Lost and found or safe and sound?
Cardigans, jumpers and coats, oh my! We visited a local primary school this week to see just what the system is with the average lost property box. What we discovered was exactly what we’d found in 100’s of schools in the UK and Australia, hundreds of pounds worth of embroidered jumpers and coats are lost in just one school. Imagine a tagging system that would automatically tell you that your child’s school uniform was safe and found (do you see where we’re going with this…?)
“The worst thing is when you have a little reception class child in tears because they’ve lost something, and for the parents those first uniforms are sentimental.” My lovely host for the chat was the head of the admin office at the primary school, Susan.
The very essence of RagTagd is to allow the child to be a child, and not to take the fun out of playtime with frantic searches and sheer panic or worry. This is exactly what our uniform smart tags eradicate. We moved on to asking what the current system is for school uniforms and equipment without labels.
“At the end of summer term, it becomes a free-for-all. Rather than keep it forever we just have to leave the boxes out and people take stuff eventually, or it becomes spare uniform”. Now, this does not sound ideal, but when the schools are trying to reduce administrative headaches and clean up at the end of term, it’s reasonable. Hoarding uniform that has no label seems pointless, so the (expensive) school uniforms, lovingly bought at the beginning of the term now gets freely rehomed.
“We contact parents for everything, from school trip permissions, to PTA newsletters and fundraising events.” So, a messaging system makes sense, when reuniting child and lost property.
As parents, and an ex-teacher, we are a passionate about this on both sides. One of us has had the frustrations of trying to make sure everyone has the correct uniform in class, and the rest have had to buy it. (My mum assures me I cost her a fortune, too – so it’s an historic problem). After doing some maths, we discovered one of our team members have spent over £250 at the beginning of the school year. This was a typical uniform, a couple of jumpers, a school coat, some embroidered t-shirts, you know the drill. At this point, close to the summer holidays, we have replaced some of these items to a cost of £35. That’s £285 a year. A primary school that makes life easier, and lowers this overall cost through our labelling system, is one that gets our vote.
“We have actually had arguments– especially where coats are concerned. We aren’t immune to a regular battle of ownership over a school jumper, too, as embroidered school clothes are more expensive”. Rather than hearing the war cries of a flustered parent over the playground, it would be much better to just send and receive a text, don’t you think?
With huge thanks to Susan, we have furthered our knowledge of the deep dark lost property box, and we want it to… get lost.