or do the teachers have enough to do without returning lost property?

(62 Posts)
Narnia72 Mon 22-Jun-15 18:59:40

I'm a parent, just to state my "side".

The school have had enough of the overflowing lost property box, most of which is unlabelled uniform, with the odd lost glove and sock thrown in. They've therefore decided that the box should go, and have gone through the box and returned all labelled items to the relevant child. The unlabelled uniform has gone to the second hand uniform shop to sell (very cheaply, usually to struggling families), and the junk has been binned.

The school has decreed that from now on they won't keep a lost property box, but will put lost items into a box that can be checked through every Friday. Unclaimed, unlabelled items will then go to the second hand shop.

Parents are outraged at this, saying the school is stealing their uniform, and asking why the teachers aren't checking the box and returning labelled stuff to their rightful owners on a regular basis. There is a long rant on the school FB site about it, and parents are saying they're not "spending their hard-earned money if the school is going to throw the uniform out".

1) these people are not reading what is happening but
2) is this a reasonable thing to expect of the teachers? Surely the children are old enough/able enough to keep track of their things, and if they don't then it's really the child's fault.

There are people ranting about missing (non-uniform) hats, and all sorts. How on earth are teachers expected to track those down? Now they are ranting about items that have gone missing in school and haven't made it into the lost property box. Should teachers be expected to scour the school and pegs for misappropriated items?

I am tempted to post about special kinds of stupid people, but I thought I'd just check I'm not BU. Do your (state if it makes a difference) schools routinely return lost property?

bippityboppitypoo Mon 22-Jun-15 19:04:37

If the parents are they bothered about missing uniform they should be more then willing to go check the box themselves every Friday!

GinUpGirl Mon 22-Jun-15 19:05:47

If they labelled their sodding uniform, they wouldn't have a problem!

hiddenhome Mon 22-Jun-15 19:07:55

Parents need to do it themselves. It's not a teacher's job to keep track of personal things, clothes etc.

chickenfuckingpox Mon 22-Jun-15 19:07:57

ours dont even bother to check for a label they just leave them in the box and if you like you can check it once in awhile they throw it all in the hallway and text you to say if you have lost it see if you can find it and the rest to the charity shop

what usually happens is parents go in and help themselves to "new" uniform for there children and relabel it

KittyandTeal Mon 22-Jun-15 19:09:58

I've taught from eyfs up to year 5. They all know when they've lost a jumper (we do keep an eye out in reception)

If jumpers (it's always bloody jumpers) are labelled properly with a sharpie then they are easily found and returned. We always manage it.

What we don't manage to do is return jumpers that have a vague name once written in biro and washed a bazillion times or a jumper that 'smells like' the child I shit you not I've had both child and parent use this quote.

And yes, we have far too much other stuff to do that hunt around for a badly labelled jumper.

Sounds like the school has a great plan.

DisappointedOne Mon 22-Jun-15 19:11:39

Our school is selling all lost property (unlabelled) uniform at the summer fayre. It's a way for people to get cheap uniform, for school to make a few pennies and for feckless parents that don't label their kids' stuff to learn a lesson. grin

finallydelurking Mon 22-Jun-15 19:13:20

Hahahahahahahahaha I've heard the 'smells like' and seen woman sniff through the lost property grin

flora717 Mon 22-Jun-15 19:15:38

Dd's school have a "lost property monitor" role for each class. In each corridor, once a week, the children (in turns, once a half term per monitor) take anything labelled to the apporopriate classroom. It works fairly well. The pile of unlabelled stuff is handed to the PTA. Who put it out on a bench at the start of each half term. Everything left gets washed and sold at the Summer and Winter fair.

MsColouring Mon 22-Jun-15 19:19:05

It is not the teachers or the parents job to take responsibility for uniform. It is the child's. It is the parents' job to label uniform correctly and to help the children learn what they need to take into school and bring back home. The teachers help the children by ensuring they know where to keep their things and having routines and reminders to help them. If parents and teachers are always running around finding uniform for the children, they will never learn to look after them themselves.

If parents don't label uniform they really can't complain.

WankerDeAsalWipe Mon 22-Jun-15 19:20:32

My attitude to lost property as a parent

Its up to me or child to recognise that something is missing.
first port of call is to tell the child to look for it next day
if no joy then I make the effort to get to the school to have a look
If still no joy then child gets a lecture about being careful with their things

My DSs are in High School now and they have a similar system - all lost property in gym sits outside Gym changing rooms until Friday, then goes to lost property room. All other lost property goes straight to lost property room. At the end of the month, anything that has been there longer than a week gets put into charity bin or if it's decent gym kit, goes into gym spare kit box for people who have forgotten kit.

The only bit that frustrates and annoys me a bit is that if its a lunch box or a bottle it never makes it to lost property at all and is binned straight away. DS2 has lost some pretty good bottles and boxes this way. I don't blame the school though as it is DS2 that is the problem, I wish they'd hold on to it for a day though as we always know within a day that it's missing as I put them in the dishwasher every evening sad

Idontseeanydragons Mon 22-Jun-15 19:21:51

YANBU teachers definitely have more to do than return the same lot of jumpers each week, I don't blame them if they've reached the end of the lost property line!
We have a big box that is left out every Friday and then for a week at the end of each term. Anything left is either donated to the school shop, local charity or binned.
Wrt the smelling of the jumpers - I once read a long thread here where so many people jumped in to say they had tracked down allsorts of uniform this way! Have to say I've never tried it myself... grin

exLtEveDallasNoBollocks Mon 22-Jun-15 19:24:13

Our school is doing similar.

We have a box that the dinner ladies fill with jumpers from the field. That gets bought in after every lunchtime and any child that comes forward is told to check it. If a parent comes after school we tell them to tell their child to check the box - we are pushing for the child to be responsible.

At the end of the week anything left in the box is checked for name tags, returned to classrooms if it has one or moved to a second box in the school office for a week if not and parents can check for themselves. This is also the box that any 'found' jumpers from classrooms/hall etc are put into.

At the end of the second week this uniform is moved to a third box kept in the playground - that is a free-for-all and not regulated at all. We don't care who takes what from this box.

On the last Friday of every month anything left in the playground box is chucked (charity rags thing).

We don't have the storage space to keep lost uniform indefinitely. Parents have kicked off a bit, but we have calmly pointed out that if an item is named it will get back to its owner within 2 weeks, if not then it's a breach of the uniform policy the parents signed up to and really not our fault.

SquareStarfish Mon 22-Jun-15 19:25:41

I've never understood this. My school doesn't have a loss property box, never has had. It's never been a problem. Yes kids lose stuff and now and again I have a jumper turn up on my desk but we manage just fine.

temporarilyjerry Mon 22-Jun-15 19:27:48

"Smells like" grin
The children in my class do that. Sniff, "It's X's."

ChanandlerBongsNeighbour Mon 22-Jun-15 19:28:37

As a teacher AND parent of school children this situation frustrates me SO much! Worst of all is the accusatory looks and blame levelled at the teacher for not keeping track of one of 30 odd jumpers/cardigans and THEN finding out it was not labelled, and its STILL the teachers fault that it is nowhere to be found!! I spent a few hours sewing embroidered name labels onto every item of my DC's uniform and, fingers crossed, not lost a thing yet!

Jackthegardner Mon 22-Jun-15 19:30:28

The new lost property box system sounds like a good compromise. Have any of these parents any idea of the amount of more important things a teacher has to do in a day? And I say this both as a fee paying parent and a(n ex) teacher. More often than not my son's kit/ jumper/ new trainer (always one and usually a brand new one) is in another boy's sports bag so an e-mail to the parents in his year more often than not produces said item a few weeks later. More recently one trainer turned up in a another school who were thoughtful enough to take the time to return it. By that time I have had to buy another pair of course. Oh the joys of parenting!

ChanandlerBongsNeighbour Mon 22-Jun-15 19:30:48

My classroom has the most burgeoning box of lost property which I lay out carefully on display every few weeks in the hope it might disappear but it is never claimed! I actually don't know where its all come from as it doesn't appear to actually belong to anyone in my class!!!

Euphemia Mon 22-Jun-15 19:31:42

(1) Check for name.
(2) Get a kid to sniff it.

= Returning Lost Property 101!

grin

ChanandlerBongsNeighbour Mon 22-Jun-15 19:31:51

Oh by the way, the new school system sound perfectly fair and reasonable!

YouTheCat Mon 22-Jun-15 19:32:30

All they have to do is make sure they label all items clearly and they'll be returned.

Teachers and other staff don't have time to go looking for owners of unlabelled items.

Maybe the parents could try teaching some of them to take care of their stuff? And if they aren't reliable enough to look after things (additional needs etc) then even more reason to make sure things are labelled.

namechangefortoday543 Mon 22-Jun-15 19:33:41

Surely a box that everyone checks on a Friday is a lost property box confused

Nicknamegrief Mon 22-Jun-15 19:34:17

I think on principle it is a great idea, although doing it weekly seems too prompt. Sometimes families get waylaid by life and it takes a few days to realise something is missing.
Maybe every half term is a better solution.

LynetteScavo Mon 22-Jun-15 19:37:24

Well, if labelled items are going to be returned to the child, what's the problem?

DS1 once came out of school at the end of the summer term with two bin bags full of LABELED items (I love a clear label, it makes me feel like a good parent, even if it's not terribly effective). I'm not able to look in lost property, as I work full time, and the lost property box is in the hall, which is locked when I drop off and collect.

If someone had given DS his labelled items once a week it would have been brilliant!

I applaud the OPs school, and hope they leave the Friday box where after school club parents can access it.

LapsedTwentysomething Mon 22-Jun-15 19:42:50

If schools are doing the job of finding, sorting through and returning lost property time and time again, they're just enabling irresponsibility and dependence.

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