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 Post subject: Uniform costs
PostPosted: Fri Aug 05, 2016 7:45 am 
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Joined: Thu Jul 02, 2015 6:44 am
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It is mostly done and dusted bar a few sundry items (hockey gum shields not yet sourced), but I have been taken aback at just how much it has cost to get everything for KE.

Is it me but were looking at £500+ to start school with everything chucked in and provisioning of dinner money etc.

Okay £140 of that is a residential, but I just feel that perhaps there could be a little more competition enabled with the uniform suppliers, we basically had one supplier to go to for a good chunk of the uniform, so just got most it from them.

I know some grammars schools do second hand sales (which we would have done everything to avoid), but it is still a strain. Call me daft, but I thought about £150 tops??? Is it the same for all schools??

PP


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 Post subject: Re: Uniform costs
PostPosted: Fri Aug 05, 2016 8:07 am 
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Petitpois wrote:
hockey gum shields not yet sourced

Petitpois, I would advise you to wait before buying these! I remember buying precisely some gum shields and some shin pads for my DD... which then have never been used by herself.
When your DD will start hockey next year ( I guess maybe during the summer term), I bet most of the pupils will not have their gum shields.
Rest assured that I do care about your DD's teeth, but I think that schools should do items lists with on one hand the 'obligatory items' and on the other hand, the list of ' items advised in the ideal world'. :wink:


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 Post subject: Re: Uniform costs
PostPosted: Fri Aug 05, 2016 8:17 am 
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I think it probably is the same for all schools. Not in your area, but a quick "fag-packet" calculation shows that we paid £200+ for our local GS. That doesn't include residentials, lunch money, art supplies, stationery, bags, etc which would probably push it up to £300+. We only had one supplier to go to for uniform, and avoided second-hand, shopped on ebay and in a cheap sports shop but still it all adds up. We did buy the gumshields (only £2.50) and shin guards which were definitely used in the autumn term (though, as I say, different area, different school).


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 Post subject: Re: Uniform costs
PostPosted: Fri Aug 05, 2016 8:57 am 
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I think, if you exclude residential and lunch money (because not all schools do the residential and some kids take packed lunches) then the uniform/kit costs are probably ball park (£250-£300) for most secondary schools. (assuming blazer, possibly a coat or jumper, two pairs trousers/skirts, 4/5 shirts, tie, PE shirt/shorts, specialist kit, apron, calculator and geometry set, hymn books, plus school shoes, school trainers and "sports" boots.) It does depend a bit on how much sport your child already plays - for e.g. we already had body armour, base layers, gum shields and boots for rugby so didn't feel the "hit" all at the same time. Our school does very clearly divide the uniform/kit list into a) essential/compulsory, b) recommended, c) nice to have. We get the branded items from the uniform supplier and everything else from the high street.

Second hand sales vary - the quality can be quite worn, but if you have very sporty kids or those that tend to lose things, they are a great place to go and pick up etc emergency kit, to tide you over. Or, if income is tight, they are useful to pick up most stuff. Lots of "new" Y7s have older siblings in the GS's (that's just fact) so don't all come with everything box fresh!

Lunch costs are one to watch. We are very strict, loading the lunch card up for 4 weeks at a time, based on £3.50 a day. If the boys choose to buy bacon baps and cookies at break, that is up to them, if the money runs out before the end of the month, they have to make pack ups to take in.


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 Post subject: Re: Uniform costs
PostPosted: Fri Aug 05, 2016 9:22 am 
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Thanks for the advice on the gum shields. Oh well welcome to the real world! I think our costs have been pushed up a bit by wanting two pullovers and two pleated skirts, which at £31+ for the skirt starts to add up (were assuming one jumper will need washing ie won't last the whole week). They are mandatory, but buying two isn't. When I say sundries, I don't know why we have to buy the lab coat, we used to get them and the safety glasses free at school. We haven't bothered with the optional fleece stuff, but on top we are assuming £35-40 for shoes and hopefully a decent waterproof winter coat perhaps £25 (we know a good place for them and it is summer at the moment and a recession is possibly in the offing too)

On other stuff I agree shopping about is key. I nearly bought the standard scientific calculator given in the induction list for like £12.99. I then shopped about and found that a rather large supermarket chain were doing the next model up for £6 and had the required trigonometry set chucked in for an extra £2, so it pays to shop where you can, but with skirts at £32 and it being mandatory from one shop, your kind of stuck.

BTW we "broke" the calculator by trying to calculate the last step in level 1 of Graham's number. Attempting to calculate 3 to the power of 7.6 trillion odd stacked 3's is one way of psychologically reconciling yourself to the very small numbers involved in the uniform!!! So I'll go back to pondering what Grahams numbers could possibly look like at level 64 or failing that just look at the empty wallet. :lol:

Thanks for the tip on the lunch costs. My DD refused the paid lunches at primary due to quality, but loved the food on offer both at KEHS and KE. I think we'll will have a chat about budgeting and what it means. Otherwise she'll probably just go mad on the card thingy they get.


Last edited by Petitpois on Fri Aug 05, 2016 9:31 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Uniform costs
PostPosted: Fri Aug 05, 2016 9:30 am 
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It's interesting to see the differences in what parents are expected to buy:

* hockey sticks/tennis racket - why? Surely any school has a supply of these? We chose to get a racket but it was not mandatory
* lab coats/dt aprons - why? An old shirt for art was all we needed to supply.
* calculators - school can buy these VAT free much cheaper and then 'sell' them - everyone then has the same model.

It's these 'hidden' costs which mount up ...


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 Post subject: Re: Uniform costs
PostPosted: Fri Aug 05, 2016 9:37 am 
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Joined: Thu Jul 02, 2015 6:44 am
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Talking to several parents in the shop, there were two priceless factors. 1) How happy the parents were 2) how the uniform made DD feel. Not many things you buy in life have that effect. Perhaps best to switch the numbers brain off and savour the moment!


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 Post subject: Re: Uniform costs
PostPosted: Fri Aug 05, 2016 9:40 am 
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Joined: Sun May 09, 2010 12:04 pm
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Petitpois wrote:
I think our costs have been pushed up a bit by wanting two pullovers and two pleated skirts, which at £31+ for the skirt starts to add up (were assuming one jumper will need washing ie won't last the whole week). They are mandatory, but buying two isn't.

The experience I have had with my children is that, although school jumpers are really important during primary school, they become less so once children have transferred to secondary school as they have to wear a blazer : the schools are well-heated, so for my children, having a good quality winter coat was enough.
However, I have to say that I did buy for both of them one school jumper for their entry to year 7 (without the school logo as I think they are cheaper that way ; ie bought at M&S); now, I do not buy it anymore as my DS has hardly use it; it has been the same for my DD many moons ago.

Petitpois wrote:
BTW we "broke" the calculator by trying to calculate the last step in level 1 of Graham's number. Attempting to calculate 3 to the power of 7.6 trillion odd stacked 3's is one way of psychologically reconciling yourself to the very small numbers involved in the uniform!!! So I'll go back to pondering what Grahams numbers could possibly look like at level 64 or failing that just look at the empty wallet. :lol:

:lol: :lol:

kenyancowgirl wrote:
Lunch costs are one to watch. We are very strict, loading the lunch card up for 4 weeks at a time, based on £3.50 a day. If the boys choose to buy bacon baps and cookies at break, that is up to them, if the money runs out before the end of the month, they have to make pack ups to take in.

Excellent tip :wink: I have been lenient for far too long! :roll:


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 Post subject: Re: Uniform costs
PostPosted: Fri Aug 05, 2016 9:44 am 
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Joined: Sun May 09, 2010 12:04 pm
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Guest55 wrote:
It's interesting to see the differences in what parents are expected to buy:

* hockey sticks/tennis racket - why? Surely any school has a supply of these? We chose to get a racket but it was not mandatory
* lab coats/dt aprons - why? An old shirt for art was all we needed to supply.
* calculators - school can buy these VAT free much cheaper and then 'sell' them - everyone then has the same model.

It's these 'hidden' costs which mount up ...

In my former DD's GS, some teachers had the initiative to buy the CGP revision guides at a fraction of the price at which parents would buy them on the high street, and then reselling them to students ( of course, students had first made a list with their names of all those intereted to buy them). That was great! I wish more schools were proceeding this way...


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 Post subject: Re: Uniform costs
PostPosted: Fri Aug 05, 2016 9:46 am 
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Joined: Fri Aug 30, 2013 7:30 am
Posts: 2248
kenyancowgirl wrote:
Lunch costs are one to watch. We are very strict, loading the lunch card up for 4 weeks at a time, based on £3.50 a day. If the boys choose to buy bacon baps and cookies at break, that is up to them, if the money runs out before the end of the month, they have to make pack ups to take in.


Love this idea too, really good way of handing responsibility over. I think I might do this for my KES. He will probably spend it all on traybakes at first but will hopefully then get sick of them and learn a lesson - thanks KCG!

By the way, love your new car! (Porsche Boxter, Number plate S1 KCG) - think going round the roundabout at 65mph with your lid off a little unnecessary but whatever.....!!!! :lol:


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