Lost school uniform is the bane of most mums, and teachers, everyday life. Mums are sick of paying out for uniforms that then mysteriously disappear from school pegs, classrooms, back of chairs and I’m sure teachers must be fed up with sending out many reminders prior to start of term to make sure you label every piece of clothing that enters the school premises and then from day one of term be bombarded with requests to seek out children’s clothing which never made their way back to the rightful home.
As a mum to 3 primary school children I have had my fair share of losses over the past few years, mostly jumpers and cardigans, the occasional PE kit and sometimes they have returned to the classroom (in the big box never the named peg – despite investing in a stamp-tastic for each child to make sure there is NO mistake of ownership) but today I feel like things have gotten out of hand and my normal calm demeanour over such small matters (of course it happens to us all bla blah) has melted away because this year my little girls uniform also consists of a school hat – which she loves – but also costs £39.99 and by the end of day 1 this has now disappeared from the safety of the named peg and the classroom. I waited until the next day – of course it must have been taken in error, but no it was not returned to the magical peg. Surely the mistaken owner must have realised that they had retrieved the wrong one?
Now this may be something that resolves itself in the next day or two but its made me question the law of the school mums and the ‘lost’ uniforms. Surely there is a strict code that we all must follow in light of when returns in error are acceptable – and is anyone aware of when we dare utter the ‘s’ word? When an item never returns despite stamptastic and prolific name and class labelling we are seemingly all too nervous to address what has surely happened. Think about it- if your coat is taken by someone in work – in error because it looks similar to one they have – and it is never returned would we as adults accept this and blame the person for not looking after their property or not labelling their clothes properly? or would we simply call out the members of the office and declare that a theft has occurred?
I have to ask the question of whether we are experiencing a type of school etiquette that is preventing the ‘s’ word from ever being uttered and allowing the myth of the lost school uniform to continue unabated. Is this because it is a much nicer scenario rather than admit the alternative or do mums really fall into the trap that lost school uniform can be returned at the end of term, even year, and this is an acceptable returns policy?