How Britain's biggest family The Radfords get kids ready for school, from £400 on uniforms to three school runs | The Sun

GETTING kids ready for the back to school rush can be tiring – and this must certainly be the case for mum-of-22 Sue Radford. 

Lancashire-based Sue, 47, who is mum to Britain’s biggest family, has revealed how she gets her bumper brood ready to go back to lessons, and it doesn’t come cheap.


Sue and Noel, 51, are parents to Chris, 33, Sophie, 28, Chloe, 27, Jack, 25, Daniel, 23, Luke, 21, Millie, 20, Katie, 19, James, 18, Ellie, 17, Aimee, 16, Josh, 15, Max, 13, Tillie, 12, Oscar, 10, Casper, nine, Hallie, seven, Phoebe, six, Archie, four, Bonnie, three, and Heidie, two.

Sadly the couple's 17th child Alfie was still born on July 6, 2014.

Here’s how the busy parents will be preparing for their kids heading back to the classroom…

£400 on uniforms

On Channel 5’s 22 Kids And Counting, Sue revealed they spend a whopping £417 kitting her kids out for new school uniforms for September. 

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Noel said: “The school bill is horrendous.

“The blazers, the ties, the shirts, the trousers, PE kits, the bags.”

On the show, the bill in the shop came to a whopping £277.96, and they also had to order £140 of extra clothing to be delivered into the store, totalling £417.96.

Noel said: “I love paying for school uniforms.”

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Sue joked: “Just don’t look at your bank balance and you’ll be fine.”

Over the years they have bought hundreds of new school uniforms, and don’t like to do hand-me-downs.

Prep the night before

Organisation is key to ensuring school mornings run smoothly in the Radford household.

Sue showed her Instagram followers how she lays out their uniforms and bags the night before to prepare for the school rush. 

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Everything is organised in advance, from their water bottles to socks laid out on top of their uniforms – and making their school lunches is a mission too.

She previously told The Sun: "If I'm doing a packed lunch for everybody, it’s two loaves of bread, three packets of sausage rolls, 24 packets of crisps, a bottle of cordial, it’s massive.”

Bumper breakfast

Sue and Noel revealed that breakfast is a bumper affair in their households each morning.

And it certainly doesn’t come cheap.

Each day the family works their way through four litres of milk and two boxes of cereal.

Three school runs

With 22 kids, it makes sense that there are a number of different ages among the Radfords, and this makes doing the school run tricky.

Sue shared how she previously had her kids enrolled at three separate schools, so the mornings can be hectic.

More time for chores

During the school holidays, Sue understandably admitted the house can get very untidy.

She said: “The house does get messy. It’s the school holidays, I think you’ve just got to accept that.

"I gut the house when the kids go to bed, rather than constantly doing it during the day.

"You would be constantly cleaning up after them, all day long, otherwise.

"It takes two to three hours to clean up after them all, the kids can make an awful lot of mess very quickly.

"The laundry is non-stop during the school holidays, too. I do about three loads a day in my 18kg washing machine."

A standard washing machine takes just 7kg, so that would be between seven and eight daily washes for you or me.

Thankfully during term time Sue can catch up on her chores while Noel works.

The family famously doesn’t rely on benefits and is supported by their pie shop business. 

The Radfords, who live in a 10-bed former care home, often show off their millionaire lifestyle on Instagram.

Supper before bed

Sue said that one of her vital tips is making sure her children eat supper before bed. 

She explained: “To us, this is important as the children always seem to be hungry and they won’t want to go to bed feeling that way. 

“Just a small snack (i.e cereal) will help them have a full night's sleep in our experience.”

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Strict with bedtime

It can’t be easy to get throngs of excited kids to bed when they are all under one roof, but Sue has found a way to take it in her stride. 

Speaking to Sleepy People, she said: “My top tip for getting your children to bed is ‘Routine Routine Routine.’”

The busy mum said that not only do her kids like it, but it makes your life “easier” when they get a bit older.

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