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What do you do about lost PE kit?

(34 Posts)
seeker Wed 07-Jan-09 09:58:12

Since the beginning of the year, dd in year 8 has lost a leotard, a games shirt, a games sweatshirt, a pair of games socks and a pair of hockey socks. And she has two pairs of dance trousers - her own, and another unmarked pair.

She says she puts her kit back in her games bag but it mysteriously vanishes between lessons. She says she has searched lost property and asked around, but it's nowhere. She also says that other girls take people's kit and unpick the marking - but when challenged she admitted that it's only a rumour that this happens!

I was so cross this morning that I said if she hasn't found it all by the end of the week, she would have to buy a new one out of her own money. However the kit has changed, and they aren't allowed to wear a mixture of old and new so it would be a complete kit. Am I being mean? Is it any use talking to the school about it do you think?

seeker Wed 07-Jan-09 10:17:15

Does nobody else have a child losing stuff? sad

milou2 Wed 07-Jan-09 10:25:00

Definately chat to the school. I am used to going in and even checking the changing rooms myself, looking in the big bin they use for lost kit. The staff got quite familiar with me!

If no joy then email round to more than one member of staff to ask about the stuff. They can't ignore it so easily then.

Also you can pick out something unnamed from the lost bin and use it (well washed!!) until hers turn up. That's ok in my book, but I would tell the staff what I'm doing and why.

My son's whole sports kit bag was missing on the last day of last term. So I'm in the middle of an email discussion. He has a real mixed bag of out of date kit to wear. I'm so annoyed that such a big item can be lost or chucked somewhere by someone feeling rebellious on the last day of term.

Another thought, can she just take what she needs for each day and keep it with her then bring it home each day??

KingCanuteIAm Wed 07-Jan-09 10:25:27

Where is she leaving it between lessons?

Our school don't have lockers beyond yr7 so the shilcren have to carry it around with them (must be a nightmare of bags under desks on gym days!). So far dd has managed to keep it all in one section of her bag so that it is always with her but out of the way of her school books etc. TBH I amnot happy about it but no lockers = a super full bag.

If your dd is leaving things in lockers and it is going astray then talk to the school as this is theft obviously. If she i leaving it in the classroom/locker room or wherever then she needs to learn that this is not going to work and she will have to either, get a locker or keep it with her. It is a bind to say the leaset but I can't see a way round it!

I wouldn't make her buy her own at this stage, I would tell her that she has X long to get it together and look after her property properly with the ultimatum that, after that time she will have to provide her own. In the mean time I would make sure that she has all of the new kit so that, if she does have to buy something it is a shock to her but will not wipe her out altogether. That way she can learn a lesson without it being too harsh IYSWIM.

I do sympathise, lost kit is a nightmare and costs a fortune to replace!

pushchair Wed 07-Jan-09 10:35:05

Yes! My dd is only at primary but in yr5. Lost her winter coat at the beginning of the year. I went in searched lost property box-nope. Went round cloakrooms-nope. Phoned school. The teacher I spoke to said that they were aware of a problem with missing items and were looking into it. Not heard anything since actually. must phone again. V.Annoying isn't it. And I really don't know why pupils in secondary school shouldn't have lockers. Its so idiotic to make them carry huge bags to and fro.

sunnygirl1412 Wed 07-Jan-09 10:37:52

Seeker - I had a very similar problem with ds1's PE kit. His school had racks for the PE kit bags to be put on. These were dotted around the school, and though the boys did have access to lockers (first come first served, of course) these weren't particularly handily placed for the PE changing rooms, so most boys used the racks.

Apparently it was a well-known 'joke' at the school to take someone's kit bag and either hide it altogether, or take all the kit out and spread it round the school - on top of the lockers, behind bins etc!! Also, most of the boys used the kitbag sold by the school, so it was very easy for someone to pick up the wrong bag from the racks - and of course they never put them back when they found they'd done this, did they!!

Ds1 once lost his entire PE kit to one of the 'pranksters'. Because you had to have the proper School PE kit (available only from the school) - including indoor kit, outdoor kit and rugby kit (with proper rugby socks at £4.50 a pair), as well as indoor and outdoor trainers and football/rugby boots, replacing all of this came to over £100 - way over £100 if I'd bought branded trainers rather than cheapie ones!!!

I complained bitterly to the school, who basically said boys would be boys and there was little that they could do about it.angry

frogs Wed 07-Jan-09 10:38:20

Do the school have a second-hand uniform cupboard?

I have a deal with dd1 that I will not go nuclear if she loses something, but neither will I get involved. It's her responsibility to go office and organise a replacement from the second-hand uniform supply (which she hates doing). It's only £2 an item, so she has to pay for it.

If they've changed the kit I'd probably give her one more chance -- buy a set, but tell her it's down to her to deal with replacements if it gets lost.

sphil Wed 07-Jan-09 10:39:00

Me too. DS1's whole PE kit - indoor, outdoor and trainers - has mysteriously vanished over the Christmas holidays. Have searched the house, but am sure he left it at school. Tried looking on pegs this morning but it was a hopeless task.

digbies Wed 07-Jan-09 10:45:06

Wow, your DD's school has a lot of kit to start with! Games socks and hockey socks - what's the difference?

What is she doing in the meantime - wearing her outdoor kit instead of her leotard etc?

seeker Wed 07-Jan-09 10:48:39

They have pegs in the changing room for their games bags. They have lockers too, but they aren't allowed to put their games kit in them. Every item of games kit has the owners name embroidered on it on the outside - I find it hard to believe that anyone would unpick machine embroidery! But I don't see how it can get lost otherwise!

I buy bundles of shorts and t shirts from charity shops for ds in year 3 - then if it doensn't come home it doesn't matter! I don't tell him that, though!

seeker Wed 07-Jan-09 10:50:05

I know digbies - I was amazed when I got the list! She's borrowing her cousin's at the moment - they are in different forms so different timetables.

JaneLumley Wed 07-Jan-09 10:51:14

IMHO you are being sensible. My dcs know that they have to replace any lost kit out of their own money. But you could warn her first, then tell her this is what will now happen - seems fairer to her. OR - can you get old kit 2ndhand? Might be punishment enough.

seeker Wed 07-Jan-09 10:55:29

Lawrie would have just borrowed Nicola's without asking, wouldn't she, JaneLumley! And then had a real strop if Nick asked for it back!

digbies Wed 07-Jan-09 11:02:38

lucky she's the same size as her cousin!

seeker Wed 07-Jan-09 11:03:39

She isn't - her cousin is about 6 inches taller!

Lilymaid Wed 07-Jan-09 11:06:41

DS1 continually lost his PE kit at his secondary school and DH went up to the school and checked through all the lost property and clothing lying around. He found many items had their labels cut out (school later instituted compulsory large name labels on outside of all PE garments). Pupils often have to rush to PE lessons and get in trouble if they don't have correct clothing, so there is a tendency for some to take other pupils' stuff and to cut out labels. Pupils are also reluctant to search through lost property - far too bleurgh for them - so it is always worth doing your own search.

digbies Wed 07-Jan-09 11:12:56

a nice baggy leotard then, sseeker!?

JaneLumley Wed 07-Jan-09 13:21:22

Definitely, seeker. grin And then Ann would have offered to lend hers to Nick and NICK would have had a strop. Unless it was AGAINST THE RULES, of course.

Note that what I suggest abt 2ndhand is a bit like the Marlows in ancient navy. Though I am not like Pam Marlow.

roisin Wed 07-Jan-09 18:35:42

Last term ds1 lost a performing arts T-shirt and a school sweatshirt.

I have bought a new PA T-shirt and also at Christmas got my mum to sew in 2 or 3 name labels to every uniform garment, including less obvious places! (My iron-on ones were coming off).

I have told ds1 the size of his missing jumper, and that if he doesn't find his jumper by the end of January the cost of the new one will come out of his pocket money. And the same for any future losses.

At the christmas fayre they had a sale of second hand uniform, but I didn't have wads of cash or a chequebook with me, otherwise I'd have bought spares of the more expensive items: coat, jumper and rugby shirt! I hope they have another similar event soon.

roisin Wed 07-Jan-09 18:39:27

Re-reading your post, I think there is possibly a security issue. I would consider contacting the school and telling them about your concerns.

Also could you get one of those mini padlocks you can get for luggage, and see if there is a way of 'securing' her games kit bag?

scienceteacher Wed 07-Jan-09 18:54:02

How awful to be in such a dishonest establishment, Seeker! Your poor DD!

At my school, if the kit is in school, it will get back to the pupil within a day or two.

I found with my boys that they tend to just scoop up kit from the changing room floor when they are doing their Friday clearout. I just wash everything and return it to school on the Monday for it to be distributed to its rightful owners. It all seems to even out.

My DD (Y7) has been pretty good at keeping track of her stuff. The key thing is to put everything back into the kit bag and leave it zipped up.

At both schools, we have giant nametapes on the outside of the kit, so the Games teachers know when someone has 'borrowed' kit, and tend to issue the offender a kit mark (2 marks = detention).

roisin Wed 07-Jan-09 20:40:25

I think the tapes on the outside of kit is a good system if there is dishonesty about.

ds1 often describes the end of PE lessons as very chaotic: they only have 50 minute lessons, so squeeze every moment out, then afterwards they only have a very short time to get changed. Sometimes I think it is extremely manic and honest mistakes can happen.

In other lessons too sometimes he just clears up everything off the desk, and when he gets home realises he has someone else's pen and a ruler belonging to someone else and a sheet belonging to a third person! He is getting better at this, and I presume always returns the gear, because I send it back in with him the next day and it doesn't come back.

snorkle Thu 08-Jan-09 11:23:04

I think the rule about not wearing mixed old and new kit might be encouraging dishonesty: if you lose one item & face having to buy a whole new kit the tempation to nick someone elses becomes much higher.

But surely, unpicked embroidery would leave visible marks (holes etc.) on the fabric?

digbies Thu 08-Jan-09 12:32:18

snorkle makes a very good point, the schools "all new" policy surely just encourages theft. It doesn't make it right, but the school needs to be pragmatic.

Could your DD perhaps use her leotard for all her indoor lessons, thus making it simple for her, and avoiding having to buy a new dance top, for example, simply to match the replacements for the items she's lost?

happilyconfused Thu 08-Jan-09 19:00:39

Honestly I get really annoyed about the amount of lost kit that we have at our school. The lost property box is already full of PE stuff, shoes, coats, scarves etc - the kids dont know that there is a credit crunch. At the end of Christmas term we sent out a letter notifying parents that we had 20 pairs of trainers, 3 pairs of school shoes, a variety of single shoes ete etc. The 2 pairs of glasses were collected but little else so the support staff bagged it and sent it off to the charity shop/recycling. Get kids to check locker rooms, PE lost propery, central lost property, the canteen and the LRC.

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