With schools back this week, parents like me will be wincing at the hit the new term has taken on their bank balance.
As the dad of twins, I’ve shelled out hundreds of pounds this summer to clothe and shoe my five-year-olds. And because Alex and Lewis are identical, it’s not like one of them can even pass down their old uniform to the other.
This summer has been the most expensive yet for school clothing – we’ve forked out for shirts, trousers, PE kits, jumpers with the school logo, and because one of the twins is diabetic, he needed a special lockable case for his insulin and medical equipment.
All in all my bank account was lighter by approximately £300, for the both of them.
Have you spent hundreds on school uniforms this summer? Have your say in the comments below
When you have twins you always have to factor in double the costs of a normal child. Due to the growth spurts they get each year, you can’t really recycle any clothing as it’s just too small for them to wear comfortably, so it has to be bought slightly larger that they grow into it, or just buy bigger spare item to use later in the year… hence a spare bought for a couple of the uniform items.
Their school has a strict policy of uniforms and I am fully behind that. Having the same uniform as the other pupils stops the ‘oneupmanship’ by those who may be from a better financially well-off family. It makes for a level playing field.
The school has recommended suppliers for the school purple jumper (due to having the school crest on it) and the school ties. Outside that, we can choose where to get the other items. It wasn’t hard to find what we needed due to other parents of pupils, in later school years, kindly posting up on social media where to get the best deals.
They’re so young and only in their third year of primary school, so we’ve not spent as much as other parents yet on uniform. But it’s still probably in the region of £500.
This year was the most expensive yet and I can only imagine that the costs will keep climbing as they progress through the school years.
My heart goes out to those parents of older kids who aren’t in the position to be able to nip out at lunchtime and get a new pair of shoes for their kids. We’re fortunate to be OK to do it if needed, but I’m acutely aware of the hardship others have when it comes to finding money to get uniforms.
*Matalan’s back to school calculator reveals the true cost of sending your child back to school – click to find out how much you spend
School uniform breakdown for Alex and Lewis
- White shirt x 5 (two each plus 1 spare) – £30
- Grey tie with purple stripes x 2 – £14
- Purple jumper x 3 (one each plus a spare) – £60
- Grey trousers x 4 (two each) – £32
- Black shoes x 2 – £54
- Black plimsolls for indoor use x 2 – £12
- White polo shirt x 3 (one each plus a spare) – £18
- Black tracksuit bottoms x 3 (one each plus a spare) – £18
- 2 lunchboxes – £8
- 2 school bags – £20
- Lockable medication case – £20