A school uniform rant

On September 6 both my children go back to school and it feels like someone paid my wages directly to the headteacher’s coffers.
I have a bit of an issue with school uniform. It costs a bloody fortune.

It’s all very well the big four supermarkets trumpeting on about how you can buy a whole outfit for £4 (yes, really! £4) but what about when your child’s school won’t let you?

Don’t get me wrong, I love that they get to wear a uniform and I know many parents who desperately wish their children did too.
But at my children’s’ primary school, parents have to buy a badged sweatshirt (£10.50 each), a badged polo shirt (£6.50 each) and a badged sport top (£4.50). Then, of course, there is the badged book bag and PE bag.

And of course, you can never buy one of each (unless you’re happy to do a wash and iron every day after work), so my children’s’ uniform bill for the start of term was around the £50 mark. Each. And that’s before I’ve bought the trousers/skirts/shoes/lunchboxes etc.

Yes, yes, I’m having a rant.

A pack of three polo tops from good old Marks & Spencer (same colour, same style) cost the same as one school equivalent. The quality is no different – if not better – than their expensive alternatives.
I can’t even cut out and keep the badge as it is embroidered into the clothes.Don’t even get me started on the day Dan came home from school with a big black marker pen blob slap bang on the chest of his 1-week-old sweatshirt last year.
And how many times has he ‘lost’ it, having used it as a goalpost/pillow/doorstop at school?
I just thank heaven that I can buy a decent pair of school trousers for £4 from Tesco as the amount of times Dan has come home from school with a hole in the knee, I would be tearing my hair out otherwise.

So I had to chuckle at the research carried out by money saving website VoucherCodes.co.uk on their blog which stated that parents are spending more than they need to on uniform.

Not out of choice over here. I’m more than happy to send my kids to school in Tesco or Sainsbury’s or whatever label – if only I could!

So I head for Marks & Spencer’s great 3 for 2 deals on trousers, skirts, dresses etc, I’ve shopped at Tesco and I’ve raided Sainsbury’s for the best deals.

I confess shoes I don’t scrimp on (nearly £40 a pair, sob) just because it’s proved false economy for me to buy a boy who plays football and tig in the playground every day cheaper shoes. They simply don’t last as long. And I’ve learned this from experience.

So I get my bargains and grumble and grouch at having to fork out more than any parent should have to on the rest of their uniform.

And breathe. Rant over.
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