Parents have a new best friend, www.schoolstrader.com, which is a small advertisements website for all those connected to independent schools — staff, friends, parents, family, and pupils — which offers all sorts of trading deals.

They include a holiday home or a hamster, a pony or a parrot, banjo or goldfish, not to mention games kits, uniforms and textbooks.

The website is free and covers more than 1,000 schools all over the country, including Benenden, Loretto, Cheltenham Ladies College and Haileybury. As parents find out about the website, its visits and hits seem to double by the month.