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A Back to School essentials checklist - the ultimate guide

If you're anxious about sending your little one back to school, don't worry, and tick off these classroom essentials...

back to school checklist
Leanne Bayley
Leanne BayleyDirector of Lifestyle & Commerce
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Back to school time is fast approaching, so if you're ready to get sorted for the new term, we’ve rounded up everything you might need for the first day back in September. Whether you're looking for a school uniform checklist, or a guide about what to pack in the school bag, - these are the best buys for the next academic year. Get your hands on all the stationery, technology, clothing, and accessories for your little ones. 

SHOP: Best school uniform deals: Where to buy reasonably-priced school uniform for kids

School uniform essentials checklist 

Whether your little one has grown out of their school clothes or are just in need of a refresh, there's plenty of really great deals around on school uniform for a back to school upgrade without breaking the bank.

  • Shirts / blouses / polo shirts
  • Skirts / pinafores / dresses / trousers
  • Summer dress
  • Jumpers and/or cardigans
  • Tie
  • Blazer
  • Coat 
  • Hat, scarf and gloves
  • School shoes
  • School socks and/or tights
  • Pants / briefs / vests
  • Schoolbag / backpack 

MORE: Little-known Back to School brands that should be on your radar

essentials uniform

Unisex school jumper, from £11, pinafore dress, from £10, short-sleeved shirt, £10.99


School sports kit essentials checklist

Don't forget the sports kit! Now that PE lessons are back in action, kids will be needing easy-to-throw-on PE kits, and it must all be clearly named.

  • School plimsolls and/or trainers
  • Polo shirt / Sweatshirt
  • Shorts / Joggers
  • Swimming costume / trunks
  • Sports bag

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m and s pe kit

2pk unisex school shorts, from £7, Marks & Spencer 


DETAILS: A buying guide for school shoes

Protective essentials for school 

As schools can be a hotspot for germs, it's advisable to send your child to school with hand sanitiser, particularly if they use buses or public transport. There are plenty of antibacterial gels designed specifically for children, like this alcohol-free sanitiser spray. There's also a huge array of health-protecting devices such as wipes for your child's phone, clip-on hand sanitizers and even antimicrobial desk pads that can help keep viruses at bay as winter approaches.

kids hand sanitiser

Toddle hand sanitiser, £5.99, Holland & Barrett 

  • Hand sanitiser (FYI, you can buy ones on key chains to hang on school bags)
  • Contactless door opener
  • Antimicrobial desk pads 
  • Antimicrobial phone cases 
  • Phone cleaning wipes
  • Hand wipes
  • UV sanitisers

SHOP: The best vegan school shoes for kids: From Kickers, Superga and New Look

Schoolbag essentials checklist

Some schools are requesting children provide their own laptop - with the key being that they are small and light, and carry enough charge to get through a school day. This ASUS laptop is a fantastic solution for back to school 2022.

RELATED: The best Back to School tech deals & gadgets for students returning to school in September

essentials tech

ASUS VivoBook laptop, £499, John Lewis

  • Laptop and / or iPad / and or mobile phone
  • Headphones
  • Chargers 
  • Portable power bank 
  • Lunchbox and water bottle
  • Stationery
  • Pens and pencils
  • Notebooks
  • Ruler
  • Rubber
  • Pencil sharpener
  • Glue stick
  • Scissors
  • Pencil case
  • Tissues
  • Spare hairband
  • Sun lotion if it’s sunny
  • Apron / lab coat if needed
  • Spare dinner money or bus fare
  • Small umbrella 
  • Home address and any relevant contact numbers
Caster pencils

Personalised Faber-Castell Pencil Set, £15.99, Cewe


SHOP: The best stationery for back to school

essentials stationery

Pencil case, £8.69, personalised water bottle, £14.99, highlighters, £5.99, Amazon


It's also a great idea to stock up on glues, rubbers and scissors - because they're likely to get lost soon after the term starts! 

MORE: 10 sweet back-to-school traditions to do with your kids

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