You may pine for the days when uniform was optional and PE was done in pants and a vest. Those days are gone and even reception kids are expected to have full uniform and PE kit.
It's a good idea to start buying early. Shops do start to run out by the end of the summer and you need to leave time to get those name tapes sewn in. The most name tapes you can sew in an evening is about 15 before your fingers get sore and your back begins to ache! The average school child needs name tapes in 20-25 items, and a child at boarding school could need tapes in over 100 items.
When I went to upper school, the list sent to my parents of the items I was required to have included a hymnbook - it wasn't even a church school. They tried every bookshop in town to no avail and they finally had to order a copy. Of course I was the only one in the year who had bought a copy, the school actually provided them. The list was out of date. So if there are any strange items, try to ask friends with kids at the school before you go to a lot of expense.
What if something appears to be missing from the list? When my son started school the school stated that plimsolls must only be worn indoors, but they didn't actually say what you should wear for outdoor games.........actually they wear bare feet indoors and plimsolls outdoors, I was informed by a friend with a child at the school.
Here is a general checklist with suggested quantities, however different ages will need different things. Your child's school should provide you with a list of their own specific requirements.
About the Author: Jacqui O'Brien is the Editor of eParenting.