Nothing uniform about starting school

GOING part of the way to quash the myth that school uniforms are an expensive necessity, Wendy Parolin believes, per wear, the school uniform is extremely cost efficient.

Mrs Parolin will send her son Tomasino off to Catherine McAuley Catholic Primary School when the 2014 school year kicks off later this month and rather than cringing at the thought of purchasing an entire school uniform, she’s embracing it.

Buying three full sets for Tomasino at a total cost of $277, Mrs Parolin has broken down the price of each set by the day.

“If he’s going to wear three sets for a whole year, that’s one set covering 70 wears. Seventy wears comes down to $1.30 a wear,” she said.

“I don’t think it’s that expensive at all.”

Mrs Parolin said the same principle could be applied to school shoes.

For the basic $90 pair of black Clarke shoes, Tomasino will proudly use to walk in on his first day of school, the 42 cents-per-day cost is nothing compared to the cost-per-use of some women’s shoes.

“I think people get too concerned by the actual amount for school kids, when they do it for themselves,” Mrs Parolin said.

“You work out how many times it’s going to be worn and you can justify it. If you only wear it once, it’s not worth it. If people were to look at it that way, rather than the big picture, then it might be viewed differently. I don’t think it’s a big cost at all.”

Kingfisher partner Steven Honeysett said, in general, most families were organised in getting new school uniforms, but there was always the odd family who left it to the last minute.

“And they’re often the angry ones,” Mr Honeysett joked.

“There’s a few who leave it to the last couple of days.”

Mr Honeysett said increased cost in purchasing school uniforms could often be attributed to a transition in lifestyle, with modern families more likely to buy a week’s worth of school uniforms rather than one to wash each night.

“I don’t think uniforms have changed a lot,” he said.

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