No space on school bus

(11 Posts)
MadMum2015 Thu 18-Jun-15 07:58:19

Apologies firstly for NC on this. I have been on a number of threads under my normal name which mention my DS' new school so I don't want to be identifiable.

Basically I am getting myself into a huge stress about DS's transport to school from September. He is going to a private school about 9 miles away and which has a bus from our village. That bus is really the reason we thought it would be feasible for him to go to school (we both work longish hours and a long way from the school) but its now clear that it is unlikely there will be space for DS on the bus next year. There is a waiting list, which he is number 7 on, but the bursar has explained there is unlikely to be much movement now until next year, ie when DS goes into Yr8!

DS can get to school via public transport (train and bus) but it is not great and will involve a lot of walking (not a problem in the light) but as the school day finishes at 4.00pm he will need to do a lot of the journey in the dark from Oct-Feb.

This is where I need advice from you all to decide whether I am being unnecessarily stressy because my friends seem to have different views and the whole private school thing is new to us.

Should I be making a fuss at the school? DS will be 11 for most of next year, my PFB panic-head feels its mad that an 11 year old has to face this journey when there will be 6th formers on the bus who only have the space because they've been at the school longer. (I am aware I am probably being unreasonable here). The school has a strict no mobile phone policy too so he would over my dead body be doing this journey without a phone.

The other thing that worries me is that because of the school buses, you don't see boys from the school on local public transport so DS will be in the classic private school kid situation, standing out. There'll be no safety in numbers.

Has anyone else faced anything similar? Should I be worried about an 11 year old doing a 1hr 15 minute commute with 35 mins walking, most of it in the dark in Winter.

Yes, I am stressed sad

ArgyMargy Thu 18-Jun-15 08:01:01

Horrible - I would be stressed too. Any chance the 7 on the waiting list could club together for a daily taxi/minibus?

violetwellies Thu 18-Jun-15 08:05:04

He wouldn't be going if he was mine.
What are your alternatives?

bronya Thu 18-Jun-15 08:06:47

Can't they hire a bigger bus?

titchy Thu 18-Jun-15 08:08:15

Agree with idea about clubbing together and asking a local taxi firm to do the contract for a year. Or see if the bursar can arrange a similar scheme - I assume you'd be paying for the coach?

Floggingmolly Thu 18-Jun-15 08:14:04

Why on earth have they chosen a bus which leaves several children without a place on it? If there are 7 or more children left out; the bus is inadequate for the purpose. I'd be raising (un)holy hell...

AdventureBe Thu 18-Jun-15 08:14:57

I'm afraid if the school was seeing it as your problem, rather then theirs to resolve, when there are (at least) 7 children affected and the school should be working to effect a smooth transition, I'd be wondering if this was the right place for him anyway.

chemenger Thu 18-Jun-15 11:51:38

I should think that a taxi for the 7 pupils on the waiting list would work out as a similar cost to the school bus (if it is anything like ours). I would be disappointed with the school for not seeking to find a solution for all their pupils - they have all the information about who gets the bus and who wants to and if they lose pupils because of this it would be a cost to them. It might be possible for them to use a school minibus for pupils closer to the school, for example. Our school has an extensive bus network and is always making changes to routes and timings to accommodate changes in demand. School buses are usually subsidised to maximise the number of pupils within reach of the school, your school seems to have a different attitude, which I would question.
I did have some issues with our bus and I found that taking them further up the management to someone who understood the bigger picture was very effective in sorting things out. The person in charge of buses was not willing to look beyond the bus to the cost of losing several pupils.

Ausflug Thu 18-Jun-15 12:09:46

I think the clubbing together for a taxi is a good idea.

But what will the journey by public transport actually be like?

Is it all at one end? If it's at the school end, it should still be fairly light in the evening and have brightened up in the morning.

Will there be street lights and pavements?

Is there any possiblity of a place on the bus on just some days? - at my school there were often after school activities like choir, orchestra, sport etc which meant people stayed later some days. My school also had a homework club for pupils to stay late.

Or if your DS stayed late some days, would you be able to collect him/ meet him half way?

I usually only went home at 4pm when school finished about once or twice a week.

I was also a private school kid all on their own on the bus, but because my commute was so long (about an hour, but just on one bus, no changing) and I had to set off so early, I didn't really encounter anyone from other schools to jeer at me - they would all have been setting off later. There were some pupils going to 6th form college, but they tended to ignore me, especially when I was younger.

It won't get really dark until half term, so you can see how the public transport option is working out until then, perhaps, then see if you need to make other plans.

TeddTess Thu 18-Jun-15 13:27:41

I'm afraid if the school was seeing it as your problem, rather then theirs to resolve, when there are (at least) 7 children affected and the school should be working to effect a smooth transition, I'd be wondering if this was the right place for him anyway.

sums it up to me.

Unexpected Thu 18-Jun-15 13:43:06

I am assuming that all 7 are going into Yr 7 next year so some may still be holding on to other offers. Surely the scho ol can see that they risk losing paying students if they/their parents can't get them to school? It doesn't bode well for how school will deal with any other issues which crop up.

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