The contents of an average school bag in South Yorkshire are now worth more than the items found in a woman’s handbag.
A survey conducted at Meadowhall shopping centre asked 100 mothers how much money they spent on school essentials.
The cost of equipping a child for their return to school has risen to £550, while the average women’s handbag contains £290 worth of belongings.
The survey found two-thirds of children own a smartphone, one in five take an MP3 player and headphones to school, and one in 10 pack a tablet computer.
Of the mothers questioned, only a handful said they keep a tablet device in their handbags.
But Meadowhall retail director Mark Bruce said although the figures showed technology is creeping into classrooms, notepads and pencils are still selling well at the centre.