Anyone have children at 3 different secondary schools?

(21 Posts)
Maggie3socks Mon 22-Feb-16 20:01:30

I am in the unusual situation of needing to accept secondary school places for triplets. We think that one child has passed the exam for grammar school and will be going there. The other two need to choose between two local schools which are not near the grammar. For various reasons, they don't prefer the same school and don't seem to have any concerns about being separated, in fact they like the idea.

They would be travelling in three different directions from home so would have to make their own way there and back (or at least two of them would!); each journey will probably take 30-40mins and will involve two buses. Holiday dates will not be the same for the three schools, although there should be plenty of overlap.

There is nothing between the two local schools academically. I'm torn between letting them have their initial choice and dealing with the logistical consequences or pushing one child to go to the same school as their sibling for a simpler life.

Does anyone have any experience of this? How much of a nuisance could it be? My main concern is that they will be travelling on their own in different directions, and problems arise I won't be able to rescue all three of them!

Suffolkgirl1 Mon 22-Feb-16 20:31:11

Not exactly, but I have had 3 children, at 3 different schools (2 secondary and 1 primary) for the past 5 years. For my older two being in separate secondary schools has been a good thing as they are no longer compared and their relationship out of school has actually improved, they happily socialise together now and have mutual friends out of school. The main problems have not been transport related but clashing of dates for concerts, parents evenings etc especially in the run up to xmas and my brain trying to cope with who should be where and when (I have tried to send the wrong child to school when one had a non pupil day !) I have fortunately never had to rescue more than one in a day.

Leeds2 Mon 22-Feb-16 20:34:48

I am not in this position, but there was a triplet at DD's school whose parents had chosen three separate schools for their three girls on purpose, because they wanted them to be their own person/have their own friends etc. No idea how it worked logistically, but the one at DD's school got the school bus there and back.

i have a friend with four children at three different secondaries. Sometimes they make their own way, sometimes she takes/collects one or more of them depending on the circumstances. It seems to work!

Maggie3socks Mon 22-Feb-16 20:45:56

Thanks for the responses. My three do seem to want to spread their wings away from each other but when I mention the possibility of three different schools most people tell me it will be hard work.

insan1tyscartching Mon 22-Feb-16 20:52:58

At one point I had five children in five different settings, it was doable because the older ones made their own way back and a neighbour brought back the middle one with her dd. If they were all able to travel independently then it would have been easier though.
My tips would be have a whiteboard and use it, have a planner and colour code different schools/ activities/ holidays etc. Make sure they all have plenty of uniform and their own linen baskets.
I picked the schools that suited their individual needs and don't regret it in the slightest tbh.

museumum Mon 22-Feb-16 20:57:30

IT sounds like a nightmare. But I think once you've got one going to a school that suits then best without the other two you have to let the other two each have the school that suits them too.

5madthings Mon 22-Feb-16 21:07:51

I currently have two in different high schools and in sept ds3 will start at a diff high school so yes three kids in diff high schools then another two at primary and baby six due easter.

It's fine as they get themselves to and from high school. The holidays are roughly the same with inset days thst can be different. I haven't had an issue with them needing to be rescued/picked up at the same time. But mine aren't triplets.

Logistically it can be a pita with parents evenings, events but generally things don't clash it just means three nights at parents eve in different places rather than goung to one place on one night iyswim.

I think at high school age it's quite important they go somewhere they want to be. Ds3 didn't want to go to the high school ds2 is at at all. Our feeling was they are all different people and different schools fit different children so they are each at the school that suited them.

Bolddecision Mon 22-Feb-16 21:13:34

I have three in three different schools in opposite directions and it's great - they all have their own routine, and own identity (especially important as two of the three are id twins. Third is a few years older).

No negative issues at all so far. Different uniforms is a real plus - no arguments about who has lost something!

Maggie3socks Mon 22-Feb-16 22:23:14

Thanks, that gives me some comfort that it could work, and could actually be an advantage in terms of developing independence from each other. I know they are only going to get older but the main worry for me at the minute is the journey alone - most people can worry a little less about older siblings travelling to school and focus on the child transferring to secondary, but mine will have to make their first journeys to school on their own through some city areas that I'm not too keen on. They are up for it though, which is the main thing I guess. We'll just have to muddle through the different parent evenings and events - we have grandparents nearby which might be able to attend.
A few people have repeated the advice to let the child go to the school they really want, so we will probably go with that. It's hard though, because both schools are good and I'm sure both children would be fine in either of them, but one might feel cheated if I nudge them towards a school that wasn't their first choice.

TranquilityofSolitude Mon 22-Feb-16 22:30:23

I have 2 DDs in different sixth forms and DNephew, who lives with us, is at a third. Our situation is obviously different but I love the fact that they all have different INSET days as I get time alone with each one (if I can take time away from work). It's been nice to take them out to lunch etc and listen to them one to one for a change.

Logistically DNephew gets the bus to school, DD1 walks and I take DD2 to school, so it tends to work out quite well. There has been a clash of parents' evenings but we just made one set of appointments for the afternoon and the other for the early evening.

getoffthattabletnow Tue 23-Feb-16 08:23:06

I wouldn't do it.I have four and they will all be going in the same direction.OK the boys will be in one school and the girls in another.But I do live rurally and there is no bus service to a lot of them and they are over an hour away.So its just not practical.It would be easier in a City where several schools are close together.I also like the sense of continuity that comes from sending children to the same school ( and a sibling discount).Plus they all can borrow each other's PE kit if necessary.
I have no extended family here and a Dh who rarely gets involved with the education side of things and is often away.Hence long-distance rural travel and poor weather just doesn't mix.

GasLightShining Tue 23-Feb-16 21:20:40

Lots of children catch buses to school so it shouldn't be a problem - not like you trying to drive them all.

As far as parents evenings are concerned I think you would be struggling to see all their teachers anyway as they wouldn't necessarily have the same ones. Three different parents evenings is what you would be attending if you has 3 of differing ages.

As twin I would not have appreciated being sent somewhere because my twin wanted to go there and vice versa

MilkRunningOutAgain Tue 23-Feb-16 21:28:47

Are they sporty? I can imagine them all needing lifts most evenings all year. We end up getting taxis for DS sometimes and it's really expensive. But I can't be in several places at once, we are rural and there are no buses and while I don't mind him waiting for a while, having him wait more than an hour, particularly in winter, seems ott.

Peaceandloveeveryone Tue 23-Feb-16 21:33:51

Yes, I have three in three different Sec schools, never been a problem, they all get there independently and I like it actually. They all do things their own way and it's been great.

Maggie3socks Tue 23-Feb-16 23:14:23

Sadly no sibling discount and they are boy and girl so there would be no sharing PE kit! I'm not particularly worried about them all getting to school on the bus, it's the idea of them hanging around bus stops on their own during dark winter nights when they have had an after-school club that is giving me palpitations. We're suburban rather than rural so they can get public buses, and possibly a school bus. They're musical and not particularly sporty, so we'll have to hope rehearsals are at lunchtime! It's good to get the viewpoint of a twin, GasLight. Your comment reflects exactly what is worrying me about pushing one of them to their second-choice school even if they would probably still enjoy being there. We are viewing the schools again this week and I have asked them both to keep an open mind.

GasLightShining Tue 23-Feb-16 23:28:53

There may be other children at the bus stops.

It may work out with them going to the same school but if it goes wrong that DC will sure as hell make you know it.

Again once they visit again they may decide on the same one

Hope it works out

SanityClause Wed 24-Feb-16 09:14:17

I had three children at three different school for 5 years, although one has now joined the sixth form of the same school as a sibling.

It was fine.

I went in the basis of choosing what I thought was the best school for each child, and the family dynamic as a whole (I was very keen for my two DDs to be at different schools, as there were problems when they were in the same primary, together). In other words, we treat each DC as an individual, as much as possible, and I am sure you will be very aware of wanting to do that with triplets.

Even if they do have evening clubs, they might not all be on the same night, and I normally find I can be in two places at once, although three can be a stretch! I know that schools often have a late bus to take into consideration evening sports practice and music rehearsals, although we are lucky enough that each of our DC only needs to take one bus, with a short walk at either end.

Remember, they are only 10 or 11 now, but they will soon be strapping teenagers, and very much able to sort out their own travel.

We do have a parents evening clash this week, in fact, so DH and I will just have to go to different ones. I think it's very unlikely that you would get three things all on the same night. And if you did, there's usually ways around it, anyway.

Obviously, a 10yo child should not be making all the decisions about their school, but if you think the two schools are equally well suited, then I would let them choose.

Ladymuck Wed 24-Feb-16 09:17:40

Parents evenings - trying to have proper parents evening for triplets in the same schools will still be challenging. You'll probably get time to focus better on each child if these are separate.
Concerts etc - to be honest, even if they are at the same school these can take up multiple evenings/afternoons. End of terms are hectic. You may not be able to get to everything (and by the time they're 14, 15, it may be less of an issue), but worth looking at school calendars if published to get an idea of how many late nights yours dc may have - they may be able to make their own way home at 4pm, but what about the 9pm finishes?

TheSecondOfHerName Wed 24-Feb-16 21:11:12

My twins started at different secondary schools in September. It's going really well and they are both happy.

littledrummergirl Fri 26-Feb-16 00:44:16

3dc at 3 schools, not a problem so far.

BackforGood Fri 26-Feb-16 00:49:04

I can only claim 2 diff secondaries and 1 primary at the same time, but never an issue. As you state, they travel themselves in secondary, and different days off now and then are no longer an issue as they can obviously be home alone. My friends with triplets had 2 at one school and 1 at another, and the 2 being together made things more difficult, not less, as they were always competitive about every mark that came back, or anything that was awarded in assembly or form or whatever - I think she was delighted when they then went to different 6th forms.

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