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Back to School in Surrey and Hampshire: Uniform shopping guide

4 minute read
Back to School in Surrey and Hampshire: Uniform shopping guide

Published by the Eagle Radio News Team at 6:00am 19th August 2019.

Last year parents spent an average of £134 kitting out their kids for the new school year.

And sending the children back to school is proving to be an increasingly costly affair, with that figure up six per cent on 2017.

The start of September rush is now considered the third biggest retail spending event (excluding food/drink), after Christmas and Black Friday.

To get on top of things Eagle Radio spoke to Mario Valentino of Valentino Schoolwear in Knaphill.

What do children actually need and how much does it cost?

“For example, when they first start secondary school, the thing they definitely need normally for the local schools is a blazer, a school tie.

“Then for example shirts, which they can buy from anywhere, then you have the school trousers which again in most cases are generic.

“The sports kit, depending on the school and what they require, in many cases can be a very basic kit, an inexpensive kit.”

For Primary (entry at foundation/early years) the following is recommended and has an average cost of just under £45 with PE kit and around £35 without (does not include shoes).

  • Polo shirt, shirt or blouse x2
  • Trousers, skirt or pinafore x1
  • Sweatshirt, sweat cardigan, knit jumper or knit cardigan x1
  • Socks x3 (packs of five pairs)
  • PE shorts x1
  • PE t-shirt x1

For Secondary (entry at year 7) the following is recommended and has an average cost of just over £134 with PE kit and around £93 without (does not include shoes).

  • Shirt or blouse x2
  • Tie x1
  • Skirt or trousers x1
  • Sweatshirt, knit jumper or knit cardigan x1
  • Blazer x1
  • Socks x3 (packs of five pairs)
  • PE polo shirt x1
  • Outdoor games shirt x1
  • Sports socks x1

“This is literally what you would need, then obviously it depends on the individual’s perspective.

“Some parents would like one for every day, but that’s not because you have to - it’s because that’s the way you wish to.”

Back to School

Is there still value in school uniform?

“Let’s face it none of us really want an additional cost, maybe especially after we have gone for a family holiday that we’ve saved for all year.

“When you look at it from an outside point of view looking in, you then say ‘well actually they need to wear something and if it wasn’t school uniform what would we be buying?'

“A lot of the generic leisure fashion-wear well outstrips school uniform.

“As a parent myself it’s a lot less stress because ‘that’s your uniform please put it on, let’s go to school’ – it makes the school run a lot easier.”

Tips for saving money ahead of this September

  • Don’t leave it until the last minute
  • Look out for promotions
  • Consider what will last, will it save you money in the long term?
  • There’s nothing wrong with hand-me-downs - save money by passing clothes onto siblings
  • Consider second hand items too - many schools, junior or secondary, will offer them and 99 per cent of the time the garments look good
  • Schools may also have a fund for students from disadvantage backgrounds
Back to School

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