Is this journey too long for an 11 year old to take each day?

(81 Posts)
Bookridden Sat 03-Sep-16 19:59:24

I'm at the stage where I'm considering secondary schools for DD. We have 2 choices, let's call them school A and school B. A is a 45 minute walk and is a poor performing academy with poor GCSE results and a bad reputation. It is under subscribed and considered "rough", attracting a lot of pupils from poorer areas. On the plus side, it has great facilities and I would probably be able to drive and collect DD most days as it's close to my workplace.

School B is 11 miles away. It gets excellent results, is single sex, and has an outstanding OFSTED. DD would need to go on the bus each day. This would mean leaving home at 7.20am (bus stop is 10 min stroll from our house) and not getting home until 4.30pm.

DD is bookish, quite academic and certainly a "trier", quite unworldly and young for her age, and quite a tomboy. She likes her sleep and struggles with making friends due to a lack of confidence.

My questions are ; is the journey to school B too much? She will have homework and school clubs to factor in as well. But school B is a better fit for DD in lots of ways.

In my situation, which school would you be inclined to choose?

cardibach Sat 03-Sep-16 20:01:46

That school day sounds doable to me. I know lots of young people who live further/longer away from their schools (rural area). If it's the best fit and she can get a place, go for it.

FrancisCrawford Sat 03-Sep-16 20:02:56

School B.

That's similar timings to the journey I made to primary and secondary so I wouldn't think twice about it. Going home with all my mates was often the best part of the day! Home in plenty of time for tea and then homework after that.

Rumpelstiltskin143 Sat 03-Sep-16 20:03:23

School B for sure.

WeirdAndPissedOff Sat 03-Sep-16 20:04:18

Overall school B sounds better.
And as a teen I'd have opted for journey B, too - a 1hr bus journey as opposed to a 45 min walk each way.

CosyCoupe88 Sat 03-Sep-16 20:04:45

School B. First one is a long walk in elements anyway so not ideal anyway. I had the same day length as that and quite enjoyed the bus journeys. Were social and a chance to unwind

CrohnicallyAspie Sat 03-Sep-16 20:05:17

Leaving at 7:20 and returning at 4:30 doesn't sound too bad- my local school was only 3 miles away and I had similar travelling times due to the buse times/my parents' schedules/time taken to walk.

My school was an A, I was like your DD and I had a miserable time to say the least. I think that getting the school that fits is more important.

But what does your DD think?

Propertyquandry Sat 03-Sep-16 20:05:20

School B without a doubt. Yes it's an earlier start but she can relax on the bus. 11miles is a longish journey but would be worse if it was convoluted. A short stroll then one direct bus is fine. And by Y8 she won't give it a second thought. If it's so good and the other one is so bad then she'll likely find a few girls local to her doing the same journey. 4.30 is not late for a teenager to get in at all. My teenagers get in at 4.30 and there school is 2miles away.

Jamiesmuddyknees Sat 03-Sep-16 20:05:37

I used to get public transport at 7am to school and not get back home until 5pm. It was fine.

HolesInTheFloor Sat 03-Sep-16 20:05:42

Well I live 20 miles from our nearest secondary. Ds is only 4 so not a consideration yet but all the other kids in my village seem to manage.

Will there be many other children travelling similar distances to school B?

Lilaclily Sat 03-Sep-16 20:06:35

School B definitely

IfTheCapFitsWearIt Sat 03-Sep-16 20:07:02

B similar times to my dc

Laineymc7 Sat 03-Sep-16 20:08:49

If the other school has a bad reputation she might not get on there and might not enjoy it. It's sounds like the girls school would be best suited for her as a person. Have you visited both and asked her what she wants. If it was me I'd go for the better school as she will probably do much better there. You could do the school run with her first to trial it out and hopefully there will be another who lives near you who she could in future travel to school with.

Kleinzeit Sat 03-Sep-16 20:11:23

Just a word of caution: how many buses are there and how many children have to pile on at the end of the school day? Getting to my school wasn't too bad in the mornings but although there were buses on the same route which stopped after 3 miles and those buses left every ten or 15 minutes, the longer distance buses were only every half hour and could be cancelled or full of children doing the shorter journey. I could easily wait an hour or more for a bus home.

beela Sat 03-Sep-16 20:11:44

Yes I had a similar journey to my secondary school - tho I caught the train - and was out of the house for similar times. It was the right school for me, much better than the one that was a mile up the road.

shouldwestayorshouldwego Sat 03-Sep-16 20:14:55

Where do most people at school B live? We have two fairly similar schools X and Y near us. X has a small catchment so quite a few after school clubs, most dc walk so teachers expect everone there on time, they all go out in town after school - travelling home 11 miles from most of your friends who all go into town together after school and know each other from swimming/ dance/ NCT etc.

School Y is on the surface very similar but catchment about 20 miles, clubs all at lunchtime, the majority catch busses after school and see late busses in the morning as a normal hazard so don't get too het up if dd and all the other children from distantville are late to school, meeting up can involve parents driving 40 miles so most socialising at weekend not with school friends. In your situation if many people travel long distances to school B then it will hopefully be well set up for it, but if virtually everone is local and just a few travel in then it might be more of a problem.

How long is the journey in total to school B?

Balletgirlmum Sat 03-Sep-16 20:15:00

School b definatly.

Dds school is an hour car journey away but it's the best for for her.

She leaves at 7.30am each morning.

janethegirl2 Sat 03-Sep-16 20:15:17

School b for sure, my DC had a 12 mile trip to school and back on a school only bus. It was fine

TopazRocks Sat 03-Sep-16 20:21:25

There are youngsters in this area who do double that for secondary (rural Scotland). It is doable, though I'd be less happy in really bad weather/heavy snow which we do get here.

PuntCuffin Sat 03-Sep-16 20:21:36

School B. We are looking at similar distances for our DS. Because I work full time, even at junior level, we leave home at 7.30 and don't get in until 6.30 and has done since Y1. He copes fine but he has always been an early riser and survives on limited sleep. A long bus ride is definitely easier than a long walk.

TheoriginalLEM Sat 03-Sep-16 20:23:02

my dd will be doing a similar journey for the first time on Monday. not ideal but like you. our local school is failing. such a shame.

CocktailQueen Sat 03-Sep-16 20:23:15

School B, definitely. Dd did the same school day last year and she was tired but loved the school. Go for it.

Becky546 Sat 03-Sep-16 20:30:04

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Lorelei76 Sat 03-Sep-16 20:32:19

What is DD like? I was academic and made friends easily but I found 8 till 4.30, which was my total time out of the house, too much. That was before homework and extra curricular of course. I was ill a lot, but I also spent hours on homework.

My sister wasn't ill because she never gets ill but found it a long day and opted out of all extras because she was too tired.

So I think you need to factor in homework, it eats into wind down time. I was under a lot of pressure academically though, my parents would be furious if I got a C and disappointed with a B. I hope you're not that parent!

PurveyorOfMeats Sat 03-Sep-16 20:33:16

I'd go for School B but say make sure you go in with your eyes open.

I have a DD and DS who both go to school 20 miles away. We leave the house at 7 for a 15 min drive to the bus stop. They don't much like getting up at 6am but friends who go to closer schools are also getting the bus at 7.20 or so.

Is it school-organised coach or public bus? This might make a difference - if public bus is DD going to get into trouble if it is late/cancelled? Can you get her there if this happens?

Bear in mind that if they are very sporty, musical, into drama etc you might end up driving back and forth several times in a week, usually in the evening. Also DD's friendship group is likely to be quite spread out - my DD particularly is often keen to go see friends who live in the other direction from school, which for me can mean a 30 mile drive.

Good luck.

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