back to schoolBritish parents are spending a total of £659 million on back-to-school gadgets for their children, research from has found.

The study revealed that the average school satchel contains gadgets worth £130, and that more than one quarter (26%) of parents intended to buy new gadgets for their children in advance of the autumn school term, with this typically costing families £329.

Overall, 48% of schoolkids have a mobile phone, with 26% owning smartphones and 22% owning feature phones. An additional 8% bring a tablet computer to school regularly.

It’s no wonder portable gadgets are so popular among schoolchildren; nowadays, 24% of children do their homework on a tablet, compared to just 20% that use desktop computers, and while 11% manage to do their homework on a smartphone, the most popular method is the laptop, at 38%. Furthermore, 33% of all homework and 27% of all lesson work is now completed on computers rather than with the written hand,

But these expenses don’t come without their risks – 9% of children have had at least one gadget stolen. Parents are also concerned about the impact that computers have on their offspring’s education, with 66% worrying about their child’s dependence on spell-checking software, 61% worried that word processors could damage their kid’s handwriting abilities, and 60% worried that children’s mental arithmetic will suffer thanks to the ubiquity of computers. Some parents (43%) are also concerned that their own lack of IT skills will prevent them from helping their children do their homework.

Nonetheless, the overwhelming majority (80%) of parents say that technology helps in their children’s education, and 82% agree that gadgets are a vital part of their child’s lives.

Modern schools have a huge number of high-tech features, such as whiteboards and e-learning platforms, which can make technology an absolute necessity. Accordingly, the research found that 25% of children now submit their homework digitally, such as through email.

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