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School drop off anxiety

(22 Posts)
Lmdoli Tue 24-Nov-15 11:55:33

After returning home from school drop off this morning I felt so stressed out! I have three children. Dd in year3, DS in yr1 and a 19 mth old. When my daughter started school they lined up in the yard at 8:55 and went into school. When she started yr1 this was scrapped and parents could drop off anytime between 8:45 and 8:55 at the door. A school drop off where cars stop at the entrance to the playground was introduced where children are let out of cars and walk into school on their own. This was introduced as the school/church car park was too small. The problem has just spilled out into the road which leads into school. It isn't wide enough for two way traffic as there are parking spaces on it. Usually I park on the supermarket car park 5 mins walk away and walk ( avoiding the cars driving on the pavement on the road leading to school!) today it was raining and we did not have time to walk from the supermarket- I got to school and it was gridlocked! Am I being unreasonable on blaming the strange drop off system. I want to complain to the school, but don't want to sound like a bumbling stressed out mess if I was to complain? Any suggestions?

Meemolly Tue 24-Nov-15 12:12:19

Write out an email, breathe, read it again, wait 5 minutes and have a cuppa, read it again, if it sounds ok send it. School needs to know if it's not working for parents and the only way they will know is if you tell them. I'm sure others will feel the same way.

BoomBoomsCousin Tue 24-Nov-15 13:10:04

Agree you should tell the school it isn't working. But it may be there is little they can do about it if the number of children coming to school by car is increasing. The drive-by drop off system was presumably introduced to reduce the number of people blocking drives or the like when parking to drop off? There will be competing issues the school will need to balance and ultimately it comes down to the fact schools were not built with car commutes in mind and there isn't a lot they can do about that on their own.

Witchend Tue 24-Nov-15 13:44:15

Are you sure it's any better than the old system?

I'd imagine lining up in the yard at 8:55 means that the road is pretty blocked from around 8:45 (those who arrive to park near the school and make sure they get a space) till around 9:00 or possibly 9:05 as everyone waits until their dc go in.

Our juniors changed two years ago from "everyone in at 8:45" to "please drop off between 8:35 and 8:45 and it's made the roads much better. It used to be gridlocked between around 8:35 till 8:55.
It's now busy between 8:30-8:35 and roads are clear again by 8:45.

Wolfiefan Tue 24-Nov-15 13:48:30

It's difficult but what can the school do?
Can you leave earlier so you have more time to walk? (It's what I have to do.)
Contact community police if people are driving on the actual pavement regularly.

Lostcat2 Tue 24-Nov-15 13:51:46

It's a Bloody nightmare isn't it.

Had years of this as a mum and a cm and no system is better than either walking or a school bus.

Bollingerbolshevik Tue 24-Nov-15 13:53:46

Sounds like a total nightmare to me! Was all a bit calmer before the change or was it still chaos? If not, makes you wonder why they change things! Email your concerns. Good luck.

UnderTheGreenwoodTree Tue 24-Nov-15 14:18:52

I hear you. Our school run is a nightmare - except that they stopped a drop off system years ago, because they said it was a danger to children walking to school. The danger is still there - it's just transferred to the road outside the school. hmm

Fizrim Tue 24-Nov-15 14:19:38

I expect more people drove because of the rain today (that certainly happens here) and you were running late (perhaps because of the extra traffic) so felt more pressured. I would wait a day or so before contacting the school about it.

KitZacJak Tue 24-Nov-15 14:25:10

Sounds a nightmare, I would just continue parking at the supermarket and walking, set off earlier than you need to. Just make sure you have wellies and raincoats in the car. If you are late occasionally it's not the end of the world.

If I drive (normally walk but if I have to go on somewhere after I drive) I still have to park a fair way from the school, I think that's pretty normal.

Lmdoli Tue 24-Nov-15 14:41:07

We were a little later as baba filled his nappy as we were about to get in the car...... But still find it frustrating that we were at school for 8:45 unable to turn off the main road onto the road to school. The school say they can only control traffic on the grounds and not outside, but I feel they have pushed the problem outside and then don't accept any responsibility for it...... The road leading up to school is quit short. Just three houses. Their drives are not usually blocked as opposite the parking spaces. But the parking spaces mean it is effectively a one way street. As I said we usually park either on a supermarket or on the high street and walk, but it isn't ideal as the congestion on the road leading up to school is dangerous for pedestrians. We live in a semi-rural area so most children are brought by car as the catchment area covers a few miles. We do walk when we can, but need to allow 40 mins as it's a mile and a half away, so fine in the Summer on scooters/ just baffles me why other parents don't seem concerned. A lot drop off later and I did think about leaving later after the nappy change, but then thought it's not really how I want to bring my children up. I agree today was worse, but is a problem we've worried about for a while. I work part time and we've thought about increasing my hours to pay for private schooling, but then wonder is that really the solution

Lmdoli Tue 24-Nov-15 14:44:29

Also forgot to say....before the change everyone drove into school (although I tended to still park outside and walk) blocked each other in, then filed out after school drop off. It was busy on the school grounds but meant cars weren't going in two directions on the road outside school when we were walking in

RB68 Tue 24-Nov-15 14:47:46

we have the same issue - country school was small now twice the size. There are buses from local housing estate but many don't use it as it "doesn't suit them" so they drive to school which is in a tiny hamlet village, with just about 2 way traffic normally and one way in school drop and pick up times

SO to ease traffic flow

there is a voluntary one way system (which of course some parents ignore, none parents just using the road has no idea that it exists, the buses ignore as their passenger doors are the wrong side and utter chaos reigns mostly.

After and before school clubs for childcare finishing between 5 and 6 generally in evening

after school clubs for activities finishing 4.15

Its not as bad as it could be and it certainly keeps cars parking neatly having buses squeeze through the other way - but it also encourages parking half on the pavement but the bigger cars which clearly isn't great where there are small kids about.

I would also say there is a general need to keep hold of your kids near traffic and many seem to fail to understand this need and it is but a miracle there hasn't been a serious accident near the school. As particularly if the spaces near the school are filled we are then parking on a country lane and the way back to the car is down the middle of the road, bobbing in and out of between parked cars when vehicles and buses come through

So all in all its not just a townie problem

Enjolrass Tue 24-Nov-15 14:48:30

Are you saying you are considering private school because the drop is so bad?

If that's the case, check out the private school.

The 2 in our city have horrendous problems, then end up causing chaos through the city centre every day.

When they are on holiday traffic problems are rare.

Dad used to be in the police and he said there were always accidents. And complaints made to the police everyday without fail.

Homemadearmy Tue 24-Nov-15 14:50:59

Is there another solution? If not I don't see the point in complaining. I can't see what else the school can do? I imagine they are well aware of use situation.

Lmdoli Tue 24-Nov-15 14:54:22

In the end I carried on down the main road( had no option) for half a mile, turned around and drove back to school. Parked up in school grounds (loads of spaces as my children won't get out of the car at the drop off) walked them into school (8:55). I then had to wait another 15 minutes to get out, as the road was blocked!

APlaceOnTheCouch Tue 24-Nov-15 15:07:25

Private schools are no different. All schools have a lot of children trying to get in at the same time. A drop-off zone is usually quite a good solution.

There's no point complaining to the school unless you can suggest a working alternative.

We just accept that some days we'll be sitting in traffic or sitting in the car park. Hence I always have a magazine or book to read whilst I'm waiting. I try to look at it as though it's a little bonus 5 mins of relaxing rather than a precious 5 mins of my life lost to drop-offs/pick-ups. grin

BoomBoomsCousin Tue 24-Nov-15 15:27:21

They're probably pushing the problem onto the road in order to avoid liability then. If someone gets hit by a car in their car park they could be held responsible, but not if it happens on the road. Not great from a solutions perspective, but not really their fault.

I don't think it's pointless talking to the school. They won't be happy about what's happening either. But you probably also need to lobby your local councillors and police about sorting out a better solution.

Lmdoli Tue 24-Nov-15 15:59:02

It was the police who came up with the idea of a school drop off. I think a lollipop lady and/ or school bus would be a better solution, but councils are reducing the numbers of lollipop ladies and a school bus is a completely different set up....... I suppose deep down I know it isn't just the drop off which is bothering us..... I could start another thread on my worries about the school...... But wonder whether the drop off problems at the start of the day cloud my judgement...... Interestingly pick up is fine!

ButterflyUpSoHigh Tue 24-Nov-15 17:45:11

I don't see it as the schools problem that you couldn't park. Our school is in a residential area, there is no car park. Everyone has to park around the residential streets. I have one at primary and one at secondary so leave the house with plenty of time allowing for traffic.

BoomBoomsCousin Tue 24-Nov-15 18:18:34

If they're purposely instituting a drop at the gate policy, then they're having an impact on traffic flow so they are partially responsible. In any case a good school should be concerned about the issues it's pupils have accessing the property. Even if the answer is, in the end, leave earlier.

Purplepixiedust Tue 24-Nov-15 21:18:41

Our school does not allow parents in the grounds. They encourage walking. Lots still drive. I always park 5 mins away and walk in. Finding a space is harder when it rains. Keep parking at the supermarket and try to give yourself extra time although with 3 kids there will always be the odd day where things don't go as planned

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