Welcome to the Lewisham Children and Family Centre Website



Top Tips for buying their first school uniform

Children grow at an alarming rate in primary school and it can be difficult and expensive trying to keep up with what fits and what doesn’t, especially when you know they won’t be in that size for long.

Buying a whole set of school uniform can be really daunting but we’ve got some top tips to help you out.

Each school has its own uniform policy which is decided by the school’s governing body and information about this can normally be found in the school’s handbook or on their website.

If you are having difficulty in paying for your child’s school uniform, you should contact your child’s school who can advise on any assistance schemes they may have.

Top Tips for buying school uniform

  • Remember to check out the school uniform section where you do your shopping. Supermarkets such as ASDA, Tesco and Lidl often compete to offer the best value school uniform so keep your eyes out in store or on TV and social media adverts. Some stores do a full set of uniform for around £5!
  • Look out for offers early on in the Summer holidays. School uniform is such a competitive market you’ll see lots of offers in July so keep your eyes peeled.                       
  • Children don’t need the most expensive uniform – even is everyone else buys it. It’s very likely that your child is going to get their uniform stained, grubbby and even lost in the first term so knowing that you can replace it cheaply takes a lot of stress out of it. Try and buy as many shirts or blouses just in case they’re needing a clean one every day. You can then throw them all in the machine, along with all the socks and pants on a Friday evening. Skirts and trousers often last a few days before needing a wash so 2-3 pairs means there’s always a clean pair in the drawer.
  • Join the Facebook page for your school or area for low cost or even free preloved uniform. Many parents are looking to offload last years school uniform to make way for this year’s size so you’ll often find that they are giving away lots of items or charging a very small amount. It’s a great way to have a few spares or get yourself started. Many are often hardly worn.
  • Buy early – and order online for collection or delivery if you can. We’ve all seen the chaos in the school uniform department in August. Parents scrabbling around for the right sized shirt or trousers. Buying early and collecting from the store or having it delivered will leave you feeling very organised. It also means your child can try it on at home which can be so much easier than wrestling in a changing room, especially if you have other children.
  • Buy shoes early as you can and check the stores refund or exchange period – just in case they grow out of them by September. Finding school shoes is every parents least favourite job of the Summer. Shops can be extremely busy leaving you very few styles to choose from. If you can, buy from a shop that will let you exchange them if your child grows out of them by September. Always ask, you’ll be amazed how many stores will let you do this. Try and buy from a shop that will measure your child’s feet as they will make sure that your child’s feet have enough room to grow, meaning you won’t need to buy a new pair so quickly.
  • Trainers  Despite what your child may tell you or choose for themselves, they don’t need expensive trainers in primary school. Something that fits well and supports their feet will be just fine. Try looking in the discount sports shops or supermarket first.
  • Buy a warm waterproof coat. Even if it’s raining most children will still be outside a breaktime so a waterproof style makes sense. Some coats have a zip out fleece lining so they can wear it as a light coat in the Spring and Summer but it’s warmer in Autumn and Winter meaning you just need to buy one coat. If you can, buy one with reflective strips to keep them visible on dark evenings and mornings
  • Label everything. There’s nothing worse that losing a school jumper in the first few weeks. Children often take home the wrong jumper, lunchbox or coat. Try and label everything with either sew on labels, sticker or stamps to make sure it makes it’s way back to you.


Whatever your child is wearing on their first day at school they’ll have a great time, and remember it’s OK to have a little cry!


Get more tips at Money Saving Expert

Translate with Google Translate
Skip to content