National Offer day for Leeds primary schools seemed to go smoothly, with 87% of parents receiving their first choice of school and 97% of parents receiving one of their five preferences, writes Amanda Jefferson.
The figures improved on last year with the Council stating that 400 more children were offered their top choice.
This year 301 children did not receive a school within their preferences compared to 550 last year.
The Council have worked hard to make sure enough primary places were available as this year – the highest amount of places being required for the last 15 years. More than 700 places were needed than in 2013.
For parents the next big thing will be purchasing the school uniform. An expense that many people will come across over the next few months.
Being a parent myself I felt the need to research this issue as not only does the amount of uniform items needed to be thought about, but also the cost and the quality too.
Department stores and dedicated uniform shops used to be the first point of call and for many they still may be. Of course, the supermarkets have jumped on-board, and they offer ranges of uniform basics that are relatively cheap in comparison.
The branded school jumpers or cardigans seem to be the biggest expense, alongside shoes.
On completing some online shopping research I have compiled a list to see what certain items of uniform can be bought for how much.
Points to note: The figures are based on 5/6 year old sizes. The cardigans/jumpers are plain with no school logo. Some pack sizes may mean that you will actually get more items than listed.
Girls’ uniform consisting of: 2 pinafores, 2 skirts, 3 polo shirts, 3 cardigans, 2 PE shorts, 2 PE t-shirts, tights and shoes.
Boys’ uniform consisting of: 3 trousers, 3 polo shirts, 3 jumpers, 2 PE shorts, 2 PE t-shirts, 5 socks and shoes.
We can see which retailer comes out cheaper and which the more expensive, but then parents will talk of the issue of quality.
I have heard some parents very disgruntled with the wear and tear of the cheapest supermarket telling me that the uniform falls apart.
Whereas the quality of the most expensive retailer is good, but as you can see there is a vast difference in price. The department stores are definitely more expensive and when choosing a uniform things like ‘itchiness’ and ‘wash ability’ do need to be considered as well as quality.
Individual choice will always win, some being brand loyal, others having less room for choice due to the expense.
For those parents with children already at school hand-me-downs may be a purse-saver.
The Pudsey-based charity shop ‘Preloved of Pudsey’ is also starting a new venture concentrating on school uniform for West Leeds parents.
They are hoping to collect many uniform items, including the branded school jumpers, so that they can help families with the cost of uniform. This in turn helps to recycle and all proceeds go to St George’s Crypt to help the homeless of Leeds. A three-way win for West Leeds.
Please remember the shop when you require uniform items or when your child has outgrown their current uniform.
Full table for reference
Any numbers in brackets indicate the number of items in the pack size.