tips on reducing lost school uniform

Lost school uniform – primary vs secondary

Don’t assume that once children get to secondary school lost school uniform will no longer be a thing. I’ve found the opposite.  Yes, lost uniform, ruined uniform. It all continues at secondary school. So I’m glad I usually had plenty of spares ready just in case.

At primary school other parents mentioned lots of lost items. But we were the opposite. Mine would come home with other children’s stuff in his bag. In key stage 1 he came home one day with a girl’s cardigan. Everything went back in to the rightful owner.

The only thing he did lose was a water bottle. Not bad for 7 years of schooling. 

But even that turned up a couple of months later when I noticed a girl drinking from a bottle still with his name label on the bottom, so we claimed that back.

tips on reducing lost school uniform

However, secondary school is another matter. It might depend on the type of uniform yours have, but I blame a lot on clip on ties and white school shirts.

In Year 7 alone, we were 4 shirts down.  

One was lost from somewhere in PE. N insisted all his stuff had been in his bag so we’re not sure what happened to that one.

Two were ruined from paint or ink that I’ve not been able to get out. One of those was from leaning against a science desk with red paint or something along the edge of it. The other we’re not sure. Ink on the back, so god knows how someone had drawn or nudged against him for that one. Unfortunately it seems secondary schools don’t have the same washable ink or paint that primary schools tend to use.

The fourth was ruined after someone decided to go round at lunchtime ripping all pockets off shirts where there weren’t blazers or jumpers worn. So quite a few had shirts ruined. I wasn’t impressed given that N’s shirt was a brand new one from M&S. 

One pair of missing sports socks.

Again, we’ve no idea where they went. Evidently neither they or the shirt appeared in lost property.

Three school ties.

Clip on ties are the problem (in 5 years with a normal tie at my secondary school, it lasted all those years with no issues apart from needing to stitch the inside back up into the point).. I can understand why schools have them, but the clips aren’t that brilliant.  1 clip was broken, not to be repaired (although I know someone who tried, but failed).  And 2 were missing, presumably fallen off during the bus journey home.

Luckily I always have a spare one just in case, but all the missing items are costing money.

I don’t know how others have fared, but I suppose it’s better than coats, bags or phones being lost or stolen.

We did nearly have a whole PE bag go missing at one point. N had left it in the changing rooms after PE. He went back at break and lunchtime but the changing rooms were locked. But luckily the next day he had PE and found it in exactly the same place. I’ve never been so relieved – especially as there was a brand new pair of astro trainers inside.

I’m hoping it was just a Year 7 thing.  So far in Year 8, everything that’s gone into school has come home that should. Phew.

I’m not sure I can provide many tips on how to reduce the chance of items being lost, but here goes.

How to reduce the amount of lost school uniform

Label everything – we use Stikins, they’re really hard to remove, and don’t peel off in the wash.

Teach your children the value of items – charge them time/work if they continue to lose things.

Make sure your children know where to go for lost property (and keep reminding them, because they will forget).

If you can, have spare items on hand for things you’d only have one of usually.

Set your child the task of washing clothes if they run out due to having lost something.

Try and get them to check with their hand or tissue before leaning on desks or something similar.

Pray for cold weather and classrooms so they’ll be wearing their blazer at all times. There’s less chance of white school shirts having pen or paint on them if they’re covered by a dark blazer.

Ultimately, there’s not a lot you can do but hope that children grow up and start to be more aware of holding onto their own items and knowing where they are at all times.

How do your children do with lost school uniform?

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  1. My girls were pretty good at not loosing things in primary school and if things were lost we would just go in and find them in lost property. We did go through a lot of ties though, the clip on one’s were useless!
    My youngest lost about 3 coats, water bottles and a pair of trainers in secondary school. She had a habit of just putting things down and forgetting to pick them up again. They didn’t really have a lost property section so once it was gone, it was gone and bad luck to the parents paying. Thankfully she got more responsible the older she got. x

    1. There are 2 lost property places at our school. But he’s never found stuff at either. Doesn’t help that others seem to help themselves from it even if they have names in them

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