2 kids in same school or separate schools is ok? 30 - 45 mins travel across London is ok?

(18 Posts)
X5354 Mon 15-Feb-16 06:35:32

Would love to hear abt any experiences of kids in separate schools in London? Or is it better to keep both DCs in same place?

SquirmOfEels Mon 15-Feb-16 07:02:01

Secondary age?

No reason to keep DC on the same school (in London or anywhere else) if they're better suited in different ones, and you can secure the places.

The only downside is that you can't hand-me-down uniform, but as so many schools have second hand sales, that's not such a biggie.

SquirmOfEels Mon 15-Feb-16 07:14:40

And I can't think why 30-45 minutes travelling time would be a problem, assuming the journey is reasonably straightforward (in terms of not too many changes).

ChalkHearts Mon 15-Feb-16 07:52:02

Separate schools is fine - or indeed preferable for many.

30-45 mins commute (door to door) is also fine for a school you really want.

ChippyMinton Mon 15-Feb-16 08:07:30

Separate schools fine.
Journey fine - better if the journey is reasonably straightforward and has fallback routes/options if something goes wrong.

EricNorthmanSucks Mon 15-Feb-16 08:10:41

I had my two in separate secondary schools.

It was best for them in terms of fit, but logistically it was a PITA.

They're now in the same sixth form and life is easierwink.

Lucsy Mon 15-Feb-16 08:17:08

I have children at school 16 miles from each other and both are 8 miles from home

It's a bloody nightmare. Usually roads are clear but when there is an accident it's impossible. It's the journey between the schools that the difficulty. Either one is very late, or I'm very late picking one up as there is no spare time. There is only enough time if the roads are clear. It takes a stupid amount of time, the children get stressed that they might be late and it costs a fortune in petrol.

I'm only going to have to do it until July hopefully if my Dd gets the school next to her brothers, otherwise in September it will be even worse.

I would never choose to do it long term. One year is bad enough and even then I've underestimated how difficult it is

WinnieTheW0rm Mon 15-Feb-16 08:26:32

OP says she's in London, in the title. The DC will be going by themselves on public transport, surely? So unless it's a notoriously unreliable and overcrowded route, they'll be fine.

TheWildRumpyPumpus Mon 15-Feb-16 08:26:38

Don't most secondary school children get themselves to school anyway? Especially in London with the excellent public transport system and school buses laid on.

Pick the best school available for your child, assuming they will get a place.

EricNorthmanSucks Mon 15-Feb-16 08:30:26

It's not the getting to and from school on a normal day that is the problem.

It's when they stay late and you might need to collect them. Plus all the times parents need to attend. This was a heavy commitment for my two ( private schools so perhaps more stuff?).

RascarCapac Mon 15-Feb-16 10:40:35

Hmm, we had this last year. This is a personal opinion, but I think part of the (luxury) problem with London is that there are so many schools available within a reasonable and "not very unreasonable" commuting distance, that it is possible to overthink schooling options and come up with something which is fab on paper but a pain in reality.

DH and I both work full time and - again, personal opinion- finding the bandwidth for two separate schools in different directions would be a real challenge. The synergies of having them both at the same school is quite large. Mine travel entirely independently on public transport, but that part is not the problem: you would be surprised at how often you have to go down yourself or do pick up and drop off at odd hours (the 5.45 am start for a day trip to WW1 battlefields was a particular favourite). Also, you know when you look at things about prospective schools that make you all glowy, like "sport is for everyone"' "the school is a strong community", "we encourage every child to try new things"" and "the pastoral care and parent/school communication is excellent"? All of that points to participation and that means your moderately untalented child will be in the E football/netball/hockey team, in a massed choir/being a spear carrier in the school play and you will be constantly invited down to the school for talks on drugs/sex and relationships/drinking etc. All of which I actually think is very good, but in my experience, a good secondary school is not quite the "hands off" regime you are led to believe.

So my tips, in order: go for the same school; failing which go for two but ones that are not in opposite directions (and, critically, check out games fields as they are the killer), and failing which have children with no particular extra curricular talents at a "we only celebrate winners" school. Or be prepared to do a lot of shuttling!

(Oh, and my DC have an unerring instinct to be "besties forever" with classmates right on the other side of the school catchment, which widens your routes out further again).

Seriouslyffs Mon 15-Feb-16 10:46:38

I managed 4 secondary/VI Forms for my 3 in London. Never a problem, they make their own way and somehow never even had a parents evening clash. I think the 5.45 Battlefields start is always going to be a pita even with Drs at the same school- you're hardly going to leave the other one there early are you?
Also I assume that 40 minutes public transport is 20 by car? So indulgent Mum alert forgotten packed lunch/ clarinet is less of a problem.

Alwaysfrank Mon 15-Feb-16 11:01:35

We have 3 at different schools in opposite directions and it is honestly not a problem (would be 4 except eldest has now finished school)! Two of the three use public transport which is the same whether they stay late or not. Third needs picking up sometimes but is on dh's route home from work, and in any case we know plenty of people to share lifts with.

I think it totally depends where you are and the extent to which they can travel independently.

Cookingwine Mon 15-Feb-16 17:11:15

Not a problem at all

BackforGood Mon 15-Feb-16 18:50:41

No experience of London specifically - but can't see why it is different from any other big city...
Agree with everyone else, you should choose the best option for each dc when their time comes, not make all younger siblings follow into the one that suited your eldest. No issue at secondary with them being in 2 sep schools. No issue with 3/4 hr travelling time either.

X5354 Tue 16-Feb-16 04:06:58

Unfortunately DCs probably too young to travel independently. One just joining year 7 and the other year 4 in sept in opposite directions. I guess it will be a case of one on school bus and finding somewhere in between to live. Thank you all for the v informative perspectives.

LBOCS2 Tue 16-Feb-16 05:32:18

It was certainly completely normal for a y7 to get themselves to and from secondary school in London when I was there (on public transport, often involving changes). Anecdotally (a number of friends are teachers), this is still the case.

My DSis and I went to schools which were not in the same direction, one private, one state, both travelled independently to and from. Our parents worked very full time hours so lifts were never an option, nor were having forgotten things dropped off. It worked absolutely fine.

Seriouslyffs Tue 16-Feb-16 07:11:06

Definitely 100% norm from year 7 in London. Very unusual for children to be dropped off regularly, it's for lateness, Cellos, dofe rucksacks etc.

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