Pic from Helix website

We’re slowly going through Ruadhri’s school bag. I’ve already uncovered a few things that he claimed he’d lost during the year – his compasses being just one example. Apparently he found it at the very back of his under-desk cubby hole when he was emptying it for the end of term.

At least he hadn’t actually lost it. I don’t think he lost anything this year which is good going because, according to Ruadhri’s Quotidien magazine, every year kids leave about 1,000 tonnes of things behind at school. Clothes, books, pens, glasses, exercise books – each pupil loses an average of €74 worth of stuff, and that’s not including phones and MP3s. That’s huge!

Needless to say parents don’t like this, but teachers reckon they’re letting parents know regularly about the build-up of lost property at school and asking them to check and see if their kids have lost anything and come and claim it. But they don’t bother it seems. And that’s a problem because as the year progresses, schools have to find somewhere to put all the abandoned jumpers, books and rucksacks.

The most common lost item is the gilet – fleece, little jacket sort of thing. Parents stick them on their kids if it’s chilly in the morning but the children soon get too warm in the usually overheated classrooms and dump them on the floor or on a radiator or somewhere else that they promptly forget about. It’s the same with gloves and scarves, but how can we account for constantly used pencil cases, the next most discarded item. And sometimes even trousers get left behind. Puzzling, that one!

Benj’s trousers were nicked while he was doing sports one day back at his secondary school in Ireland. Anyway, I made a fuss since those were the days of pricey school uniforms and was allowed to get a replacement pair from the lost property room. No, not box, but room. There was a whole room lined with shelves completely full of lost stuff. It was mind boggling.

It seems French kids are just as forgetful as Irish ones. How they manage to forget by evening that they went to school in a coat that morning defeats me, but they do. They won’t forget the Beyblades toupie they took in or the Hello Kitty skipping rope, that’s for sure. Somehow clothes don’t register on their radar.

The best way to try and protect property is to name it so it can be reunited with its owner when/if it’s found and to get in the habit of periodically going through a checklist with your kids to see if they still have their  maths book, sports shorts, head etc. Easier said than done, I know, but when there’s a chance you could lose more than €70 of kit in a year then it’s probably worth it.