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to think that using the local secondary school where children can walk to

(156 Posts)
catham Fri 06-Sep-13 21:51:45

should be what every parent aspires to

today driving past my sons school (where he walks to) i was pretty horrified at the amount of cars lined up outside to pick up their little darlings, most who could probably walk up the road a mile or so where there i less congestion.

why do so many parents have to drive their kids to school? i imagine that as its the start of term so many parents are paranoid that their kids can't walk home alone but they will learn if we let them!

waffling sorry but cars are more dangerous to our kids than letting them make their own way to and from school.

NoComet Sun 08-Sep-13 01:46:06

Lancerlottie I think there was a lot of that at DDs school too on Friday. There were an awful lot of cars and buses turning up late.

We had an errand to run near school, normally DDs use the usless slow bus except on Wed.

Because bus is so slow DD1 misses her music lesson, if I don't fetch them.

Lancelottie Sat 07-Sep-13 23:08:06

Friday was a particularly busy day, I think.

Near DS's school, it was mayhem, I suspect because quite a few parents had thought, 'First week in, let's be nice to the new Yr 7s and pick them up.'

So maybe things will settle down again shortly and Catham, you will be less horrified!

mummytime Sat 07-Sep-13 22:37:20

I have choose my DCs schools!
DS will be commuting quite a long way for his new one.

However I noticed when picking up DDs because of our normal Friday rush, that the new parents haven't learnt the unwritten rules: do not pull into the cull de sac by school A when there isno longer any parking or room to turn, or if you do be good at passing in a very small space; parents at the posh pull your cars to the far left to allow some passing traffic by; by the senior school be aware some people want to go further down the road, so don'tsuddenlt stop.

School buses do mainly pick up and set down itching the school grounds though.

Talkinpeace Sat 07-Sep-13 22:25:29

"The bus could park 400 m from school"
try 15 double deckers lined up to drive the distant kids back home and the smaller busses to get down the narrow lanes

"no car zones near schools"
FFS, if "the school is next to "the post office" on "the main road" would you close it?
or would you ban the teachers from driving to work, and the delivery men parking in the school, and visitors with equipment from getting into the school

a lot of people do not seem to look at how schools operate

Talkinpeace Sat 07-Sep-13 22:16:09

DCs school catchment is 11 miles across ....

and they could walk to the local school but I'd home educate rather than send them there.
I drive them in (as the bus times are rubbish) and they get the bus home.

JedwardScissorhands Sat 07-Sep-13 22:11:19

Rural does not mean arse end if nowhere, twisty. I'll take my pleasant market town and surrounding rural villages with shops etc any day of the week over an inner city area.

dogindisguise Sat 07-Sep-13 21:55:46

I think it's what we should aspire too (apart from in rural areas where it's too far to walk) - ideally we'd be like Finland, where I get the impression that everyone goes to their local school that are all equally excellent. However, that situation is a long way off in the UK.

I see loads of children getting picked up by car from my local schools. I don't think many of them can live more than a mile away max.

Charlottehere Sat 07-Sep-13 19:18:07


Charlottehere Sat 07-Sep-13 19:17:08

wish she gets the bus, wasn't the question though, hanks for sarcasim. hmm

twistyfeet Sat 07-Sep-13 16:32:39

My problem is I dont want an SN school. The ones here are soley for children with LD's. dd has PD's and is blind. The school I mentioned is the only one that has a hoist and chnaging facilities and facilities for the VI. So I have little sympathy when people bitch on about 'choice'. I'd love to send dd to the nearest comp which is 10 mins walk (or 15 mins push) and I dont give a fuck what its like. It'd be local. She'd have local mates. Having seen her brothers spend 2 hours a day on a bus due to lack of school places and had to fork out bus fares was already a pain and now poor dd will have to travel for nearly an hour too. She already has to travel 3 miles to a primary (mainstream) when the local primary is a stones throw but they dont have hoists either. And when it snowed a couple of years back pushing her wheelchair through 8 inches of snow to get her there was not fun. Funnily enough all the sissies in cars couldnt make it in grin
I'd make it back to local schools like it used to be or use American style school buses for those whose legs drop off after 3 feet.
(disclaimer : I am talking about cities and towns, not rural arse end of nowhere with 60 mph roads with no pavements and no choice) then we wouldnt have this hideous school run congestion twice a day.

grumpyoldbat Sat 07-Sep-13 16:26:57

Of course it's offensive to be called a bad mum.

sheridand Sat 07-Sep-13 15:35:24

I agree twistyfeet, the lack of schools for SN is a shocker post 11 where I live, the distance the parents have to travel IF they get their children in, is dreadful! We're talking 25 miles plus! It's daft. So many SN schools/ units got shut down in the late 80's, and then again in the mid 90's.

A friend did get, with the help of the school and co-workers, a place in the nearest, but it's still up to her to get her child there.

When you have no / limited choice, you just get on with it, don't you? And i'm with you on the walking. I used to walk 4 miles each way as a kid, with all my bags, and so did loads of kids from my village. It was 1989. No-one died. ( I am old enough to get this Steve Coogan reference, it might not make sense otherwise.....) No-one blinked at it. I think they do now. I have people not believe my two ( 6 and 5) walk 3 miles, it's like i'm being cruel, but actually the walk or bike to school is a really positive way to start our day. Although they do make me carry all the frigging book bags and lunchboxes.

IfNotNowThenWhen Sat 07-Sep-13 15:34:28

I find the idea that anyone has a choice of schools quite bizarre actually. Noone I know has "chosen" a school. You get the nearest one, and that's that.
I do think that a lot of the car/school problem could be solved by actual mass transport eg buses.
Some areas are so poorly served and getting worse. Since they privatised our bus service it has deteriorated massively, as it's hard to make profit from public transport. Less profitable routes are simply dropped.
This impacts greatly on young people particularly, and totally robs them of independence.
I would never, ever live anywhere dead rural for this exact reason.Its bad enough where I am (smallish town) Without a car, you are trapped. <shudder>

HorryIsUpduffed Sat 07-Sep-13 14:58:52

Some of my parent-colleagues are astonished that we usually walk to school. It takes about fifteen minutes with only a cul-de-sac off a minor road to cross, so we encounter a car maybe once a fortnight when crossing it.

If we do drive, we drive not quite to school, where there is a quiet car park within five minutes' walk of school along a safe path with no roads to cross, or on a quiet side street with two roads to cross at marked crossings.

By contrast, the school car park is rammed with 4x4s parked very haphazardly, coming and going continually, where we have to cross at least twice with constant traffic. Many of the spaces are at least five minutes from the classroom door.

It isn't unreasonable to drive your child to school if that fits your life, but dropping them five minutes round the corner might make all the difference to their social life and the congestion near the school site.

Only 20% of schools didn't have a child injured by a car within 500m of the school gate in 2006-2011 which puts those as real hotspots. 36% had an accident near the gate in any given year.

fairylightsinthespring Sat 07-Sep-13 14:22:24

I agree that an awful lot of the problems are caused by those who feel the need to park so close. I teach in a secondary school in a very awkward spot, lots of narrow roads with cars parked already. There is a car park that is about 400m away. It would involve crossing one road at a zebra crossing. Its pay and display but for shopping traffic so could be used for drop off and pick up. There are many many roads 5-10 mins distance that the boys could be dropped off in. I have to drive to my son's school as its 30 mins away (and he's 4 smile) but I deliberately park a fair way away up the road, as its a village high street and gets very crowded. I also have to get DD out and into a buggy so don't want to block the pavement so close.
Lots of issues on here boil down to, "well, its personal choice" but this one does impact on others in terms of local residents, congestion etc that those who COULD use alternative methods (without being crazy-hours of time, dangerous routes etc are not alternatives) really should.

DadOnIce Sat 07-Sep-13 14:04:17

There's a perfectly fine bus-turning circle outside the school. It was built with that in mind. For buses to stop 400m from the school, which would be right in the middle of a residential street, would be insane.

ChoudeBruxelles Sat 07-Sep-13 13:57:20

There isn't a secondary school within walking distance of us.

twistyfeet Sat 07-Sep-13 13:55:47

'We tend, therefore, not to fuss too much about catchment and which school is best for the kids, because we don't actually have a choice. And actually, it turns out fine'

It's the same for us SN mums Sheridand. There is one school in the city that has the facilities to cope with my VI dd. I have no idea what their ofsted or ranking or whatever is. I dont care because I have no choice or that luxury of local. They have the facilities to give my child an education so that is where she will go. It will take her 45 mins to get there too.

twistyfeet Sat 07-Sep-13 13:52:08

its funny how all the people, like those in villages, the OP clearly doesnt apply to pipe up. In cities more people could walk. And kids can carry stuff. I walked 4 miles to school carrying stuff. Children havnt got weaker in 30 years have they? My own children didnt get into any local secondaries so they spent an hour on the bus every morning to one 7 miles a way at a cost of 4 quid a day each. Stupidly expensive until 6th form where they got EMA until the bastard Govt abolished it. But we dont drive so there wasnt a choice.
In cities and towns more children could walk but dont. That is what I think the OP is getting at. And they are perfectly capable of carrying PE kit, guitars, cooking stuff etc. If you dont have SN, dont have to cross motorways, dont live in the arse-end of nowhere and the journey is under 3 or 4 miles then more kids could walk. Congestion would ease blah de blah. But some parents seem to think their kids would melt/pass out/arent capable. Its like we've become a nation of sissies.
DH was at school in London so walked half an hour to Ealing Broadway, 40 mins on the tube then half an hour to school. He's still here to tell the tale.

sassytheFIRST Sat 07-Sep-13 13:36:11

I mean, horrified (ok bit strong smile) that planning allows for schools in this vein.

sassytheFIRST Sat 07-Sep-13 13:34:45

True point about schools being on main roads. And obv, there would need to be safe pavement provision.

Really horrified to hear that new schools are being built which force children to be driven in!

Sparklingbrook Sat 07-Sep-13 13:34:01

It was really funny when the bus bay flooded at our local high school and all the children were on Facebook asking if school was closed. confused

sassytheFIRST Sat 07-Sep-13 13:31:08

Dadonice - that's exactly the sort of sec school I work in! Bus drop off zone could be 400m from school as well....why is that so hard?

Picturesinthefirelight Sat 07-Sep-13 13:30:34

Children arnt allowed to walk or cycle to dds new secondary school as it isn't safe to walk up the lane.

AmberLeaf Sat 07-Sep-13 13:05:25

Is it offensive? sounds like a very limited opinion to me and no something anyone should get that upset about tbh.

No reasonable or sensible person would think a person a bad parent on that basis, so why even give a shit?

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