How to avoid School Lost Property – 8 easy tips

mother of misters lost property

Lost And Found

Are your kids always losing their stuff at school? Are you keeping label manufacturers in business buying sticky labels, iron-on ones and fabric pens…? Yup, me too. Mind you, it’s not just kids who can’t keep hold of their possessions.

East Midlands Trains launched their Lost Property tracking service by enlisting the help of the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. They composed  “An ode to my Owner” and performed it using musical instruments found on East Midlands Trains. Then there was the gravestone found at Dublin airport, inscribed “You will never be forgotten”…

I’ve been quite the regular at “Lost Property” at my sons’ school so I volunteered one morning to go sort. Armed with rubber gloves and plastic bags, I counted 71 abandoned jumpers (only 34 were named), 5 lunchboxes (mouldy remnants included) and 9 pairs of trainers (some pricey branded ones too).

The oddest item was a pair of shorts which staff reckoned belonged to a former pupil who’d be 22 years old now!


mother of misters lost property
71 not so careful owners…

How to avoid School Lost Property – 8 easy tips

Based on Department for Education stats on the number of kids at secondary school, The Children’s Society worked out that parents spend over £2 billion a year on school uniform. I don’t imagine that figure accounts for money spent replacing lost items.

It’s not a teacher’s job to return the sea of school jumpers to their owners but it seems sensible that it’s a combination of kids, parents and schools that can help stem the lost property tide. Here are some great ideas people shared when I asked around on this hot topic…

  1. Uniform to a minimum (which for many isn’t a choice as it’s so expensive). 3 is the magic number it seems – 1 in the wash, 1 in the wardrobe, 1 on their back. And just wipe and wear the next day
  2. A competition for the class with the least “Lost Property” in a term to get extra play-time
  3. You lose, you pay – most kids get pocket money, so they can chip in if they’re serial offenders
  4. Get your kids to check labels are still intact before they put in the wash – and get them to check afterwards in case the washing machine has gobbled them up
  5. A Lost Property tree in the school hall and a regular assembly about the importance of valuing your things
  6. Lost Property in the headteacher’s office. Funny how quickly kids learn to look after their stuff then…
  7. A Lost Property monitor to round up a gang of kids every term to sort and return lost items – anything unnamed to go to a second-hand uniform sale to raise funds for the school
  8. The same monitor armed with a labelling pen (bought by the PTA of course) for spot-check labelling at break-time


Right, off to label my keys and reading glasses with a fabric pen. Where did I put them?


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