7 year old walking home from school alone

(171 Posts)
friendshipstruggle Fri 09-Sep-16 07:35:38

In a nice area, the school is within the housing estate with 1 small road to cross. The 7 year old is sensible, in Y3, but only just turned 7. Is it unreasonable to allow him to walk home with no adult? The parents around here have wildly opposing views on this and I'm interested to hear a wider opinion.

NightWanderer Fri 09-Sep-16 07:39:06

I live abroad so school kids here walk home alone from age 6.

Does the school have a policy on this?

Sirzy Fri 09-Sep-16 07:39:10

I'm amazed school let him go without an adult at that age

Skittlesss Fri 09-Sep-16 07:45:02

See what policy school have for this. I know my child's old school wouldn't let them leave alone before a certain age, but I can't remember what it was.

phillipp Fri 09-Sep-16 07:46:41

I wouldn't. But that's down to where I live.

It's hard to give an opinion because I know people who let their 'sensible' kids play out. They are sensible until they get round the corner and start running about in the road.

Also one persons small road, isn't a small road to others.

Speak to the school, incase an adult must pick them up. Then do what you feel is best

waitinglistquery Fri 09-Sep-16 07:47:14

My daughter often walked to and from school on her own at that age (3 small roads to cross). Depends on the child (assuming the school allow it).

LadyPenelope68 Fri 09-Sep-16 07:49:34

Too young IMO. At the school I work at, we don't allow them to walk home alone until Year 5.

Yes, perfectly normal in many places IRL.

Westfacing Fri 09-Sep-16 08:08:00

Just seven seems a little young to me, also depends on how long the walk is. Presumably the child is not going home to an empty house so whoever is there should collect the child.

In Switzerland last year I was amazed to see 5/6-year olds going home for lunch and back, unaccompanied, whizzing along on their bikes - they were on a separate cycle track that ran alongside a busy road. The track was a couple of metres in from the road.

Magicpaintbrush Fri 09-Sep-16 08:13:03

I definitely wouldn't. It's not just about the dangers of traffic (although I see this particular journey has less of that) but also of stranger danger. It only takes one opportunistic weirdo to snatch a child, yes it's rare but it does sometimes happen, even to much older children than 7. Around my local area we had a spate of incidents with men trying to entice children into their vans.

BikeRunSki Fri 09-Sep-16 08:15:14

Our school don't allow it until Y5. Best check if your school has a policy.

lovelyupnorth Fri 09-Sep-16 08:15:51

I would and did. Great for their independence.

1pink4blue Fri 09-Sep-16 08:16:04

in my sons school he wouldnt be allowed to leave without an adult.
my son is in yr6 now and he now allowed to walk home from school

DisneyMillie Fri 09-Sep-16 08:16:07

My dd is nearly 7 - I wouldn't want her to.

DameDiazepamTheDramaQueen Fri 09-Sep-16 08:16:29

Our primary only let kids walk home alone at the end of year 4,so 9/10.

I was letting ds go to the shop for milk at 7.5-8 ( no roads and 5mins away)but I'd be more concerned about a child of that age doing a regular journey alone.

gabsdot Fri 09-Sep-16 08:18:55

In our school kids can leave the school alone in 2nd class, (Ireland) . They'd be 7 or 8.
You know your child best. I think a bit if independence does no harm.

StillDrSethHazlittMD Fri 09-Sep-16 08:21:18

Does anyone have any reasonable statistics on "stranger danger"? Are children more likely to be snatched off the streets walking home now than 20, 30, 40, 50 years ago? Everyone used to do this in "those days". I certainly walked home aged 7 (35 years ago) from primary school as did the vast majority of kids.

BittyWanter Fri 09-Sep-16 08:23:29

For me 7 is too young imo.

Are they going to be home alone too? If not then I don't see why they need to walk home alone

PatriciaHolm Fri 09-Sep-16 08:26:00

I wouldn't have let mine, but they were daft muppets at that age who would have daydreamed across the road! Also, their primary school wouldn't release a Yr3 on their own - only years 5/6 can go unaccompanied.

lalalalyra Fri 09-Sep-16 08:27:48

My DS is 8 and walks home himself this year. He walked home with his older sisters at 7, then walked himself when they went to high school, A couple of parents challenged the schools policy a few years ago as they (the school) tried to implement a policy that all pupils had to be collected. Which is madness when after the summer those starting high school are mostly needing to get at least one bus, some two. Kids have to build up their skills and if their parents think they are capable of the journey themselves then it's noone else's place to judge imo.

DameDiazepamTheDramaQueen Fri 09-Sep-16 08:29:12

I'd be more concerned about traffic than stranger danger tbh which iirc hasn't changed since the 1950's we're just more aware of it when it happens now.

honeylulu Fri 09-Sep-16 08:30:09

It does seem too young, partly because it's not really the done thing in the UK and partly because at that age my son was a dolly daydream who really couldn't be trusted to keep himself safe. So maybe depends on both the child and the area/community. At his primary though they were only allowed to walk on their own from year 6 which my son did.
He's now just started secondary which is 15 mins walk away and walks on his own or with friends. His best friend however is walked to school and back by his mum.He's a very calm and sensible boy and it seems like overkill. He's not allowed to walk round to our house on his own (less than one minute walk) and if he is at our house when I have to leave to pick up my littlest from nursery (I'm gone for 20mins and leave my own son in the house) I have to take him home first as his parents won't let him be anywhere without an adult in charge. They are Eastern European but I'm not sure if it's a cultural thing or individual preference.

""Does anyone have any reasonable statistics on "stranger danger"? Are children more likely to be snatched off the streets walking home now than 20, 30, 40, 50 years ago? Everyone used to do this in "those days"""

My youngest, out of three, is 18, even in their childhood, we'd have older Women out "at the gate", waiting to chat to people and keeping an eye on who was about and what the kids were up to and I think that made a difference.

Mine walked from about 8, but there were other Mums walking the same way and LollyPop people about, who again, kept an eye on things.

The problem with some 7 year olds is that once they see someone nearly everyday, say on the way to school, they no-longer regard them as strangers. It's the level of understanding and silliness.

Also a lot of children were sexually abused, or were subjected to sexual behaviour, in a way that we now wouldn't tolerate. Go on any thread that asked Women around my age (48) and we've nearly all had sexually inappropriate behaviour, if not an actual assault happen.

There's a big difference in some 8 year olds, that get bolshy and vocal, in a way that 7 year olds aren't and that protects them from harm.

atticusclaw2 Fri 09-Sep-16 08:38:50

I wouldn't even consider it but I know others would. Our school doesn't allow any of the primary children to leave without either an adult or sibling from Year 9 or over.

damngirl Fri 09-Sep-16 08:41:36

No definitely not. Doesn't matter if the area is "nice" - there a bloody weirdos in all walks of life.

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