Walking to secondary school

(27 Posts)
LovelyBath77 Sun 04-Sep-16 12:35:43

Our schools start back tomorrow and the mums I know have arranged to transport children to the secondary school in cars.

Mine will be walking- he walked on the trial day in June most of the way and was fine. However he won't have anyone to walk with him as the others all seem to be lift sharing.

I'm feeling an odd guilt about this and having last thoughts about possibly going with him, but he assures me he'll be fine. It's about a mile each way through a town centre which is mainly pedestrianised and has good crossings in place for the busy roads. On the trial day he texted me when he was there to let me know. He's also been into town himself through the summer himself to built up his independence.

AIBU? Shouldn't children, at secondary age, be walking to school?

NapQueen Sun 04-Sep-16 12:37:06

I agree kids in secondary school ought to be getting themselves there wherever is practically possible.

I'd wager by Christmas they will be tagging along with him as it's more fun.

jellybeans Sun 04-Sep-16 12:40:29

Yanbu. All mine walked. Yet a huge number of parents ferried their child there and back. All of these lived closer than us (less than a mile).

To be honest, most bullying incidents with my DC have happened to and from school so I guess if we want to protect them 100 percent it is safer. Traffic too is horrendous. But we can't protect them every second from risk and also are we going to.ferry them around as adults/at work/uni etc? I am not a sahm so couldn't take mine even if I wanted to.

LovelyBath77 Sun 04-Sep-16 12:42:38

I also think the health benefits are better with walking, already an hour of exercise in place each day, especially as it is quite a hill on part of the route.

LovelyBath77 Sun 04-Sep-16 12:43:57

Yes, the traffic is awful for the drivers, it would take forever, but as the route walking is mainly pedestrianised and with good crossings, there shouldn't be worries about that. Any bullying I would report to the school.

humblesims Sun 04-Sep-16 12:47:55

YANBU If he's happy to walk its a good way to go. Its healthy and better for the environment. And it encourages independence. Go for it. Maybe walk to meet him on the first day.

CreamTeaFor4 Sun 04-Sep-16 12:51:43

Mine walk to school (just under a mile each way). They wouldn't let me walk with them on their first day - only if I promised to stay a good distance back from them! (I didn't, just let them get on with it.)

Agree with you about the health benefits, it's a built in 2 x 20 mins of exercise and unless the weather is awful, I leave mine to walk it always.

MumiTravels Sun 04-Sep-16 12:51:46

Yes I always walked. DM didn't drive so it wouldnt have been an option anyway. Even my friends that lived on the edge of the catchment area walked. That's what you did.

It's healthy to have a bit of fresh air before starting your lessons. Wake up up ready to learn. They'll all be walking by Christmas when the parents realise it's a PIA taking them.

HeCantBeSerious Sun 04-Sep-16 12:54:01

My secondary school was 4.5 miles away. I only walked it when I missed the bus!

Jessesbitch Sun 04-Sep-16 12:55:58

Mine walks. Although I do walk there with him as I walk the dogs at same time and we have a nice chat. He walks back alone as I'm at work. He has walked since Y7 and there are some big roads on way.

Crispbutty Sun 04-Sep-16 12:58:28

He will make new friends to walk with.

StillStayingClassySanDiego Sun 04-Sep-16 12:59:11

All of mine walked to school but it's only 10 minutes down the road.

When I was at secondary years ago I always walked a couple of miles and only had a lift if I had a heavy load of cookery malarkey.

Parents need to let the kids be more independent once they hit 11 and if the school is within walking distance then they should be sorting themselves out.

Natsku Sun 04-Sep-16 13:03:21

Agree that they ought to be walking if its in walking distance. Its more fun too once you have some friends to walk with. When I first started secondary school quite a few of my friends lived a fair distance away so their mums would drive them but they drove them to my road so we would all walk together the last bit of distance (had the church car park on the corner of my road so it was a handy place for dropping off and picking up).

StillRabbit Sun 04-Sep-16 13:06:46

Both my DCs went to secondary schools a mile walk from home (each in a different direction). DD always walked, even before I went back to work and was always around she literally never asked for a lift there even when her friends were getting lifts "because it's cold" etc., she did very occasionally ask if I could pick her up if they'd had a late session and she was exhausted (she did drama for GCSE and A level so was often at school until 8 or later).

DS has ASD but after a couple of practice walks he quite likes that time on his own to prepare for the day. He has never asked for a lift but a couple of times I have walked down and met him part way home (at the point where I know his friend will have split off towards his home) and that always gets a big smile. There is a bus that goes from our house to the school but he has a fear of the bus being diverted so always walks.

Secondary age children need this independence, we can't wrap them in cotton wool forever.

nancy75 Sun 04-Sep-16 13:07:44

Dd starts on Wednesday, on the first day I will be dropping her there, from then on if she wants to walk she can but I'm leaving it up to her. She is nervous about starting and if me driving her for the first day/week/ term makes her feel better then I don't see a problem.
Not all children have the same confidence levels.

MyBreadIsEggy Sun 04-Sep-16 13:09:13

YANBU - it's only a mile a way and as you say, mostly pedestrianised. I'm willing to bet that when the "car mums and kids" who live within similar distance realise they will have to be up and out of the house earlier on a morning just to beat traffic, loads more kids will be walking to school!
I used to have to be in my form class room for 8:40am.....I didn't used to get out of bed until 7:45 most mornings, would walk to school and still make it in time blush

oklumberjack Sun 04-Sep-16 13:11:26

Well, if they live near enough they should (a mile is fine!).

However my dd will be getting the bus on the way home tomorrow and I'm taking her in the morning in the car. The school is nearly 4 miles away. She just isn't confident getting on the bus in the morning before she's hooked up with anyone.

I always got the bus to school as did nearly everyone I knew. However mine was a fairly rural school.

NerrSnerr Sun 04-Sep-16 13:12:36

Yes. Too many people drive their children to school to stop their children being knocked over by people driving their children to school.

People can be lazy and lots don't walk far anymore. I think children shouldn't be routinely driven to school when they can walk.

CodyKing Sun 04-Sep-16 13:15:05

I have arranged group meet ups for mine - all walking . your DS will soon find a friend who walks your way even part of it.

LovelyBath77 Sun 04-Sep-16 13:18:25

Yes, if it was 4 miles mine would get the bus too- there are limits! I did ask but mine won't let me walk with them either. Think it's good they had the trial day to start with in June, he met me in a cafe afterwards, but think he's Ok to walk home tomorrow. If you have another in primary school, there's not much you can dp anyway as can't be in two places at the same time.

Natsku Sun 04-Sep-16 13:25:49

Cycling is also a good option if the school is a bit too far to walk.

redskytonight Sun 04-Sep-16 13:43:57

Yes, agree DC should walk if possible.
There seem to be a lot of - don't know what the word should be - smothering(?) parents about. DS lives 15 minutes dawdle from our local secondary school but our neighbour drives her DC to this school practically everyday - it's either too hot/too cold/too rainy/they aren't feeling 100%/they have too much too carry/they had a tiring day yesterday. Really don't think she is doing them any favours!!

Witchend Sun 04-Sep-16 13:58:24

I drive. However it's too far to walk generally-would take over an hour, which when they have to be in just,after 8, is a bit much.
However I'd planned on them getting the bus, which dd1 did, but the cost for 2dc is ridiculous.
They do walk home sometimes, when they don't have the time pressure.

HarrietVane99 Sun 04-Sep-16 14:02:18

When I was at secondary school I sometimes used to pop into the library, go round the shops, go to a friend's house after school. All spontaneous, and before mobile phones. My mum used to expect me when she saw me. The only time I'd tell her was if I'd planned something in advance, like going to the open air swimming pool, which was open until 7.00. I'd tell her in the morning, then she'd know not to expect me home for tea.

JaceLancs Sun 04-Sep-16 14:41:44

My DC high school was 3.5 miles away they got bus there and walked home (unless it was really bad weather)
I left for work far too early to consider giving lifts and wouldn't anyway as they need to be independent
They also walked to primary school from 8 or 9 but that was only a 10-15 minute walk

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