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Going Back to School Guide for UK Parents 2023

Tornike Asatiani - Co-founder & COO of Edumentors

As we bid farewell to the freedom of summer, UK parents are now facing the annual rite of passage: the back-to-school season. With new safety guidelines in classrooms and financial concerns on the horizon, preparing for the academic year is no small feat. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll navigate the maze of 21st-century school readiness, from knowing exactly when your kids go back to school to budgeting for supplies. Forget the last-minute scramble; consider this your roadmap to a seamless transition into the new school term.

When Do Kids Go Back to School?

Back to School

Marking the end of summer holidays and the beginning of a new academic chapter, the question of “When do kids go back to school?” is on every UK parent’s mind. While specific dates may vary slightly between England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland, there are general timelines to keep in mind. In this part, we’ll demystify the UK school calendar and provide you with essential dates for your diary so you can plan ahead with confidence.


In England, the academic year generally starts in early September and ends in late July. The exact date will depend on your child’s specific school and its term times.


For those residing in Scotland, the academic year tends to start a bit earlier, usually around mid-August.

Wales and Northern Ireland

Similarly, the academic year in Wales and Northern Ireland starts in September but may have slight variations depending on the school.

Private Schools

Private schools often have their own academic calendars. Always check directly with the institution for the most accurate information.

A Handy Checklist for the First Day Back

  • Confirm term dates with your child’s school.
  • Schedule any last-minute doctor or dental appointments.
  • Make sure all uniforms are ready and up to code.

By knowing when the school term starts and preparing accordingly, you’re laying the groundwork for a successful academic year for your child.

Preparing Your Family

The transition from summer holidays to the academic year can be challenging not just for kids but for the entire family. Ensuring a smooth transition requires thoughtful preparation and organisation. This section aims to provide UK parents with actionable tips and a practical guide for back to school preparation.

The Emotional Aspect

Returning to school often brings a mix of emotions for children — from excitement to anxiety. Holding open conversations with your kids about their feelings can make the transition easier.

Shopping for School Supplies

It’s not just about pencils and notebooks; back to school supplies can include everything from tech gadgets to lunchboxes. Making a comprehensive list before heading to the shops can save both time and money.

The Best 5 Affordable Chromebooks for Back-to-School or Distance Learning

If you’re considering purchasing a Chromebook for your child, make sure it fits both your budget and your child’s educational needs.

  1. Dell Chromebook 3100
    • Price: £199
    • This is a great budget option for students who need a basic Chromebook for school work. It has a long battery life, a durable design, and a responsive keyboard.
  2. Lenovo Chromebook Duet 3
    • Price: £249
    • This 2-in-1 Chromebook is perfect for students who want a versatile device that can be used as a laptop or a tablet. It has a bright and vibrant display, and it’s lightweight and portable.
  3. Asus Chromebook Flip CM3
    • Price: £299
    • This Chromebook is another great option for students who want a 2-in-1 device. It has a stylus included, so students can take handwritten notes or draw.
  4. Acer Chromebook 514
    • Price: £349
    • This Chromebook is a good choice for students who need a more powerful device. It has an AMD Ryzen processor, which can handle more demanding tasks like gaming or video editing.
  5. Google Pixelbook Go
    • Price: £499
    • This is the most expensive Chromebook on the list, but it’s also the most premium. It has a sleek design, a long battery life, and a high-quality display.

School Uniforms and Clothing

Invest in back-to-school uniforms that are both comfortable and within the school’s guidelines. Double-check sizes and buy early to avoid last-minute shopping stress.

Meal Planning and Nutritional Needs

Kids need good nutrition for learning. Preparing a meal plan for the first few weeks can help ease everyone back into the school routine.

Health Checks and Immunisations

Many schools require health documentation for enrolment. Schedule any pending doctor’s appointments and ensure that your child is up-to-date on their vaccinations.

Logistics and Daily Routine

Re-establish bedtime and waking times a week or two before school starts to get your child adjusted to their back-to-school schedule.

A Parent’s To-Do List

Here’s a quick checklist for parents:

  • Confirm term dates and times.
  • Purchase school supplies and uniforms.
  • Set up a designated study space at home.
  • Prepare the first week’s meal plan.

By carefully planning and setting realistic goals, you can make back to school a positive experience for everyone involved.

What’s Changed at School?

As we embrace the 2023 academic year, schools are continuing to evolve in the wake of societal changes and technological advancements. It’s essential for parents to keep themselves updated on what has changed in their child’s school environment since last year. This section will discuss various aspects like curriculum updates, new safety protocols, and added facilities, giving UK parents a comprehensive understanding of what’s changed at school.

Curriculum Updates

Schools frequently revise their curricula to better align with educational objectives and societal needs. Make sure you’re aware of any changes in subjects or teaching methods for the new academic year.

New Safety Protocols

The past years have shown us the importance of safety measures, including health checks and emergency drills. Find out what new protocols have been implemented to keep students safe.

Technological Advancements

With the increasing role of technology in education, be it through distance learning or interactive teaching methods, understanding what tech is in place can help parents prepare adequately.

Apple Back to School Program

Some schools are participating in partnerships like the Apple Back to School program. Know what tech benefits these collaborations bring to the educational table.

Extra-Curricular Activities

The scope of extra-curricular activities may have expanded to include more diverse interests like coding or environmental conservation. Familiarise yourself with the new offerings to help your child make an informed choice.

New Staff and Faculty

A change in staff can bring a fresh perspective to teaching methodologies. Get to know the new faculty members and their expertise.

Parent-Teacher Communication

With mobile apps and online platforms becoming standard for school updates, ensure you’re signed up for these services to receive timely notifications about your child’s progress.

Welcome Back to School Events

Many schools hold welcome back-to-school events to help students and parents acclimate to the new academic year. These can be a great opportunity to network with other parents and meet the faculty.

By staying informed and engaged, you can better support your child as they navigate the changes and challenges that a new academic year brings.

Your Back-to-School Shopping Guide

Back to School Shopping

Transitioning from summer to the school year is not just an emotional shift but also a practical one. One of the significant steps in this process is back to school shopping. In this section, we’ll guide UK parents through the must-have supplies, trending backpacks, and even money-saving tips to make this annual event less daunting and more efficient.

Essential School Supplies

Before diving into the endless options of stationery and gadgets, let’s focus on the back to school supplies that are absolutely essential. From pencils and erasers to notebooks and binders, we’ll break down what you can’t afford to skip.

Trending Backpacks

A backpack is more than just a bag; it’s a statement. Learn about back to school backpacks that are both functional and fashionable. Whether your child is into superheroes or minimalistic designs, we’ve got you covered.

Allowance and Budgeting

It’s crucial to establish a back to school allowance especially in the UK, where the cost of living can be high. Learn some budgeting tips to make the most out of your shopping spree.

Trendy School Uniforms

Uniforms don’t have to be drab. Back to school uniform trends have evolved over the years, allowing for more personality and flair. Check out the latest styles that comply with school codes.

Hair and Personal Grooming

From back to school hairstyles to hygiene products, personal grooming is an aspect you shouldn’t overlook. We’ll discuss trendy yet easy-to-manage hairstyles and essential toiletries.

Don’t Forget Your Meme-ories!

Lighten the mood and get into the school spirit with some back to school memes that parents and kids can both appreciate. A little humour can go a long way in easing those first-day jitters.

By carefully planning your shopping list and budget, you can make back to school shopping a fun and stress-free experience.

What to Pack

As the school bell chimes, signaling the end of summer and the start of a brand new academic year, packing efficiently becomes an immediate priority. The contents of your child’s back to school bags and lunchboxes are the crucial building blocks of their everyday school life. In this section, we’ll tackle what UK parents should consider when packing for the first day and beyond.

School Bag Essentials

So, what exactly should go inside those freshly purchased back to school bags? From pencils and notepads to calculators and water bottles, we will break down the must-haves that should be in every student’s bag.

Lunchbox Ideas

The importance of a nutritious meal at school can’t be overstated. And let’s face it, sandwiches can get boring pretty quickly. Here, we’ll share some fun and healthy welcome back to school lunchbox ideas that your child will love.

Extra Allowances

In addition to the daily necessities, it’s a good idea to pack some extra allowances, particularly a back to school allowance in the UK context. This can be in the form of a small amount of money or a prepaid debit card for emergencies.

Special Supplies

If your child has special needs or preferences, it’s important to pack those in as well. This could range from specialised stationery to back to school necklaces for older kids who like a bit of fashionable flair.

Health and Safety

The pandemic has added an extra layer to our packing considerations. From hand sanitisers to extra face masks, make sure your child is prepared for the back to school season amidst ongoing health concerns.

With a little foresight and planning, the task of packing for school doesn’t have to be a last-minute stressor. Instead, it can be a fun activity to do with your child, setting them up for a successful and enjoyable year ahead.

Hair and Personal Care

As children gear up to step back into school hallways, their appearance often becomes a point of focus. From back to school hairstyles to personal hygiene products, this section delves into how you can help your child feel confident and prepared as they walk through those school gates.

Trending Hairstyles

Navigating the world of back to school hairstyles can be overwhelming, especially with new trends popping up every year. We’ll discuss some of the age-appropriate and school-approved hairstyles for both boys and girls that are easy to manage and stylish.

Personal Hygiene

Let’s face it: kids can be messy. Here we’ll cover the basic personal care items that should make it into every child’s backpack, from tissues and hand sanitisers to mini deodorants and dental kits.

Skincare Routine

While a comprehensive skincare routine might be more pertinent to teenagers, even younger children can benefit from the basics like sunscreen and moisturiser. We’ll walk you through the minimal yet effective skincare routine suitable for children of various age groups.

Makeup and Fashion

For the older kids who might be interested in makeup and fashion, we’ll touch upon the school-friendly products that are a hit among students. These could range from tinted lip balm to minimalistic back to school necklaces and wristbands.

Hair and Skin Products

The UK market offers a plethora of options for back to school hair and skin products. We’ll provide some recommendations for tried-and-true brands and what to look for when choosing these items, especially for those with sensitive skin or allergies.

By focusing on personal care, you’re not just teaching your child the importance of hygiene and self-care; you’re also instilling confidence in them. A little bit of pre-planning can go a long way in making your child’s return to school smooth and enjoyable.


UK Transportation

Getting your kids to and from school safely is a major concern for any parent. In this section, we’ll delve into the various modes of transportation available in the UK for school-going children and how to prepare for each.

Walking and Biking

For those lucky enough to live close to their schools, walking or biking can be a practical and healthy option. We’ll talk about road safety rules that children must follow and the benefits of back to school bags specifically designed for walkers and bikers.

Public Transportation

If your children will be using public transportation, we’ll go over essential back to school supplies they should always carry with them, such as a bus pass, student ID, and any relevant safety gear.

Car and Carpooling

Driving your kids to school? We’ll discuss the best times to avoid traffic, the essentials for a safe and smooth ride, and some carpooling tips if you’re sharing the drive with other families.

School Buses

Many children in the UK rely on school buses for their daily commute. From bus schedules to back to school allowance for travel costs, we’ll break down what you need to know.

Safety Measures

In a post-pandemic world, safety measures have significantly impacted how children commute to school. We’ll discuss the latest updates on what schools and public transportation services in the UK are doing to keep your children safe.

By familiarising yourself with the available transportation options and necessary preparations, you can ease both your concerns and those of your children as they head back to school.

Charting a Successful Journey: Your Next Step

As we stand at the threshold of a brand-new academic year, the sense of anticipation is palpable. School is much more than a place for textbooks and exams; it’s a landscape of endless possibilities, a playground for the mind where curiosity is rewarded and resilience is cultivated.

Elevate Learning with Edumentors

To augment this enriching experience, we recommend taking a closer look at ‘Edumentors,’ an online tutoring platform that understands the evolving educational needs of today’s youth. Tailored tutoring sessions, provided by students from top UK universities, serve as an invaluable resource for your child’s academic growth. But more than just solving equations and parsing sentences, Edumentors aims to bolster confidence, enrich understanding, and cultivate a love for learning.

The Power of Collaboration

In the age of information, learning isn’t a solo expedition but a collaborative journey. Having a mentor can offer fresh perspectives and unveil new methodologies that might not be apparent in a traditional classroom setting. Consider Edumentors not as a last resort for struggling students, but as an insightful companion for any learner aiming to excel.

Your Child’s Potential, Unleashed

Imagine the empowerment your child will feel, knowing they’ve got the academic and emotional support they need to tackle any challenge. The journey from ‘back to school’ to ‘success in school’ is one best travelled with an arsenal of tools and a robust support system.

So, as the first bell of the new school year rings and echoes through the corridors, let’s not merely prepare for a year of tests and assignments. Instead, let’s gear up for a transformative year of exploration, self-discovery, and elevated learning with Edumentors.

Thank you for accompanying us through this guide. With the right preparation and mindset, and with platforms like Edumentors by your side, the sky isn’t the limit—it’s just the starting point.


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