Child take train alone?(48 Posts)
Is there a legal age for this?
If there is not a legal age, how old do you think is old enough for them to take train alone?
The regular journey I am thinking about will last about 2 hours and 20 mins, including one stop.
What is the best discount card for a child alone?
One of mine has come back from boarding school alone since the age of 13. It involves 2.5-3 hours of travel although usually just one change. We've had a couple of missed connections and once a missed stop, but these are all good learning experiences IMO.
Other possibility about the plan is going home every three weeks. Children can leave on Friday 3 pm, and they are supposed to come back on Sunday afternoon. Train station is right next to the school. I will always pick up. School staff can walk children to train station, not sure whether they can pick up, I don't think so. I am also thinking about practice the journey with him couple of times, then see what's next. My Ds1 is very mature for his age, very confident person.
Thank you to all again. I learned a lot , such as Sunday nightmare etc.You are very helpful!
There's a great film just out in France called Sur Le Chemin de l'Ecole about children in Argentina, Morocco, India and Kenya travelling long distances on foot or horse across deserts/mountains/other inhospitable nature to get to school.
I don't think two hours on a UK commuter train twice a week is much to put up with!
Anyway, I've answered the OP. some DCs can cope with a journey like that. Prepare them for it and if they have travelling companions it makes it so much easier. The journey becomes part of their social time and if they are smart they will use it to get homework done. DD buys a Starbucks, chills out and watches Eastenders on her iPad.
Downton - don't get dragged down. Some people are just trouble & as thick as mince What you did for/with DD was above & beyond to enable her to follow her dreams, especially when you wouldn't have chosen this for her yourself. I suspect she is better prepared to handle her 'commute' than most kids who walk to the local senior school!
I'm not sure what you're getting at Friday
DDs commute is 4 hours a week, plus a 10 minute tube each way.
Most children around here have a much longer journey across the whole of the week. Lots and lots of children everywhere have a 30-60 minute bus journey to school every day.
Are you calling that abuse?
There are children travelling every day from Kent, Essex, Oxford etc- many commute 3 hours a day to get there
In case anyone still thinks that abusive parenting is unique to the feckless underclass, we present "obsessive parents and the things they put their kids through so they can brag about it on Facebook".
There is no conceivable educational advantage that will justify spending the equivalent of 35 days a year (assuming eight hours sleep and 190 school days) on public transport. Over the course of a seven year secondary career, they will have spent eight solid months (16 hours a day for 249 days = 3984 hours, 3 hours a day for 190 days per year for 7 years = 3990 hours) travelling. FFS.
We did a term of Saturday school at first, with me taking her every week. That was last year. Then I moved to London for 7 months and we both travelled home at weekends. That's when she learnt about the tubes, buses, safety etc.
This was all preparation for this term when she started boarding. Yes I could continue doing the travelling with her on Monday's/Fridays but actually we have spent the best part of a year building up to it and as most of the time she has company, she really doesn't need or want me to do it. There was a new starter in September and DD showed her what to do and where to go. She negotiates all that with a suitcase too. Hand on heart I think she is safer travelling from kings x at busy times on the tube than she would be going through our local bus station and wandering around the town centre. it's not like she's wandering round back streets and she would never get into an empty carriage.
BUT, and it's a big but, I know most other people wouldn't be comfortable with it. It is not ideal but it is the norm for many at her school. She takes it in her stride.
Hi Downton, I guessed this might be a performing arts school.
Is there no way you could take her yourself?
Do the school have any suggestions? I don't think your dilemma will be unique
Downton - I can imagine You are lovely to let her do it, even though it's not what you would prefer.
I did 2 trains (with a change) and a 20 minute walk - total 1-1.5 hours each way, daily from y7 (when I was aged 11 and 2 days!)
Yes. Well known theatre school. So she does the journey or doesn't go. Her choice. It breaks my heart actually but that's another story.
Eurostar lets children take it on their own as of their 12th birthday. So I think a national journey on the train ought to be within their capabilities. I was certainly taking the train from Kent to London (an hour's journey) on my own by the age of 10.
Downton - is it a school for something specific? (ie Dance)
I am very impressed with her navigation of the tube - well done her
Chippingin no she doesn't mind it- so far. It was the trade off for her to go to this school. And believe me, if there had been something similar in our area, we would have gone there, but there isn't.
There are children travelling every day from Kent, Essex, Oxford etc- many commute 3 hours a day to get there, so conversely her 4 hours a week is relatively minor. Had she gone to one of the grammar schools in this area (locally) we would have had to leave the house at 7am to get her to the bus.
Now it isn't ideal. I won't pretend it is. There is a fairly high turnover of DCs who start the school and can't cope with their journeys. I suspect that in winter a 5am start on a Monday morning will get very wearing. She has got on the wrong tube once. Realised what she had done, got off at the next stop and changed. There were delays on one line so she just took a different route. But like I said, I spent months training her.
Really? I work near primary schools in south London and see plenty of aged 5-10 on the buses accompanied by adults. I've just never seen them alone without an adult.
Why don't you post in secondary schools rather than primary ?
Eldon how many 5 year olds do you see on the tube/buses in London on their own? I work in London and I can honestly say I have never seen this. Plenty of secondary aged dcs but not year 1s!
I'd say 10 years and up
In London 5-10 year olds can ride the train/bus/tram/tube alone
Downton - does DD mind doing it? (not so much the 'safely' aspect but the time it takes). If there were others doing it and the child had friends to talk to and didn''t mind doing it, I'd be happy for them to do it. I was more picturing the OP's child doing it alone every weekend. I used to do it myself (as an adult, for work) and it got old quickly - especially when the train was full and you had to stand a lot of the time. (I couldn't book in advance as due to the job I could never be certain I'd get that specific train). I felt half my weekend was wasted commuting - and I like trains!
I would be happy to do it occasionally from about 10 if the child is sensible and if they have a phone - say to stay with a parent/grandparent etc but I would not expect a child to do it every weekend (no matter what age) for weekly boarding - it's too much, especially (as others have said) if your DC can't leave until Saturday lunchtime and has to return on a Sunday when lots of disruptions are probable.
And yes to outtolunch Sunday travel is a nightmare. Hence we do early, very early, Monday mornings. DD then gets a full weekend at home. She copes with the early start just fine.
My DD is 11. She does a 2 hour train journey Monday and Friday (weekly boarding.)
She is unaccompanied, but travels with others doing the same journey. We parents all book the same train and seats so that they sit together. We book up seats as far in advance as possible to get the advance fares. There is no railcard for a child under 16 as they are already child (half) price.
If an over 16 was travelling there is a 16-24 railcard or family and friends railcard. Also with East Coast they have a 3 together fare if there are 3 or more travelling together.
They also have a 4 stop tube journey at the other end. Things can, and do, go wrong. Delayed/cancelled trains etc. if they miss their booked train it is very costly. Do you mean one stop or one change? how will your DC get from station to school?
I have been doing the journey with her for a number of months to prepare her for doing it without me. Another parent is currently accompanying her child so DD travels with them. Last week did both journeys by herself though as the others were not travelling. it is working for us but many will think it crazy. Only you know your child and whether they are mature /sensible enough.
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