aibu to think this school should let my ds get the SCHOOL bus?

(86 Posts)
Doubtfuldaphne Thu 10-Jul-14 18:02:00

ds was issued a free bus pass on the basis that the nearest school is full. Now it turns out the bus is for 6th formers only and they want me to tear up the pass and for him to get on public transport (new pass provided for this)
He's only 13, a little naive and shy. Never been anywhere without me really.
They want him to leave at 7am to get two connecting buses to school. He won't get home until 5pm as he'll have to wait around the town centre for the next bus back to our village.
Before moving to this village, we were told the bus would be an option as long as he had a pass.
I don't drive..I can't afford to. I have no other way of getting DS to school now.
The council are blaming the school and the school are blaming the council. Now the EWO is saying that getting a public bus is perfectly reasonable.
I'm pulling my hair out here!

Onesleeptillwembley Thu 10-Jul-14 18:04:18

Is this real? He's 13 ffs! Stop babying him. He'll be fine on a bus. Lots of kids do similar journeys far younger.

VioletHare Thu 10-Jul-14 18:05:08

6th formers, as in 17 and 18 year olds?

Maybe i'll be alone in this but i'd rather my 13year old went on public transport than a bus full of only 18 year olds.

I don't care if it's a school bus or not...I bet the air will be blue and a lot of conversations v v unsuitable for a 13 year old.

Kikaninchen Thu 10-Jul-14 18:07:34

Why do 6th formers need their own bus confused?
What did they do before they were 6th formers?

dontcallmemam Thu 10-Jul-14 18:07:41

Surely the 6th formers should be using public transport & the younger ones getting the bus? It's a long day for a 13 year old.
I suppose it means he could do after school clubs though.

CoffeeTea103 Thu 10-Jul-14 18:07:43

Yabu he's 13 and hardly goes anywhere without you ?shock He needs to get the bus, stop making him a mummy's boy.

LastTango Thu 10-Jul-14 18:09:02

At 13 I caught the 7.50 bus, then walked to the station and caught the 8.15 train. Arrived at school at 9.05. Did it all in reverse at the end of the day. Got home at 5.10 or 5.40 depending on train being late.

I am sure if you go with him a couple of times he will be fine.

LIZS Thu 10-Jul-14 18:09:04

Before moving to this village, we were told the bus would be an option as long as he had a pass. but he doesn't have a pass to use the school bus. If you are so concerned escort him into/from town but I'd bet he won't put up with that for long. Of course it is reasonable to use public transport at 13.

AnyoneForTennis Thu 10-Jul-14 18:11:46

is this secondary from age 11?

Scousadelic Thu 10-Jul-14 18:11:55

I agree that it would make more sense to have a bus for younger ones and not for 6th formers but I can promise you would not want your child to be the only younger one on a bus with 17 and 18 year olds

LynetteScavo Thu 10-Jul-14 18:12:06

You seriously want him on the bus with a load of 6th formers, rather than public transport?

I understand it's a long day for him....have you appealed to get into the nearest school?

magpiegin Thu 10-Jul-14 18:12:24

If he's shy and doesn't go out alone at 13 then it sounds like he really needs to be getting the public transport. He'll probably get to know children doing the same route in time too.

AuntieStella Thu 10-Jul-14 18:13:10

That's really weird. I thought that, post 16, as education is non-statutory, free transport did not have to be provided. And that most LAs these days provided only statutory minimum.

OP: I think your best bet now is to use the summer to 'train' your DS so he does have the confidence to make the journey himself.

LynetteScavo Thu 10-Jul-14 18:14:57

My Aspergers DS has left the house every morning at 7.30 to catch the bus, and returned between 4.30 and 5 every day since he was 11yo.

Zero social skills, but lots of common sense usually He survived, and infact, it did him a lot of good!

LIZS Thu 10-Jul-14 18:15:22

Maybe the 6th form is separate ?

Do a couple of runs with him in summer to practice, and then the first week of school so he is comfortable with what he has to do. Does he have a mobile? If not, get him a cheap payg if you can, he will then be able to call you if he has any problems.

3littlefrogs Thu 10-Jul-14 18:17:52

I can see both sides of this.
I had to travel an hour to school with a ten minute walk each end from the age of 7. Buses were once an hour from town to our village.

However, my DSs had to run the gauntlet of school bus and local bus.
Both were hellish, but the school bus was marginally worse in terms of evil drivers, sweary sixth formers and general bullying.

Is there anyone local to you that could help with lifts in return for petrol money?

I did a lift share with a couple of other mums after DS, aged 10, was refused entry to the school bus and left in the middle of nowhere.

Berryglitter Thu 10-Jul-14 18:21:11

He's 13, he can get a bus or two by himself surely? At 13 I had to get the bus, then the train and the walk 10minutes to get to school and then back again. I'd been doing this since 11years old. Why are you treating him like a primary school child? Yabu.

Doubtfuldaphne Thu 10-Jul-14 19:19:43

What annoys me though is that there's another pupil on there who isn't a 6th former!

DoJo Thu 10-Jul-14 19:23:49

YANBU to be annoyed that the option that you thought were available to him are not, but I think that using this as an opportunity to become a bit more independent and self reliant could turn it into a blessing in disguise. I can see why they don't want to make an exception to the rule for someone of his age, although it must be frustrating for them to have offered something which they couldn't actually provide.

magpiegin Thu 10-Jul-14 19:30:07

I can imagine most 13 year olds would rather be on the service bus instead of a school bus full of 16-18 year olds. Do you know the reason why the other child gets the bus?

From your OP, saying that he is shy etc it sounds like the service bus may help him become more independent, especially as he is coming to an age where he should be able go to town with his friends etc

He is 13 not 7.

Doubtfuldaphne Thu 10-Jul-14 19:36:12

Does no one think that the safety of school children is important? It's one thing saying you have to get to school on time every day but the school have no cares about how the children get there. If something happened to ds would the school be responsible?
It's not a huge bus of sixth formers there are only about five on the whole bus.

DoJo Thu 10-Jul-14 19:40:07

I don't think anyone's saying his safety isn't important, just that it's not unreasonable for the school to expect him to manage public transport at his age. Many of us and our children have had to manage similar or longer journeys from younger ages, and it's a great way to instil some independence in your son if he lacks the confidence to negotiate his way around already.
What specific safety concerns do you have about him making this journey? Is there any way you could limit them such as finding friends who will be travelling at least some of the way that he could meet up with? Or taking mobile with him so he can get in touch with you? Or a plan for emergencies where you keep enough money for the taxi fare somewhere in the house so if he gets really stuck he can get home by cab and pay on arrival?

MrsD0nnaLyman Thu 10-Jul-14 19:40:50

Ummm no, because (unless he has SN you haven't mentioned) most 13 year olds are more than capable of getting themselves around on public transport.

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