A new survey by AXA Insurance reveals what makes up the average schoolbag and how loss, damage and theft of its contents affect one in three.
As children head back to school over the next week, parents have to be advised, to count the cost of their children’s schoolbags and make sure they protect their possessions away from home.
Loss, damage and theft
According to the company’s research nearly 30% of children have lost or broken at least one item from their schoolbag with sports kit topping the list, closely followed by pencil cases then dinner money, mobile phones and trainers or football boots.
Up to twenty per cent of schoolchildren have had at least one item from their school bag stolen either at or on the way to and from school leaving parents forking out an average of £163 to replace lost, broken or stolen items. Perhaps surprisingly, the most stolen item on the journey to or from school is a musical instrument.
Counting the cost
The average cost of a secondary school child’s school bag comes to £244.50 based on average contents regularly taken to school including:
- Mobile phone valued at £50
- Trainers/football boots valued at £40
- Sports kit (tracksuit, shorts and t-shirt) valued at £70
- Reading book valued at £7
- Text books x 3 valued at £20
- Pencil case and contents valued at £25
- Dinner money (weekly) valued at £10
- The bag itself with an average value of £22.50
The value of schoolbags increases further when you consider other items carried by many such as iPods, electronic games or musical instruments, which are often one of the most valuable items taken to and from school.
A third of children (32%) play a musical instrument with the average cost of the instrument being £128 – although some can cost thousands of pounds. The most popular instrument is the guitar followed by the recorder.
Steve Hardy, Managing Director of AXA Direct says: “We all know children can be expensive, but it’s surprising just how much a schoolbag and its contents can add up to. And as children increase their interest in using gadgets such as iPods, mobile phones and electronic games, so too will the value of their schoolbag and unfortunately the appeal to thieves go up. Despite this, only about 50% of people actually have insurance that will cover these items outside of the home.
“AXA customers can, with personal possessions cover added to their home insurance, protect for loss, damage and theft of schoolbags, even musical instruments borrowed from school for personal use. So if the worst should happen, parents won’t be faced with yet another hefty bill.”
Regional schoolbags – top of the costs
AXA’s research revealed that on average children in London carry contents worth the most in their school bags3 while those in the North West carry the least.
- Regional schoolbags – top of the costs
AXA’s research revealed that on average children in London carry contents worth the most in their school bags while those in the North West carry the least.
- East Midlands
- South East
- South West
- Northern Ireland
- East Anglia
- North East
- West Midlands
- Yorkshire & Humberside
- North West
- Schoolbag theft
Children in London are also most likely to have had possessions stolen, whereas children in Northern Ireland are the least likely to be a victim of such crimes. However, in Wales more musical instruments are stolen than anywhere else, probably reflecting the fact that more children play instruments in this region than elsewhere.
|Theft from school||Theft on the way to/from school|
|1. London||1. London|
|2. Scotland||2. West Midlands|
|3. West Midlands||3. Scotland|
|4. East Midlands||4. Northwest|
|5. North West||5. East Midlands|
|6. East Anglia||6. East Anglia|
|7. North East||7. North East|
|8. Wales||8. Yorkshire and Humberside|
|9. South West||9. South West|
|10. South East||10. Wales|
|11. Yorkshire and Humberside||11. South East|
|12. Northern Ireland||12. Northern Ireland|
 The research was conducted by OnePoll on behalf of AXA Insurance. The survey was completed by 2000 UK adults between 25-26 August 2009.
 Regularly was classified as once a week or more and average was items that over 50% of research respondents included.
 Ranking based on percentages of children carrying each item researched to school