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Rewards for walking to primary school

(53 Posts)
Manyofhorror3 Sun 05-May-13 15:23:53

We've had a note saying that children will be rewarded with house points if they walk to school once a week and back, for 3 weeks. DC1 is already on about it, and there is no way we will be doing it. We live in the next village, four miles away, as do lots of children, as it's a faith school with a huge catchment area.
I asked why the school was essentially rewarding kids for things they have no control over, and they sad it was an attempt to reduce congestion at pick up time. But if they'd actually asked the parents who drive to school they'd find they're doing it out if necessity, not choice!
AIBU to think this is a crap way to sort out an unavoidable issue?

molly199 Sun 05-May-13 15:26:27

Park a few streets away and walk from there. Problem solved

roisin Sun 05-May-13 15:27:37

If it's very congested near the school, could you park elsewhere and walk in? Does that count?
If lots of children live in the next village, do you all car share to ease congestion?

Saidar Sun 05-May-13 15:27:42

How is congestion an unavoidable issue?

Sounds like it's the first idea and it would be good if the parents who don't have a choice fedback to the school to help them deal with the issue. Perhaps if the children nearer walked and some further away got rewarded for carpooling it could make a big difference.

Congestion means busy roads and quite often lots of parked cars in one small area, can be very dangerous for primary school children. Reducing the road users could have a big impact on safety, the children's health and the environment. YABU.

selsigfach Sun 05-May-13 15:28:01

Yabu. There will be local children who are needlessly driven who should be encouraged to walk, reducing congestion for you. I'm sure your children can find other ways to get points.

CloudsAndTrees Sun 05-May-13 15:30:14

Yanbu. Our school does walk to school week, and it's a complete pain in the arse.

We live in the next villiage along from school, and there is no way we could walk. Even if we lived in the same villiage I wouldn't walk unless it was literally on the doorstep because I have to get to work straight after school drop off.

The school suggests that if we have to drive, we should park a couple of streets away and then walk. If I were to do this, we would have to drive straight past the school, and into the centre of the villiage causing more traffic. And it's not really fair on those people who chose not to live right next to a school anyway.

It is wrong to punish or reward children for what their parents do. I tell my ds he is allowed to say he has walked if we park in one of the furthest possible spaces outside the school instead of the closest.

kotinka Sun 05-May-13 15:31:06

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

MousyMouse Sun 05-May-13 15:34:03

I think the parents should be penalised (parking fees?) for using the car to take dc to school.
only exception I could think of is a very rural school were the way to school is too long to walk (so more tan a mile for able bodied people)

SneezySnatcher Sun 05-May-13 15:35:54

At our school it counts if you park further away and walk the rest of the distance. Is this something you can do?

TheHerringScreams Sun 05-May-13 15:39:28

The only good thing about our area is there are so many people that no one lives outside five minutes away or they wouldn't have got in!

Park so you have a small walk. Like, park at the street before the entrance or further away a bit, so you walk a bit but not much.

CloudsAndTrees Sun 05-May-13 15:44:56

Mousy, you think parents should be penalised for having a job and needing to get to work straight after they have taken their children to school?

You think it is that unacceptable to use a perfectly legal and valid method of transport just because it involves school and not work or anything else that may require driving at that time of day?

Really? hmm

lljkk Sun 05-May-13 15:47:54

You need a Park and Stride system for children who really don't live in walking distance. Why don't you offer to organise it? You'll need a free short-stay carpark within half a mile of the school. Quarter of a mile is about perfect distance.

CelticPixie Sun 05-May-13 15:55:19


Its not just about improving congestion near the school. There are obvious health benefits in walking. I walked to school every day, even in the rain. I can count on one hand the number of times I was given a lift. But of course back then everyone went to their local village school, there was none of this a snobbery about catchment areas and OFSTED reports. You went to the school nearest to your house.

Growing up all of the kids on my street went to the local school except a brother and sister who went to Catholic school. Now the kids near me go to schools all over the place when there is a perfectly good one round the corner.

Its a shame.

Jinsei Sun 05-May-13 15:56:27

I think it's crazy to reward the children for this, as it isn't a level playing field and it's beyond the control of the children in any case.

We walk to school every day, without fail, so dd would be rewarded through this scheme. However, we live a five minute walk from school, within walking distance of my workplace and none of us have any disabilities. Other kids might have very different circumstances, but should not be penalised for this.

If congestion is an issue, I agree that this needs to be addressed, but I don't think a rewards scheme is the best way of doing this.

Manyofhorror3 Sun 05-May-13 16:11:54

Here's the thing: the parking is either about 10 spaces outside on a busy road OR a carpark almost a quarter of a mile away, which the school has permission to use for the afternoon pickup, so the drivers are already walking a way anyway. It's a Catholic school so the kids come from far and wide, although of course there are some from the immediate vicinity.
I drop the kids off on my way to work including my neighbour's DD and we have a rota for pickups but it gets complex with car seats and pickups from nursery as they only do half days.
My sister lives about 20 mins walk away, but she mostly drives in because she has two very young ones and it'd mean them being strapped in the buggy for a couple of hours a day just to do pickup and drop off and settle DN in etc.

MousyMouse Sun 05-May-13 16:18:51

no I think if parents want to use a car to take dc to school they should pay a parking fee at a parking place a sensible distance away from the school. this way they don't endanger/inconvenience the children walking.

Manyofhorror3 Sun 05-May-13 16:21:20

A fee to whom? And for what? So they can avail of their state funded statutory school place?

Jinty64 Sun 05-May-13 16:25:38

We walk ds3 (6) to school every morning but I pick him up, from after school club, on my way home. I drive past the school anyway. If I am early or it is a nice day I occasionally drive straight home and walk back to get him however it is late enough normally by the time we get home and time is precious in the evenings.

Saidar Sun 05-May-13 16:56:58

"If congestion is an issue, I agree that this needs to be addressed, but I don't think a rewards scheme is the best way of doing this."

Agreed to a degree Jin I think a well run reward scheme would make a difference. Obviously if you have a child or parent with a disability that means walking to school once a week isn't possible, allowances should be made. Excessive distance too. Every aspect of school should be a level playing field for children.

But this is where feedback from parents comes in. Make sure the rewards can be achieved by everyone, whether that's walking, carpooling or just parking a little further away.

I love a good parking thread but the aggro caused by school parking plus the dangers I mentioned upthread means I think it's fab the school is trying to be responsible about it's impact on the local area.

RustyBear Sun 05-May-13 18:38:06

Actually, I think if you're having a walk to school week, house points are a good way of doing it - it doesn't single out children who can't walk to school in the same way that certificates may, and there are other ways those children can win points for their house.

MrsBazinga Sun 05-May-13 18:53:32

Our Primary does this.

I drop kids at breakfast club at 7.30 then drive on to my job, in a different Primary School, 10 miles away. So they never walk. I just about get to my school with enough prep time for my day, and certainly couldn't be later because I'd walked them, and then walked back to my car. And congestion isn't bad at 7.30am. The children understand that's it just one thing we can't take part in and they aren't gong to be rewarded sad I do understand why the school do it, though, and wouldn't complain. It's just tough, as is life sometimes.

Glittertwins Sun 05-May-13 19:03:10

Either DH walks them to school or I park about 500m away and walk them from there. I will not park any closer as the parking and congestion is awful. According to one parking warden, some parents drive from 2 roads away.
I have to drive them in because of picking them up from after school club but we do what we can because its god for us to walk anyhow. It isn't fair for children whose parents have no choice but to drive.

SpanishFly Sun 05-May-13 19:39:59

I thought YWBU till I read that there's a car park a QUARTER of a mile away that youre allowed to use! So YABU - park there and stop making excuse for how you live too far from the school to walk

Fefifo Sun 05-May-13 19:59:38


They are giving house points to those pupils that do it, not detentions to those that don't.

If I were in your position (i don't drive so we walk)and my kids were moaning about it I'd simply explain that the walking kids may be given their house points but there will also be times that they are getting wet/cold/boiling hot on their journey to school while your kids are kicking back in your, presumably, heated/air-conditioned car. Swings and roundabouts.

HollyBerryBush Sun 05-May-13 20:31:57

is it walk to school week?

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