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The best back to school suppliers

The best back to school suppliers

The kids have broken up for the summer, the sun is shining and retailers across the country are preparing for the second biggest retail event of the year for their back to school products.

Uniforms, stationery, rucksacks and new shoes. As parents seek out the latest deals and offers, we’ve looked at the best offers from ultralow-priced uniforms to funky pencil cases.

Aldi & Lidl:

Aldi and Lidl have launched bargain school uniform ranges in the UK with clothes starting from £1.50 made from 100% responsibly sourced cotton. They both offer a wide range of clothes, from skirts, trousers and polos for boys and girls. With school uniform as the main priority for parents, both low-cost shops are quickly becoming a go-to destination for families.


Smiggle is the ultimate creators of colourful, fun, fashion-forward stationery and office supplies, bags, lunchboxes and drink bottles. This is a kids’ paradise, offering ingenious and kinky items like calculator blended in a pencil case, pizza scented pens and even a taco notepad. What a dream! Can we go back to school now?


Their mission? Making cool and unique design accessible to and affordable for everybody. They have a great selection of stationery and craft activities for all ages. Flying Tiger is all about being creative and finding inspiration for happy experiences with family and friends.


This Swedish designer stationery store offers pieces with beautiful, clean lines and colours with some cute pops here and there. Just walking into one of these meticulously designed stores will make you feel relaxed. This Scandinavian style stationery is perfect for both mums and children, offering a selection of colourful pencil cases, backpacks as well as lifestyle items.

Amazon Back-to-School shop:

Although Prime Day is over, Amazon still offers some pretty good deals. With their intuitive back to School page you can even shop by children’s grade. It’s Amazon, so you have a great selection of products from backpacks, desktop organisers, stationery and even musical instruments. This is also a great option for large families, as Amazon sell big pack of stationery that should last at least until the end of the year.

Could your business do with a serving of PR to help it stand out from the competition? Contact our team today to find out how we can help you.

Back to School: Celebrating Languages Week

If you work with children, you might have noticed there was a big emphasis on language learning last week. Monday, 26th September marked the annual European Day of Languages (our client Memrise definitely didn’t let that one slide), and many schools across the country decided to turn the day into a week of linguistic festivities.

As a languages graduate, I may be slightly biased, but I truly believe experiencing different cultures and tongues is one of the most valuable lessons you can learn in life. And in the shadow of an imminent Brexit, it’s the kind of vital skill that can bring us together with our neighbours and make the UK less insular. Yet this year we saw another huge slump in entries to A-level French (-6.4%), German (-4.2%) and Spanish (-2.7%), marking the continuing decline of language learning across the nation.

So last Friday, I was packing up my bag and heading back to school to see if I could pique current pupils’ interest with something a little more unusual as part of The PHA Group’s Development Day scheme – Japanese.

Isabelle goes back to school

My stage was The St Lawrence Academy in Scunthorpe, and I was armed with only a PowerPoint presentation and my wits to keep 140 children aged 11-15 entertained – luckily, the exoticism of Japan did a lot of the groundwork!

We went through the basics – greetings, numbers and self-introductions (not to mention a few rounds of bingo!) – but perhaps the most important message I, along with the staff at the school, wanted to impart was about what Japan is like as a place, and what the Japanese are like as a people.

Generally speaking, people don’t learn languages for the sake of learning itself – they do so because they want to understand something or someone – so a large part of each lesson was focused on the why. Why should I care? Why do I need Japanese or any other language for that matter? Why Japan?

It’s not the first time I’ve taught a taster session – as part of the Japan Foundation’s JTS Programme, I’ve visited several schools over the past few years – but it always strikes me how challenging a role teachers have, particularly in languages. They’re tasked with inspiring the next generation to pursue knowledge where the application or transferability isn’t immediately apparent, and the rewards in a distant hypothetical future.

So it was fantastic to see a Languages Department truly thriving despite the current political and educational backdrop, and especially in the Yorkshire & Humberside region, where only 45 percent of students took a language GCSE in 2015 (compared to 64 percent in inner London). When I arrived, the department was looking for a ‘Languages Assistant’ – a student who would attend open evenings as a languages advocate, stay behind during breaks and after school to help prepare collateral, and generally help rally the linguist troops – a big responsibility and a lot of extra work, but they’d already had 66 applications.

But we’ll need many more schools like The St Lawrence Academy if we’re to turn the tides, and more professionals willing to show pupils where a degree in languages can take them if we don’t want the UK to retreat from the global arena.

If you want to volunteer, why not get in touch with a local school? Or join a group like the Japan Foundation, the Polish British Integration Centre, Caabu or the catchall Association for Language Learning?