It’s that time of year again! It’s the start of a new academic year. We’ve had the summer holidays and we have tried to entertain the children as best we can. So now cue the busy parents having to find time to buy new uniform. For those of us with children just starting school for the first time buying uniform can be a mind field. So what are the most important bits and where can you make a saving?
Let’s start with the basics – white (usually) polo shirt/shirt. On your first look around the school you will know whether your chosen school is a polo or normal shirt kind of school. Either way this is a good time to buy them as every supermarket and clothes shop has them for bargain prices. It is worth getting a few of these while you can find them as I can guarantee your little darling will be getting a myriad of food, paint and grass stains on them in the first week!
Obviously this is an essential piece of kit! The prices of these vary greatly from one shop to another, as does the quality. Although it is a pain it is worth shopping around. Although the price might have you going one way there is nothing more frustrating than false economy. Take care that they are “proper” trousers especially if you are buying them for girls. Schools do not like leggings and you will be asked to buy a new pair.
These are the bane of any teacher’s life. When buying school shoes ensure you look at the school’s uniform policy. Most schools will have this on their school website. The vast majority of schools will not accept black trainers, however, new they are or how much they cost. School shoes need to be comfortable as all children run round the playground at some point but must be proper shoes. Although shoes shops offer a good range in school shoes so do super markets. It might be a good idea to get your child’s feet measured professionally first but supermarkets to a wide range of school shoes too.
Yes socks are on the list! I have seen too many children go to school without socks not to put it on the list. They also should be plain and not trainer socks. It is a good idea to get your children into good habits when they first go to school as this will pay dividends when those little darlings become teenagers! I would always be cautious when buying tights. They are tricky and, particularly younger girls, have trouble pulling them back up properly after using the toilet or when changing for PE.
It will be expected that the jumper as the school emblem on it, which usually means these are expensive. If money is a issue, schools are not unreasonable. They would be happy for you to get one jumper with the emblem on and then an appropriate coloured jumper from your local supermarket. I would recommend buying at least two of these. I am yet to meet a child who has not lost a jumper at least once!
A vital piece of the uniform and one so many children do not seem to have. The best bit about this is that it can be any coat. Teachers hate wet play so it will have to be a storm outside before they admit defeat. This means children are out in all weathers, cold, wet, snow! Yes it is true – teachers would prefer to freeze before saying that it is indoor play. Luckily coats are so reasonable now, especially in supermarkets.
A permanent marker
Possible the most vital part of the equipment list is the good old Sharpie pen! The thing above everything else that will save you £££s is labeling the clothes. Every single child in the school will have the same uniform and there will be at least 30 other children the same size as your little darling. Any lost item will never find its way back without a name clearly written on it! Please do not be under the illusion that your child will never loose their clothes – they will! And not just their jumpers. Label everything including their socks and shoes!
Uniform will be expensive, there is no getting away with it. But you can choose the items carefully and label everything and hopefully you will minimize the expense.