A Back to School essentials checklist for a COVID-19 world - the ultimate guide

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

Leanne Bayley

It’s almost time to go back to school! We’ve rounded up all the essentials 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, or an all-important face mask for school - these are the best buys for the next academic year. Get your hands on all the stationery, protective face coverings, technology, clothing, and accessories for your little ones. 

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School uniform essentials checklist 

It's all about washing and hygiene in a post-COVID-19 world, so there's never been a more important time to make sure that you have plenty of uniform to allow daily washing of the most important items. Thankfully with some really great deals around, there's no need for a back to school uniform upgrade to break 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
  • School bag / backpack 

MORE: 10 little-known Back to School brands that should be on your radar


L-R: Unisex school jumperpinafore dress, short-sleeved shirt

School sports kit essentials checklist

Sport has changed for now with many activities like rugby and netball off the list for a September return to sport due to a lack of ability to social distance. But while contact sports can't be played, PE lessons will go ahead. Changing rooms will be the biggest concern for schools so it's more important than ever to ensure all kids have 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

DETAILS: A buying guide for school shoes

Protective essentials for school 

While some schools are suggesting face masks be worn in class, most are not. But if your child uses busses or public transport, or travels on a school run with friends, face coverings are a must. Providing your child with one for each direction is important and experts suggest keeping a couple of spares in a school bag for the inevitable times when they get lost or left behind. 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.

  • Back to school face masks
  • Face mask holder
  • 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


L-R: Face mask, hand sanitiser for kids

SHOP: The best face masks for kids going back to school

Schoolbag essentials checklist

This year many 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. With year group bubbles, the likelihood of your child having to return to fortnights of homeschooling are high, so teaching will continue to be more digital than usual. Sharing is also off the agenda for September 2020 so glues, rubbers, scissors - all the things that usually get lost as soon as school term starts - need to be bought in bulk this year.

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


This HP entry-level Chromebook is a fantastic solution for back to school 2020

  • 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 hair band
  • 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


L-R Pencil casewater bottle, highlighters

SHOP: The best stationery for back to school

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