The best way to extend the life of any pair of shoes but especially school shoes, which take a lot of punishment, it to protect them with one of the various shoe care products on the market. The products contain no solvents and usually come with a sponge applicator so are ideal for the kids to use themselves. It works by simply painting the shoe all over with polish and allowing it to dry naturally. There is no need to buff with a duster as the product is naturally shiny. It is best to apply the polish before the shoes are worn, then on a weekly basis afterwards. Scuff protector liquid-polish is available in a range of colours, including black and brown.
If you have shoes which are not strictly school shoes but are taken to school regularly, for example dance shoes, riding boots etc. then it is a good idea to keep them in an easy-to-carry bag when not being worn. For riding boots, a long shoe tree is a must to keep them in shape.
A good idea is to get children into the habit of removing school shoes when they come home and making sure they are clean before putting them away. Once a week, they can apply the protector. These simple steps should be enough to ensure school shoes last as long as possible and children from the age of 5 upwards can have fun learning to clean their own shoes under adult supervision.