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to think that using the local secondary school where children can walk to

(156 Posts)
catham Fri 06-Sep-13 21:51:45

should be what every parent aspires to

today driving past my sons school (where he walks to) i was pretty horrified at the amount of cars lined up outside to pick up their little darlings, most who could probably walk up the road a mile or so where there i less congestion.

why do so many parents have to drive their kids to school? i imagine that as its the start of term so many parents are paranoid that their kids can't walk home alone but they will learn if we let them!

waffling sorry but cars are more dangerous to our kids than letting them make their own way to and from school.

waltzingmathilda Fri 06-Sep-13 21:53:39

No thank you. I woulnt dream of sending another of my children to the local cess pit. I prefer to drive them somewhere more civilised. But thank you for the thought.

TBH if a few parked cars 'horrify' you I simply dread to think what would happen if you got a life.

it depends where you live. i grew up in a village where the nearest school was several miles away. as a matter of fact i took the bus, but if we'd had a car i have no doubt my mum would have dropped us off/picked us up

then there are all the parents who work school hours and do a drop off/pick up on their way to and from work.

also, we chose our current house because it was in a good catchment for primary schools.

our nearest secondary however is dire! so we'll probably end up driving the kids to secondary when they eventually go

catham Fri 06-Sep-13 21:56:30

i am 'horrified' as i think an accident will probably happen soon as the parents park and drive so badly. thanks for the comment though

happy you feel the need to diss your local school so badly though, do you live in a particularly shite area waltzing?

ReallyTired Fri 06-Sep-13 21:57:17

I think you should direct your attention to parents who use cars to drive their chidlren 100 metres to primary school.

"today driving past my sons school (where he walks to) i was pretty horrified at the amount of cars lined up outside to pick up their little darlings, most who could probably walk up the road a mile or so where there i less congestion. "

Surely you are adding to the congestion. Prehaps you should leave your car at home.

Next Friday ds needs his guitar, PE kit and cooking stuff. I am planing on being kind and giving a lift. I don't care what anyone else thinks as he walked there and back evert day this week.

hillyhilly Fri 06-Sep-13 21:57:20

My dd walks from her junior school (with me) most days but on the days she has another activity - singing or swimming, I drive to collect her

everlong Fri 06-Sep-13 21:57:30

How do you know they live close enough to walk?

You have no idea why some parents choose to drop their child off.

And in answer to your question it depends on the local secondary is like.

Mine isn't great.

EndoplasmicReticulum Fri 06-Sep-13 21:58:51

My nearest secondary is still 5 miles away. I suppose they could walk, but it's A roads with no pavement so I wouldn't think it would be safe. I'm intending to send them on the bus, if that helps.

fffinsake Fri 06-Sep-13 21:59:31

I think from the perspective of health it's actually a really important consideration. All these young people doing no physical activity from 9 until 4. At least if they can get to school under their own steam they've done something positive for their health. And it becomes part of life, just moving.

Not much good being a star pupil if your lifespan is shortened by obesity and poor fitness.

catham Fri 06-Sep-13 22:00:41

i was driving somewhere else grin i was just caught up in the congestion, which was pretty bad.

that's the thing that worries me, that amount of cars and bad parking and aggressive parents outside the school. i know it isn't just my local school as it happens everywhere but i think we should encourage kids to walk or at least ban parents from parking quite so near the school entrance.

filee777 Fri 06-Sep-13 22:00:59

I wouldn't have time in the morning to walk my children to school, walk back and then get in the car to get to work.

catham Fri 06-Sep-13 22:04:28

the government (years ago) were planning safer routes for kids to gain access to play areas, they should make all school routes safe for kids with more lollipop people and zebra crossings. I really think it's worth investing in this as so much research exists on how kids are more willing to learn once they have had physical exercise before school.

seems a no brainer yet nothing is being formularised so far.

a mumsnet campaign would be so good for something like this.

sonlypuppyfat Fri 06-Sep-13 22:10:16

Last year when it snowed my children were horrified that they had to struggle to school. They leave home at 8.30 and get there at 8.32 so far

Snoopingforsoup Fri 06-Sep-13 22:13:03

Oooh, what about the ones who move into the catchment to secure a place at the best primary in the borough, then move home after allocation and drive to school every day?


Loads of that near us. The catchment must be a few streets by now it's so over-subscribed but the amount of traffic parents hold up at the gates with their poor 'other-people' and lack of Highway Code knowledge is quite terrifying on many levels!

TeaLadyExtraordinaire Fri 06-Sep-13 22:13:09

My friend used to drive her children to primary every day, and pick them up without fail. The school was 400 yards away with only one minor road to cross.

EndoplasmicReticulum Fri 06-Sep-13 22:20:08

Mine walk to primary every day, it's 5 minutes. Neighbour drives hers. As we can cut through a footpath it's actually quicker to walk (well we might have been running a bit, we were racing her!)

Lancelottie Fri 06-Sep-13 22:20:48

Hey ho.

Well, y'know, we thought that for a while. Sent DS to the only school there was a bus to.

He was bullied into a state of misery, so we moved him. DD has just joined him there, and yes, the pickups are a bit of a pain. Less of a problem than the weekly crisis meetings about his mental health, though.

I don't know what our local secondary is like. I know it's not quite as good as the one my children go to. We also drive two of our children to the primary. It's walkable (we've done it once- took 2 hours- I reckon I could do it in less as that was dh's chair speed- one way used a full charge)- if I wanted to spend hours a day walking. We used to live just on the cut-off for the school bus to the secondary- the older ones walked, we did 6 miles everyday. It both ruined my hips and saved them- I had SPD, am now not quite as wrecked as I suppose I would have been otherwise- but it wasn't fun. We have reasons to not change their schools to the nearest one (nothing to do with the schools).

We used to walk past the idiot people dropping their children off outside the secondary/picking them up at 3pm- on the zigzags. It's dangerous- as a pedestrian and driving past, but safer driving- we're in a minibus- but it's amazing the amount of parents who pull straight out into oncoming traffic hmm We've had scary near misses- one parent nearly hit the pram as they 'parked' up on the pavement- one grandparent REVERSED at my dh's wheelchair when we asked him to move off the pavement he was parked over and blocking... We make our older two walk to the primary to fetch them, not picking them up outside the school! But outside the secondary is an accident waiting to happen.

NonnoMum Fri 06-Sep-13 22:25:22

I DO send my children to the nearest school, near enough to walk. But I have to drop them off in a car for breakfast club and then race off in the other direction to get to work.

Dahlen Fri 06-Sep-13 22:26:35

This was always the inevitable result of allowing parents choice when it came to schools. Instead, money should have been diverted to ensure that all state secondaries met the same standards so that parents didn't have to either move or drive their DC to a good school. Would have been much fairer on the children of parents who could afford to do neither, too.

That said, the intakes for secondaries are much wider than those for primaries, and many children will live further than is considered normal walking distance even if they are within the catchment area.

<said as someone who used to walk 3 miles to and from school back in the day>

JustGiveMeFiveMinutes Fri 06-Sep-13 22:27:19

Ds1 walks to secondary now. It's about 20 minutes away. I don't always walk with ds 2 but I try to as much as possible.

I know a woman who drives her DC to school. It's no more than 200 metres from her house confused hmm

SuffolkNWhat Fri 06-Sep-13 22:28:25

Well when I went to secondary school it was a bus ride, train journey and walk away. My parents would have never dreamt of driving me!

grumpyoldbat Fri 06-Sep-13 22:40:55

our nearest secondary is about 8miles away. Most of it is along a 60mph road without a pavement. It will take absolute minimum 2 hrs to walk. By 1st Oct sunrise will be after 7am. By 27th Oct sunset will be before 5pm. How safe do you reckon that walk will be?

My dd will get the bus because in my lazy, ignorant opinion, not very safe at all. She can't go to a closer one, there isn't one.

Having said that there's no excuse for idiotic parking or agressive behaviour. If parking regulations were enforced then dropping off would be quicker and safer for everyone.

ilovesooty Fri 06-Sep-13 22:44:21

My father used to drop me off at high school as it was on his route to work. I used to walk the 3 miles home though.

littlemog Fri 06-Sep-13 22:47:13

Do you not think that your 'horror' at the sight of cars may have been a slight over reaction?

catham Fri 06-Sep-13 23:44:54

no, i was horrified at the amount of cars

I drove mine today because my DD had PE but hasn't got her locker yet.
2 pairs of training shoes
Ful PE kit

She's been there since Wednesday and I've paid for the bloody locker ,

I didn't drive DS when DD was in Junior and when the locker is sorted she can leave her kit.

Lestagal78 Fri 06-Sep-13 23:56:23

Unlike primary there are a lot of children that travel miles to get to school as its their catchment area school.

My dds high school has a lot of children that come from rural villages in their catchment, so walking is not possible.

My DD walks every day as her walk is shorter than her journey to primary school. We are lucky that our closest school is one of the best in the country.

BackforGood Sat 07-Sep-13 00:00:33

My (clearly deprived) Yr7 managed to walk the 1.5 miles to her secondary school with her school bag and PE kit 70. You don't say how far your dd's school is, but having to take a PE kit in is hardly disabling grin.

I am pleased my dc live close enough to walk, but do worry about the traffic from the high number of people that do drive their dc to their school though (and I know we are right at the edge of the catchment, and, in higher birthrate years, wouldn't have got into the school, so nobody at their school lives too far to walk, unless they have some sort of mobility issues)

ErrolTheDragon Sat 07-Sep-13 00:12:02

I feel more this way about primary schools - there's more of them so more should be within walking distance you'd have thought. But the congestion around the primaries near here is worse than the secondary(despite it also being way larger), the older kids do mostly bus/bike/walk. Probably you'll find it rapidly gets better at your sons school - the new year 7s will soon realise its horribly uncool to be driven by mummy.

marriedinwhiteisback Sat 07-Sep-13 00:18:00

I drove my DS to school for 10 years; he got a lift home in the early days and then the public bus when he was bigger. Lack of exercise didn't stop him achieving 10 A*s (we've forgiven him his two As) and 42 IB points. I have a feeling the local comp would have stopped him though - in fact I can think of three subjects they don't even offer.

Don't tell other pparents what to do OP. They have reached decisions having considered all the options available.

DD went to a top 100 comp for a couple of years little more than a hop, skip and jump away. Thank God we could afford to move her to a more nurturing environment 15 miles away where she doesn't live in fear of the behaviour of animals. Oh yes, I drop her at the school bus stop a mile or so away too.

What were you telling me about how to care for my kids OP? Oops I don't have baby goats; I have CHILDREN and I care for them to the best of my ability but just to be sure keep yours away from bridges as well as cars - goats are at risk from trolls.

ShadowSummer Sat 07-Sep-13 00:39:43

Not everyone lives within walking distance of a secondary school.

The nearest secondary school to my house is about 6.5 miles away, much of that route along 60mph A-roads with no pavements for pedestrians.

But to be fair, our local council do provide free buses if the secondary school is more than 3 miles from the pupil's home, provided that they're attending the nearest secondary school with available places.

No idea if other local councils provide free buses for pupils living beyond reasonable walking distance. If not, some parents may find driving their kids to / from school to be the best option.

grumpyoldbat Sat 07-Sep-13 07:18:14

You haven't answered my question cat. How safe do you think it would be for children to walk miles along a fast, pavementless road in the dark?

shockers Sat 07-Sep-13 07:26:19

My mother sent me to the nearest high school, it was dire. I sent my children to the best schools for them; a special school 17 miles away for DD and a wonderful high school 12 miles away for DS. DD gets LA transport and DS uses the bus.

Parking outside primary schools around here is a real problem though!

Sparklingbrook Sat 07-Sep-13 07:29:43

DS1 goes to a secondary 12 miles away by bus. I drive him to the bus stop 6 miles away. I hope that's ok, he did a year at the one 1/2 a mile away and hated it.

AndyMurraysBalls Sat 07-Sep-13 07:31:54

It was my priority. Some might call it the local cess-pit but my DC's are doing ok there. I feel very strongly about community and for me this is part of it.

OP - don't forget that lots of parents are rushing off to work. I know there are the ones who drive them round the corner and then go home to watch Jeremy Kyle, but most are under real pressures in the mornings.

Parmarella Sat 07-Sep-13 07:37:37

I don't aspire to a secondary school they can walk to.

I aspire to get them into the best school we can get them into, hopefully not too far.

I am sure I am not the only one smile

OP, telling people what ghey ought to aspire to, just because it works for you, shows a serious narrowness of mind and inability to understand anyone who does not think as you do.

MrsLouisTheroux Sat 07-Sep-13 07:37:50

catham :that's the thing that worries me, that amount of cars and bad parking and aggressive parents outside the school. i know it isn't just my local school as it happens everywhere No not everywhere catham. Do you live in a particularly unpleasant area?

Johnny5needsinput Sat 07-Sep-13 07:41:30

I didn't aspire to send DD to the local secondary school she could walk to because there isn't one. It's 8 miles. She gets the bus has, but I drop her off in the morning because I drive literally right past the front gate of the school on my way to work. Is that ok op? Am I allowed?

waltzingmathilda Sat 07-Sep-13 07:42:00

happy you feel the need to diss your local school so badly though, do you live in a particularly shite area waltzing?

I live in a spectacularly racist area unfortunately. I prefer my children to have a more realistic and multicultural upbringing. My local school is a shit hole. Nicely rebuilt but a shit hole full of (massive sterotype) the products of the south London skinhead revival circa late 70/early 80's.

It will never change it's catchment. That sort never move on and off the estate and never manage to get educated.

fffinsake Sat 07-Sep-13 07:44:34

This thread is a bit ridiculous. I didn't hear the op saying children should be made up walk on 60mph roads on the dark for 8 miles.

We all know there are plenty people dropping kids off who do not need to do so if they all got up half an hour earlier and that's what the op is taking about. Release the pearls!

Johnny5needsinput Sat 07-Sep-13 07:48:58

That's not what the OP said.

Not everyone lives in a city or town with a school on their doorstep.

And I look like one of those parents dropping little Sybil off in the car in the morning. But I am driving right past the gate of the school. Why shouldn't I?

SilverApples Sat 07-Sep-13 07:52:04

Different issues being muddled here though.
Going to your local secondary.
Walking/riding as opposed to being driven.
Parents who are very poor drivers, parkers and indifferent to the safety of others.

That last point is inexcusable, but will only be solved by an awareness campaign and then relentless monitoring and penalties.
The second point is one that needs a lot more prioritising, but also needs safe routes to school and awareness of the positive aspects.
The first point, it really does depend where you are and the choices you have available.

SanityClause Sat 07-Sep-13 07:59:02

The congestion around schools is always worse at the start of the year, before people get lift shares organised; when they drive DC in because there is more stuff to carry; when they drive DC in to "settle them in"; and, before extra-curricular activities start, which effectively stagger the end of the school day. There could well be other reasons I have missed.

I bet the congestion in a month's time won't be as bad, OP.

grumpyoldbat Sat 07-Sep-13 08:03:31

The OP said that children should go to their nearest secondary and implied that meant they could walk and it would always be safer and healthier. She needs to learn what constitutes the nearest school for some people.

Wishihadabs Sat 07-Sep-13 08:07:27

I see this too OP. I have categorically stated that I will not be driving my dcs to secondary. I took public transport/cycled and my dcs will do them same. Education is about more than academic grades and being driven to an exclusive private school with small classes is a poor preparation for real life imo

Johnny5needsinput Sat 07-Sep-13 08:14:05

Oh and the op also implies my child will be less willing to learn because she hasn't had physical exercise before school. hmm

I drive DD because its on my way. The op states "probably" most of the kids could walk. How do you know op?

I aspire to many things for my dd as a parent. A school she can walk to is really far down my list. That would mean uprooting dd from her friends, you know, all the others who also get the bus from here to school, or go in cars, ANd would mean moving far away from my friends and my support network. I'm a single parent. I rely on that support network. And her father lives close and it makes our arrangements easier and more flexible which is a good thing.

I'll stick with dropping her off in the morning thanks all the same.

DumSpiroSpero Sat 07-Sep-13 08:14:11

If you'd be willing to send your child to a drastically inferior school just so they can walk there and back, then good luck to you.

Personally my DD's education is more is important to me than that. Not everyone is lucky enough to live near a good secondary or have a choice within working distance.

Johnny5needsinput Sat 07-Sep-13 08:18:46

There are many things I expect to be judged for. Being a single parent. Yes. Living in a council house. Yes. Getting benefits. Yes. But the fact that I don't aspire to move to a town instead of a village and don't aspire to live within walking distance of a secondary school wasn't one of them.

I'm really upset. I've had a tough week and the thought that I am getting judged for living where I do and that I don't have aspirations for my child has made me cry.

fffinsake Sat 07-Sep-13 08:19:13

It's funny how loads of really sensitive people with good reason for driving their dc have piped up to defend this, but nobody seems to drop their dc anywhere other than outside the school, and absolutely nobody has commented to say that they do it for convenience but could easily walk if they had to. I KNOW there are lots of people in that category. Both of my local schools have parents driving children to school who live closer than us, whose dc could absolutely walk safely and easily. They just can't be arsed. It doesn't apply to everyone but it's a nonsense to say it doesn't happen.

DumSpiroSpero Sat 07-Sep-13 08:20:37

walking distance even!

carlywurly Sat 07-Sep-13 08:20:48

If your children go to a local school which is within walking distance then surely they can walk rather than being driven?

Yes to this! Our local city is totally clogged with cars in term time, school hols it's blissfully quiet and my (13 mile) commute to work takes 20 mins less. Half the issue is parents taking children right up to school gates up a narrow lane and then turning round, rather than just dropping them in the vast car park about 100m away and making them walk the last (safe) bit.

fffinsake Sat 07-Sep-13 08:22:17

Johnny you know this thread isn't about that. There are loads of kids in cars round here who live out of town and aren't far enough to be eligible for a bus. Fair enough that they're driven. Not the case for those whose parents arrive in the car, in a dressing gown, from an address a ten minute walk away!

Morgause Sat 07-Sep-13 08:22:26

We live opposite the side gate to a secondary school (built in the 1930s and much extended) and it can be a nightmare. It's quite a narrow lane and there really isn't room for cars to park safely, let alone park both sides of the road. But they do.

If we try to get in or out of our drive the parents can be very stroppy when we ask them to move, and also huff if we park in the middle of the road indicating that we want to turn into our drive. One woman actually said she'd only be a few minutes when I had to go out and ask her to move so that I could go to work.

Mornings are bad but evenings are awful. The school closes at 3.30pm but the parents arrive from 3pm, jostling for position and parking over the drives of local residents. There are no houses at the bottom of the lane and they could park there without much inconvenience to anyone but that would mean the children having to use their legs for 5 minutes.

One parents even got into the habit of using our drive to turn round until DH explained (loudly) that this was not on.

The main entrance is on the road into town and there are buses in both directions every 15 minutes but still some parents prefer to sit in the car for 30 minutes, waiting.

Every so often the police come along and ticket everyone (a fire engine or ambulance would not get through) and it gets better for a few days but they can't be there every day.

It makes me really angry that parents can be so inconsiderate and have such little regard for the safety of others.

Johnny5needsinput Sat 07-Sep-13 08:26:51

I could get a bus to work. It gets me in at 7.55. I start work at 8.45. The next bus gets me in at 8.55 so I would be late. Therefore, I drive. Every day, and take DD in the car. When. Technically I don't have to and could get a bus. And she could walk. 8 miles along a dual carriage way. Or get the bus. Or I should aspire to uproot my family and move somewhere else so that the judgey people are satisfied.

This place is nuts at times.

kungfupannda Sat 07-Sep-13 08:27:39

I think that, when the time comes, I won't set my children off to walk a couple of miles down a pavement-less, verge-less lane, to squeeze themselves into the hedge every three seconds as the commuters hurtle past doing 60mph through the 20mph village. Or to then struggle up the enormous hill at the far end.

I'll probably carry on doing exactly what I do now - and drive them to school before commuting for 20 miles to get to work.

Because, unfortunately most of us don't like in CBeebie-like communities with everything you might need within ten feet of your front door.

Pinkpinot Sat 07-Sep-13 08:28:58

Because you know the life story of every one of those parents, do you?
Its the first week of term, some kids need a bit of settling in.
Not everyone has super independent children at 11
They might be coming straight from work
They might actually live miles away

Yes in an ideal world our super confident 11 year olds would skip off to the local secondary school just 500 metres away, but life ain't like that.

He11y Sat 07-Sep-13 08:30:23

I can't help thinking you driving past the school (while going somewhere else) isn't any better just because your children weren't in the car!

You're still adding to the congestion and it's a well known fact that all schools have traffic congestion twice a day.

If safety us your priority then avoid the area until at least 9.30 am!

fffinsake Sat 07-Sep-13 08:32:01

It's that heady cocktail of a parking thread with a good dose of school choice and a bit of working parents thrown in. Madness.

SoupDragon Sat 07-Sep-13 08:33:00

DSs don't go to the local high school(s) they cold walk to. However, they get the bus. Is that OK with the OP?

JedwardScissorhands Sat 07-Sep-13 08:33:45

Our nearest secondary is 10 miles away, all unlit A roads with no pavement. It is in a town, it's just that a lot of pupils come from the surrounding villages. I think the OP does need to appreciate that not everyone can walk. Oh, and my children are neither obese nor unfit.

LIZS Sat 07-Sep-13 08:39:22

Nearest secondary 3+ miles away in one direction, 5+ in the other. If everyone moved to within a walk of secondary villages and rural areas would die and towns become even more overcrowded hmm

MadeOfStarDust Sat 07-Sep-13 08:39:33

Ours isn't walkable, it is the closest to our house - hubby drives them to school in the morning - it is on his way to work... they get the public transport bus home - (school bus is twice the price)...

Johnny5needsinput Sat 07-Sep-13 08:40:15

What has upset me is the op's assertion that all parents should aspire to live near a school there kids can walk to.

That would remove me from my friends and family and remove dd from her friends. Remove me from my support network.

But because I don't aspire to do that and I aspire to different things for me and dd I'm a failure hmm

BeckAndCall Sat 07-Sep-13 08:40:22

Funny how we always get drawn into a thread specifically designed to draw us in..... The type where the OP says

'From my narrow view of the world and the limited experience I have with my life, this is how I think you should all live your lives'

And we fall for it every time!

grumpyoldbat Sat 07-Sep-13 08:41:38

sake I don't drive my dc to school. We walk, she's still at primary age. However when the time comes I'll be putting her on the bus and not letting her walk.

DN is in a city. They live where 3 catchment areas meet so is within walking distance of 3 schools. However DS and BIL have been advised she's unlikely to get into any of them as they're all oversubscribed and she's on the edge of catchment. FX but you also can't assume that parents have actively chosen a school a distance away.

I'll admit that there are times when I wonder why people drive their dc to school, eg the lady who lives next to the side gate of dd's school because I'd have thought driving round the front and into the carpark then the congestion getting back out again would make her later for work.

Op bad parking and agressive behaviour really annoys me too, if you only directed your ire in that direction I'd have been with you.

catham Sat 07-Sep-13 08:51:58

fgs have any of you actually understood my op?

i don't care where you drive to but i do care when you cram up the roads with bad parking then honk and get aggressive with other parents (not me i am just observering)

i may have been slightly annoyed at the 'get a life' type comments though but i guess this is aibu and people read what they want to read from the thread

still think it's a good idea maybe to have no car zones near schools

Johnny5needsinput Sat 07-Sep-13 08:53:08

I read and understood your op quite well, thank you, especially the first sentence about what I needed to aspire to as a parent.

everlong Sat 07-Sep-13 08:54:28

You don't make sense OP.

Having a no car zone at school? How's that going to work?

Johnny5needsinput Sat 07-Sep-13 08:55:26

How would your no car zone near school work for the likes of you who want to drive past op?

catham Sat 07-Sep-13 08:56:47

oh whatever you lot just want something to rant about

<off to get a life>

Pinkpinot Sat 07-Sep-13 08:57:17

Er no, you didn't mention anything about bad parking/honking in your first post.
It was all about paranoid parents taking their precious darlings to school

catham Sat 07-Sep-13 08:57:27

the 'likes of you' fgs try being civil

Johnny5needsinput Sat 07-Sep-13 08:58:14

Can I gently suggest you go and read what you posted in your first post?

everlong Sat 07-Sep-13 08:59:17

I drive ds to school. It's 6 odd miles away so not walkable. I'd say 80% dont live in walking distance. A large majority are driven although some go on the school bus.
Everyday at pick up and drop off it's congested, parents on double yellows, parking on the kerb, etc. It's not great. I feel for the folk living nearby. And I always park considerably.

But what other alternative do you suggest?

Johnny5needsinput Sat 07-Sep-13 08:59:51

I was civil confused

I haven't sworn or ranted. In actual fact, your op and the horrible inferences of it that I'm a bad parent because I don't aspire to uproot my life and move to where DD can walk to school, have made me cry.

Try being civil hmm

everlong Sat 07-Sep-13 09:00:27


Op you started this thread remember hmm

IfNotNowThenWhen Sat 07-Sep-13 09:05:44

Most of the parents at ds's primary are very local, and many drive their kids in the morning.
The school is exactly a 6 minute walk. I see many of my neighbours loading the kids in to drive them. Sure, they are going on to work after, but there is such bad congestion around the school, and this is a danger to walking children (most of the older ones walk alone), plus there is nowhere to park, and all the drivers get stressed and drive like shit.
I don't have a car, so I drop off and then walk to the bus, but if I did, I would still walk to school, and then walk back and pick up my car. It's an extra 12 mins tops.
With secondary I imagine it all gets a bit more complicated though?

everlong Sat 07-Sep-13 09:10:37

When my older dc were at the local school we always walked. The school is around the corner, literally 5 minutes away.

Occasionally if it was raining hard, or one was ill or I was ill or we were late we'd go in the car.

People car it to make their life easier in reality.

SoupDragon Sat 07-Sep-13 09:10:42

fgs have any of you actually understood my op?

Yes, I understood it. You were horrified at the amount of cars lined up outside to pick up their little darlings

LondonMother Sat 07-Sep-13 09:14:32

Is it National Take Offence Day? Of course the OP is not saying children should walk 8 miles in the dark on a dual carriageway. She should probably have hedged her point about with all sorts of exceptions and qualifications but the general point stands - one of the problems from so called parental 'choice' about schools is very bad traffic congestion round some schools. Some parents drive and park very inconsiderately. Some children who could quite safely get their on foot or using public transport are driven right up to the gates instead, by parents who are not driving on to work or other important stuff that they couldn't reasonably get to any other way. These children miss out on exercise and learning to function without their parents around.

OK, take offence at that if you can!

NoComet Sat 07-Sep-13 09:15:16

My nearest secondary was 12 miles away.

DDs school is 5.5 miles (the nearest is 4.9, but it's in a different county, so no bus)

Their bus service is unbelievably bad. So sometimes I pick them up.

Yesterday, DD went to the library while we parked and then we went to the sweet shop, wandered round a gift shop and bought some forgotten groceries.

We were still home 15 minutes before the bus!!!

The bus takes 65 minutes to do a 10-15 minute car trip.

And OP you wounder why their are so many cars round schools.

LondonMother Sat 07-Sep-13 09:15:37

*there, not their. That's offended me, anyway!

Hulababy Sat 07-Sep-13 09:16:58

Our local secondary is about 3 miles away and not flat - so a fair way to walk to school and back each way. It isn't a walk I would chose to do daily.

DD's secondary is about 4 miles away, so not much different. DH drops her a little way away - near her old primary infact - and she meets a friend and walks down. DH is on his way to work anyway so he would be driving the exact same route regardless.

After school she walks down to my school (about a mile) and grabs a lift home. She could go by bus - but at the moment - she has just started Y7 - prefers to walk to meet me.

But yesterday - when it was pouring with rain - yes, I did drive up and meet her. Parked on the main road - in a designated parking space I should add - and waited for her to meet me. Instead of a 15 minute walk she had a 2 minute walk in hammering rain.

Blissx Sat 07-Sep-13 09:18:47

Actually, I think the OP has a very valid point with regards to where parents drop their children off. Quite why it has to be directly at the school gate rather than a few yards further down where there will be less congestion, I don't know. Parents have caused accidents in this way at my local secondary and I do think this is an issue that needs to be raised.

Wishihadabs Sat 07-Sep-13 09:20:43

I get that it's too far to walk and /or dangerous. But surely surrounding villages are served by buses to local schools. I realy believe you are doing your dcs no favours by driving them to school instead of letting them get the bus which is a life skill....or cycling another lifeskill.

everlong Sat 07-Sep-13 09:21:49

But if there is a no parking rule outside school you're just moving the problem a bit further down the road.

Sparklingbrook Sat 07-Sep-13 09:22:20

Yes there is that Bliss at the local High School it's every man for himself. Parking on zig zags/in the coach bay/double yellows etc. But it's only for a few seconds and apparently if you put your hazard lights on it makes all the difference. angry

Not to mention the parents that turn up an hour before school's out to get a prime spot. hmm

Blissx Sat 07-Sep-13 09:22:59

And don't get me started on the parents who drive quite fast directly into the school so as to drive their little darling directly to the school door, not giving a shit about the hundreds of other children trying to navigate around them in the car park and nearly getting knocked over.

Wishihadabs Sat 07-Sep-13 09:23:29

yes in the rain too, these dcs are all 11 they won't melt !

Sparklingbrook Sat 07-Sep-13 09:25:15

DS2 (11) cycles to the Middle School opposite the High School. He is a brave sort.

Bunbaker Sat 07-Sep-13 09:28:07

DD's school is 4 miles away so she gets the bus.

It would take far too long to walk there or back along 60 mph roads with no pavements. For an 8.20 start she would probably have to leave the house at 7 am. The walk would also involve a couple of very steep hills, and often take place in the rain, so not very practical at all.

Charlottehere Sat 07-Sep-13 09:29:22

Nope.... Dd at grammar school...12 miles away.

Mine dont attend their local comp but they cycle there.
Is that ok with you op?

Wishihadabs Sat 07-Sep-13 09:34:55

Charlotte no bus ? no train. Must be the only school in the country not served by public transport.

I seriously can't believe the number of secondary school aged dcs being driven....Ds is yr 5 and TBH I long to be free of the sschool run. I intend to work ft and I can't wait!

ivykaty44 Sat 07-Sep-13 09:36:44

why should my only thoughts for choosing a school be whether it is walking distance - what a strange way to search for school that will suit your child.

I choose a school that involves two bus rides for dd2 - where as dd1 went to the school that was 20 minutes walk away. they are different children and different characters so I wouldn't choose the school based on location.

I agree that independence is crucial in the social development of children but raise my eyes just as high at the mother who walks her year 5 daughter the 20 yards to school each day as I do the families that drive half a mile.

Dd gets a bus as we live in the sticks. if no bus service I would have no choice but to drive her the 12 miles though!

Oh and I used to drive DS to primary in the same village I lived in as had to go straight onto work and it was more important that I earn a crust that pacify the self congratulating women who let their little darlings whizz around on their micro scooters without helmets or much road sense.

BlingBang Sat 07-Sep-13 09:43:12

I've always driven to school as I didn't like the closer ones as well as others. My son now catches the bus to high school even though we are in cachment as it's surrounded by outlying villages, would still drive him further if I didn't like the school though.

BlingBang Sat 07-Sep-13 09:47:50

Although you are right about the parking problems. Parents at our school park fully up on the pavement blocking it and block driveways etc.

DrCoconut Sat 07-Sep-13 09:48:22

Our local secondary is a dump. It's in special measures and its rough. Sadly DS1 goes there because he would not qualify for a bus elsewhere as we live close to our local school. I don't drive and DH's work patterns don't fit the school day. So moving him is not viable at the moment. he has SN and is being assessed for a statement so maybe that will change things. He hates school and we can't afford to move house either hmm

everlong Sat 07-Sep-13 09:57:35

We've got the main school ( senior ) across from the prep. Parents wait on double yellows outside the main school for their dc making it very congested. It's mayhem. I'm surprised at school tbh for allowing this.

I always park away from school on a side street and walk around for ds. It's hardly arduous.

Hulababy Sat 07-Sep-13 10:20:17

Wishihadabs DD could get the bus. It would be £1.40 a day return, so £7 a week - leading to £266 a year (38 weeks allowing for INSET and holidays)

Cycling is out - it is all uphill on the way back. It really is a killer and not something I would wish on anyone tbh! Add bad weather and it would be really awful.

Alternatively DD could grab a lift with DH as he is already driving down the exact same road, and just jump out whilst he pulls up at a side road, or whilst lights are on red even. Then she could wander down to me after school and grab a lift as I am then driving that way anyway - or in bad weather I can drive up and grab her a bit closer - again not going out of my way either, but leaving work a bit earlier than normally I do. That way it is free too.

Hulababy Sat 07-Sep-13 10:25:29

Not sure where you are but yesterdays rain was really heavy. DD did have an umbrella but even with a 2 or 3 minute walk she was pretty wet. I had the car at work. It isn't out of my walk to drive that way really. I parked legally and caused no obstruction. I didn't want to be out and about in the really heavy rain at that point in time - so why not offer DD the same seeing as I was close?!

Wishihadabs Sat 07-Sep-13 10:27:43

Hulababy "just jumping out while lights on red" arguably contributes to what OP is complaining about. As does driving 5 mins up the road to collect your dd 'cos it's raining.

I know she has just started so hopefully through the year she will develop socially and be less willing to rely on parental lifts.

Wishihadabs Sat 07-Sep-13 10:37:17

Seriously there is a massive circular argument here. The more dcs are driven to school, the worse the traffic gets, the less safe and acceptable it's percevied to be for the dcs to walk/cycle/get the bus (even in the rain!) the more dcs are driven . It's depressing TBH as I said upthread I will not be driving my dcs to secondary school on a point of principle (believing that learning g how to get from a to b ,how long it takes and what happens when you get up late and miss the bus is an important part of being at senior school). I can foresee arguments as the majority of their peers will be being dropped at the gates sigh

Hulababy Sat 07-Sep-13 11:30:16

Develop socially???? What the ...

She doesn't need any help to do that. She walks from drop off point in a morning with friends. She walks with new friends to my school. She and a group of friends went to the coffee shop after school the other evening! This is not a child who needs to develop socially at all.

But it is one who uses common sense and makes the use of a lift offer to a more walkable distance rather than relying on a bus service which is slower and costs money!

The red light thing - dd's old school has traffic lights near it. They have a pull in parking areas by the entrance - so yes, DH can pull in there and leave again whilst lights are on red. It is all legal and not causing an obstruction.

My drive out of my way when it was hammering with rain. Well the drive was about 2 min max. I was legally parked in a parking bay and again no obstruction to others. Helped me too as we called at shops on way back to grab something for dd - so was actually more convenient than her walking, with a friend, to my school anyway.

Maybe rather than just looking for something to have a bit of a dig at, or try to make out my dd is socially inept, accept that others are actually capable of offering lifts without inconveniencing other people.

Why should I make dd go on the bus at extra cost to us and for a service that is slower when we are driving that way anyway at at that time??? That just isn't common sense! How bizarre to do that tbh.

Hulababy Sat 07-Sep-13 11:32:05

Oh and the increase to traffic arguement isn't applicable here either as both me and DH would be taking those routes at those times regardless, either with dd in car or without.

Wishihadabs Sat 07-Sep-13 11:44:06

Defensive much ? Most dcs develop in all ways over the course of a year. I'm not suggesting she is socially inept at all. Its normal for dcs to want less parental input as they go through secondary school.

I standby what I said about you driving up to meet her, not good for her or our poor planet.

sarahtigh Sat 07-Sep-13 11:46:32

nearest primary 1.3 miles no footpath at all for at least half of it so need to walk in ditch of country road because there is no footpath she will get school bus, secondary nearest is 9.5 miles, she will get bus though i might drop i her off in car as I drive past said secondary on my way to work

she will catch school bus as local bus terminates in town centre about 1.2 miles from the school, she will need to get normal bus if she does anything after school

Hulababy Sat 07-Sep-13 11:49:41

Defensive when you have a go at my child I guess yes. But you're not listening anyway. It costs more and takes longer if she uses the bus ad we drive by anyway. Common sense and all that.

DadOnIce Sat 07-Sep-13 11:56:09

What parents "aspire to" and what is actually feasible in practice are two very different things. I'm assuming the OP has never lived in a village where the secondary school is five miles away along a country road. And lots of people may not wish to choose their local, nearest secondary for any number of reasons. HTH.

Wishihadabs Sat 07-Sep-13 12:11:47

I'm not having a go at your child! I am lamenting the fact so many dcs are driven to secondary school and the fact that you seem to think your 11yo can't walk 1/4a mIle in the rain (possibly the only exercise she gets that day?)

Wishihadabs Sat 07-Sep-13 12:12:50

I'm not having a go at your child! I am lamenting the fact so many dcs are driven to secondary school and the fact that you seem to think your 11yo can't walk 1/4a mIle in the rain (possibly the only exercise she gets that day?)

waltzingmathilda bit harsh don't you think? I thought the OP was very fact I've heard it a hundred times from people around me. Who do have lives!

It should be what parents aspire to yeah but obviously this is just scratching the surface. Some schools are shit. They need to be improved....and not just so traffic congestion eases up.

Hulababy Sat 07-Sep-13 12:16:53

Not sure why not good for her. Lets face it she is walking as far as some of her new friends who happen to live right near my school. So she is getting the same length of walk, same level of independence etc.

She goes to a school where the majority of kids go on the proper school buses or have lifts at least part way due to the distances they live from the school. It's the norm where she is.

I still can't get my head round the whole idea that I should insist she leaves the house 15-20 min earlier than me and DH and pay to use a public bus to go to a place that one of us will drive directly past not much later!!! She still would have the same distance to walk whether bus or car, the only difference would be the paying to use a bus and the lengthier journey as the bus is far slower and has to stop/start more.

Hulababy Sat 07-Sep-13 12:20:52

The rain thing - well she walked about 5 min to school to my car as opposed to 20-25 mins to my school. I was being nice in her first week and it happened to be convenient. I'd continue to do that where appropriate too.

At present dd gets plenty of exercise each week with 30-35 min walks to/from drop off to school, several PE sessions and extra curricular sports, climbing lessons, cycling and running around at home, etc. That's not an aspect of great concern to me right now. Maybe as she gets into her teens - but i can address that nearer the time.

sassytheFIRST Sat 07-Sep-13 12:33:59

I am in favour of an exclusion zone being created by law around all schools. No cars/road traffic at all for 400m in any direction, between 8.30-9.10 and 2.45-3.30 daily. Exceptions obv - for the disabled, etc, oh and if you live in the zone, you're allowed to leave and drive to work wink

Not only would this encourage walking to to school, keep kids fitter etc, but people who live 500m away might walk the whole distance thus not needing to add their car to road congestion.

Bunbaker Sat 07-Sep-13 12:36:23

When DD's school was rebuilt they included an off road parent pick up/drop off point in the planning. The logistics of this and the big car park just for the school buses was inspirational. There are 1500 pupils at her school and they rarely get traffic congestion problems because it was all thought through properly beforehand.

DadOnIce Sat 07-Sep-13 12:42:05

sassy - I'd love to see you coming here and having a go at making that work at my DD's secondary school, where 80% of pupils are bussed/driven from the outlying villages (because there are no walkable roads).

I think a lot of people making these lofty "suggestions" either have smaller children and haven't faced the issue yet, or live in a small town with the one, easily-walkable-along-quiet-roads secondary.

Sparklingbrook Sat 07-Sep-13 12:44:08

sassy that would be brilliant. please sort that out asap. smile Please can we have an exception for school buses though?

Hulababy Sat 07-Sep-13 12:44:54

400m seems fair enough, so long as the area involved has roads, etc . Not far to walk - infact far shorter distance than I am talking of anyway and my "being nice in bad rain" would have been outside this zone anyway. But then, there is no way I'd take my car any closer to DD's secondary anyway - nightmare with all the primary children being collected (it's a 4-18y school) - shudder at being that close and competing for space!

grumpyoldbat Sat 07-Sep-13 12:46:54

Op please reread your op and consider how it is worded and how it sounds. You effectively called any parent who doesn't live within easy walking distance of a secondary school a bad parent.

Had you said AIBU to object to bad parking on the school run blocking the road, to object to agressive behaviour by by school run parents, to object to dangerous driving on the school run or even to wonder why parents can't at least park slightly further from the school when doing the school run then I reckon you would have had much more support.

jacks365 Sat 07-Sep-13 12:49:25

Between where I live and the nearest town 5 miles away there is one main road with 4 schools on it, 3 primary and 1secondary. It's the only road through the valley so everyone uses it, buses deliveries etc. How does a 400m exclusion zone work for that?

Hulababy Sat 07-Sep-13 12:51:35

School buses for dd's school all park away from the school anyway as roads not suitable on immediate ones. So probably about that distance as it is.

grumpyoldbat Sat 07-Sep-13 12:54:44

Good point jacks it's a lovely idea *sassy but 100s of schools are on main roads, in some cases the only main road so the exclusion zone would cause massive congestion problems with the diversions being unsuitable for lorries etc.

Hulababy Sat 07-Sep-13 12:56:58

Yes, living in a city I hadn't considered the village type area or that some schools would be on the only main road in and out.

AmberLeaf Sat 07-Sep-13 12:57:24

Luckily my children go to a school very close to us and they walk, if it wasn't that close they would get the bus.

I don't get why those with perfectly justifiable reasons for driving their children to school are being so defensive?

grumpyoldbat Sat 07-Sep-13 12:59:32

Because the way the OP was worded it called all of us who don't live within walking distance of secondary schools bad parents. That's offensive and I don't even drive mine to school.

Lilymaid Sat 07-Sep-13 12:59:48

We are in an area that has village colleges. But villages aren't big (otherwise they would be towns) so pupils come in from a number of villages and most of those who don't live in the village that has the school are brought in by bus. There are still lots of parents collecting pupils even at normal school leaving time, though!

sheridand Sat 07-Sep-13 13:01:49

Interesting difference between the rural and urban mums, I think.
Us rural-ites have no choice as to which school, unless we pay to go private. My kids had one primary to choose from, and will have one secondary within 10 miles.

We tend, therefore, not to fuss too much about catchment and which school is best for the kids, because we don't actually have a choice. And actually, it turns out fine. Some kids do badly, others don't. It's mostly down to the parenting, I find, and I say that even as an ex-teacher who did teach in central and east London. In "sink" schools, if the parents were on board so were the kids, and in "outstanding" schools, if the parents were not, neither were the kids. I am glad I am out of all that competative parenting and pushing for this school and that, it would utterly do my head in. Schooling, and the right to it, should not be about who can afford to move houses or wriggle into catchment, or who gets God at the right time.

What I have noticed is that I'm in the minority walking my kids to school and back ( although we do bike too). It's about 3 miles each way. Almost everyone else drives. But then, i'm lucky in that I work in the school, and we have a good selection of wet suits. Just as well, or I would need a car, as the bus service is non-existant. 1 bus every 3 hours. No school bus service at all. No wonder people drive. It does make the area around the school a nightmare for those kids that do walk in, and an accident WILL happen, as a lot of parents park in the exclusion zone, despite notices telling them not to. But the police don't seem to charge anyone for it. They should.

AmberLeaf Sat 07-Sep-13 13:05:25

Is it offensive? sounds like a very limited opinion to me and no something anyone should get that upset about tbh.

No reasonable or sensible person would think a person a bad parent on that basis, so why even give a shit?

Picturesinthefirelight Sat 07-Sep-13 13:30:34

Children arnt allowed to walk or cycle to dds new secondary school as it isn't safe to walk up the lane.

sassytheFIRST Sat 07-Sep-13 13:31:08

Dadonice - that's exactly the sort of sec school I work in! Bus drop off zone could be 400m from school as well....why is that so hard?

Sparklingbrook Sat 07-Sep-13 13:34:01

It was really funny when the bus bay flooded at our local high school and all the children were on Facebook asking if school was closed. confused

sassytheFIRST Sat 07-Sep-13 13:34:45

True point about schools being on main roads. And obv, there would need to be safe pavement provision.

Really horrified to hear that new schools are being built which force children to be driven in!

sassytheFIRST Sat 07-Sep-13 13:36:11

I mean, horrified (ok bit strong smile) that planning allows for schools in this vein.

twistyfeet Sat 07-Sep-13 13:52:08

its funny how all the people, like those in villages, the OP clearly doesnt apply to pipe up. In cities more people could walk. And kids can carry stuff. I walked 4 miles to school carrying stuff. Children havnt got weaker in 30 years have they? My own children didnt get into any local secondaries so they spent an hour on the bus every morning to one 7 miles a way at a cost of 4 quid a day each. Stupidly expensive until 6th form where they got EMA until the bastard Govt abolished it. But we dont drive so there wasnt a choice.
In cities and towns more children could walk but dont. That is what I think the OP is getting at. And they are perfectly capable of carrying PE kit, guitars, cooking stuff etc. If you dont have SN, dont have to cross motorways, dont live in the arse-end of nowhere and the journey is under 3 or 4 miles then more kids could walk. Congestion would ease blah de blah. But some parents seem to think their kids would melt/pass out/arent capable. Its like we've become a nation of sissies.
DH was at school in London so walked half an hour to Ealing Broadway, 40 mins on the tube then half an hour to school. He's still here to tell the tale.

twistyfeet Sat 07-Sep-13 13:55:47

'We tend, therefore, not to fuss too much about catchment and which school is best for the kids, because we don't actually have a choice. And actually, it turns out fine'

It's the same for us SN mums Sheridand. There is one school in the city that has the facilities to cope with my VI dd. I have no idea what their ofsted or ranking or whatever is. I dont care because I have no choice or that luxury of local. They have the facilities to give my child an education so that is where she will go. It will take her 45 mins to get there too.

ChoudeBruxelles Sat 07-Sep-13 13:57:20

There isn't a secondary school within walking distance of us.

DadOnIce Sat 07-Sep-13 14:04:17

There's a perfectly fine bus-turning circle outside the school. It was built with that in mind. For buses to stop 400m from the school, which would be right in the middle of a residential street, would be insane.

fairylightsinthespring Sat 07-Sep-13 14:22:24

I agree that an awful lot of the problems are caused by those who feel the need to park so close. I teach in a secondary school in a very awkward spot, lots of narrow roads with cars parked already. There is a car park that is about 400m away. It would involve crossing one road at a zebra crossing. Its pay and display but for shopping traffic so could be used for drop off and pick up. There are many many roads 5-10 mins distance that the boys could be dropped off in. I have to drive to my son's school as its 30 mins away (and he's 4 smile) but I deliberately park a fair way away up the road, as its a village high street and gets very crowded. I also have to get DD out and into a buggy so don't want to block the pavement so close.
Lots of issues on here boil down to, "well, its personal choice" but this one does impact on others in terms of local residents, congestion etc that those who COULD use alternative methods (without being crazy-hours of time, dangerous routes etc are not alternatives) really should.

Some of my parent-colleagues are astonished that we usually walk to school. It takes about fifteen minutes with only a cul-de-sac off a minor road to cross, so we encounter a car maybe once a fortnight when crossing it.

If we do drive, we drive not quite to school, where there is a quiet car park within five minutes' walk of school along a safe path with no roads to cross, or on a quiet side street with two roads to cross at marked crossings.

By contrast, the school car park is rammed with 4x4s parked very haphazardly, coming and going continually, where we have to cross at least twice with constant traffic. Many of the spaces are at least five minutes from the classroom door.

It isn't unreasonable to drive your child to school if that fits your life, but dropping them five minutes round the corner might make all the difference to their social life and the congestion near the school site.

Only 20% of schools didn't have a child injured by a car within 500m of the school gate in 2006-2011 which puts those as real hotspots. 36% had an accident near the gate in any given year.

IfNotNowThenWhen Sat 07-Sep-13 15:34:28

I find the idea that anyone has a choice of schools quite bizarre actually. Noone I know has "chosen" a school. You get the nearest one, and that's that.
I do think that a lot of the car/school problem could be solved by actual mass transport eg buses.
Some areas are so poorly served and getting worse. Since they privatised our bus service it has deteriorated massively, as it's hard to make profit from public transport. Less profitable routes are simply dropped.
This impacts greatly on young people particularly, and totally robs them of independence.
I would never, ever live anywhere dead rural for this exact reason.Its bad enough where I am (smallish town) Without a car, you are trapped. <shudder>

sheridand Sat 07-Sep-13 15:35:24

I agree twistyfeet, the lack of schools for SN is a shocker post 11 where I live, the distance the parents have to travel IF they get their children in, is dreadful! We're talking 25 miles plus! It's daft. So many SN schools/ units got shut down in the late 80's, and then again in the mid 90's.

A friend did get, with the help of the school and co-workers, a place in the nearest, but it's still up to her to get her child there.

When you have no / limited choice, you just get on with it, don't you? And i'm with you on the walking. I used to walk 4 miles each way as a kid, with all my bags, and so did loads of kids from my village. It was 1989. No-one died. ( I am old enough to get this Steve Coogan reference, it might not make sense otherwise.....) No-one blinked at it. I think they do now. I have people not believe my two ( 6 and 5) walk 3 miles, it's like i'm being cruel, but actually the walk or bike to school is a really positive way to start our day. Although they do make me carry all the frigging book bags and lunchboxes.

grumpyoldbat Sat 07-Sep-13 16:26:57

Of course it's offensive to be called a bad mum.

twistyfeet Sat 07-Sep-13 16:32:39

My problem is I dont want an SN school. The ones here are soley for children with LD's. dd has PD's and is blind. The school I mentioned is the only one that has a hoist and chnaging facilities and facilities for the VI. So I have little sympathy when people bitch on about 'choice'. I'd love to send dd to the nearest comp which is 10 mins walk (or 15 mins push) and I dont give a fuck what its like. It'd be local. She'd have local mates. Having seen her brothers spend 2 hours a day on a bus due to lack of school places and had to fork out bus fares was already a pain and now poor dd will have to travel for nearly an hour too. She already has to travel 3 miles to a primary (mainstream) when the local primary is a stones throw but they dont have hoists either. And when it snowed a couple of years back pushing her wheelchair through 8 inches of snow to get her there was not fun. Funnily enough all the sissies in cars couldnt make it in grin
I'd make it back to local schools like it used to be or use American style school buses for those whose legs drop off after 3 feet.
(disclaimer : I am talking about cities and towns, not rural arse end of nowhere with 60 mph roads with no pavements and no choice) then we wouldnt have this hideous school run congestion twice a day.

Charlottehere Sat 07-Sep-13 19:17:08

wish she gets the bus, wasn't the question though, hanks for sarcasim. hmm

Charlottehere Sat 07-Sep-13 19:18:07


dogindisguise Sat 07-Sep-13 21:55:46

I think it's what we should aspire too (apart from in rural areas where it's too far to walk) - ideally we'd be like Finland, where I get the impression that everyone goes to their local school that are all equally excellent. However, that situation is a long way off in the UK.

I see loads of children getting picked up by car from my local schools. I don't think many of them can live more than a mile away max.

JedwardScissorhands Sat 07-Sep-13 22:11:19

Rural does not mean arse end if nowhere, twisty. I'll take my pleasant market town and surrounding rural villages with shops etc any day of the week over an inner city area.

Talkinpeace Sat 07-Sep-13 22:16:09

DCs school catchment is 11 miles across ....

and they could walk to the local school but I'd home educate rather than send them there.
I drive them in (as the bus times are rubbish) and they get the bus home.

Talkinpeace Sat 07-Sep-13 22:25:29

"The bus could park 400 m from school"
try 15 double deckers lined up to drive the distant kids back home and the smaller busses to get down the narrow lanes

"no car zones near schools"
FFS, if "the school is next to "the post office" on "the main road" would you close it?
or would you ban the teachers from driving to work, and the delivery men parking in the school, and visitors with equipment from getting into the school

a lot of people do not seem to look at how schools operate

mummytime Sat 07-Sep-13 22:37:20

I have choose my DCs schools!
DS will be commuting quite a long way for his new one.

However I noticed when picking up DDs because of our normal Friday rush, that the new parents haven't learnt the unwritten rules: do not pull into the cull de sac by school A when there isno longer any parking or room to turn, or if you do be good at passing in a very small space; parents at the posh pull your cars to the far left to allow some passing traffic by; by the senior school be aware some people want to go further down the road, so don'tsuddenlt stop.

School buses do mainly pick up and set down itching the school grounds though.

Lancelottie Sat 07-Sep-13 23:08:06

Friday was a particularly busy day, I think.

Near DS's school, it was mayhem, I suspect because quite a few parents had thought, 'First week in, let's be nice to the new Yr 7s and pick them up.'

So maybe things will settle down again shortly and Catham, you will be less horrified!

NoComet Sun 08-Sep-13 01:46:06

Lancerlottie I think there was a lot of that at DDs school too on Friday. There were an awful lot of cars and buses turning up late.

We had an errand to run near school, normally DDs use the usless slow bus except on Wed.

Because bus is so slow DD1 misses her music lesson, if I don't fetch them.

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