I think our costs have been pushed up a bit by wanting two pullovers and two pleated skirts, which at £31+ for the skirt starts to add up (were assuming one jumper will need washing ie won't last the whole week). They are mandatory, but buying two isn't.
The experience I have had with my children is that, although school jumpers are really important during primary school, they become less so once children have transferred to secondary school as they have to wear a blazer : the schools are well-heated, so for my children, having a good quality winter coat was enough.
However, I have to say that I did buy for both of them one school jumper for their entry to year 7 (without the school logo as I think they are cheaper that way ; ie bought at M&S); now, I do not buy it anymore as my DS has hardly use it; it has been the same for my DD many moons ago.
BTW we "broke" the calculator by trying to calculate the last step in level 1 of Graham's number. Attempting to calculate 3 to the power of 7.6 trillion odd stacked 3's is one way of psychologically reconciling yourself to the very small numbers involved in the uniform!!! So I'll go back to pondering what Grahams numbers could possibly look like at level 64 or failing that just look at the empty wallet.
Lunch costs are one to watch. We are very strict, loading the lunch card up for 4 weeks at a time, based on £3.50 a day. If the boys choose to buy bacon baps and cookies at break, that is up to them, if the money runs out before the end of the month, they have to make pack ups to take in.
I have been lenient for far too long!