explained.