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British parents are put off printing teaching materials due to high ink costs, Epson research finds

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Epson UK‘s latest survey of 2,000 UK parents found that the cost of printing is having a negative impact on home-schooling, with children aged 4-14 spending an average of 90 minutes a day watching educational videos, despite 60% of parents preferring their kids to learn on paper.

The surveyed parents have spent an average of £46 on ink alone since the first lockdown and 93% agree that a cheap, unlimited supply of printer ink would be important in supporting their home teaching.

The survey of 2,000 parents also shows that, despite the preference for paper-based learning, children are spending an average of 90 minutes a day watching educational videos. An additional third (69%) of parents are using printed resources sent by the school and a further half (52%) are using free downloads from education resources websites. 

On average, the parents surveyed have printed 17 pages per week for home learning and have spent an average of £46 on printer ink alone since the first lockdown. However, 44% said that the price of ink prevented them from printing all the materials they would like to. 

Additionally, only 19% of parents surveyed have received financial support from their employer in buying their home printer, while an overwhelming 93% agreed that a cheap, unlimited supply of printer ink would be important in supporting their home teaching. 

Head of Consumer Sales at Epson UK, Nico Michaelides, commented:

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“With parents continuing to opt for printable resources over screens to home-school their children, there can be no doubt that printed paper has a prominent role in children’s education. 

“However, it’s distressing that the perception of high ink costs has prevented people from printing all the materials they would like to – impacting not just for the parents, who are understandably overwhelmed during this challenging time, but the children, whose education is being disrupted. 

“Luckily, there are solutions in place to help parents overcome one of the challenges of home schooling and minimise their printing costs. Cartridge-free printers such as EcoTank and ink subscription services like ReadyPrint offers cost saving, remove frustration and ensure that running out of ink is one less thing to worry about.” 

Last year, Epson launched its ReadyPrint subscription model across Europe, allowing people to print without running out of ink for as little as £1.29 a month, saving up to 70% depending on which plan is chosen. Epson’s EcoTank uses ink bottles rather than cartridges and comes with the equivalent of 72 cartridges worth of ink with the printer, and while the upfront cost of the printer is higher, the customer can print up to 14,000 pages without having to change ink and can save up to 90% on the cost of ink. 

Methodology: Epson surveyed over 2,000 parents in the UK with children aged 4-14 

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