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Public Transport

(27 Posts)
eddiemairswife Sat 13-May-17 17:52:27

AIBU to think that 11 year olds should be able to use public transport on their own?
All week I have been hearing Secondary Appeals, and I'm fed up with parents telling us that their child would not be able to get to their allocated school, because they would have to use a bus to get there. Some of these children have apparently never been on a bus.
I live in a moderately sized city, which is well served by buses.
All of our secondary schools are on or extremely close to a bus route. Surely being able to use public transport when needed is a pretty useful life-skill to acquire.

redsweater Sat 13-May-17 17:57:33

I doubt they're unable to use a bus. More likely the parents are trying it on because they're pushing for an oversubscribed school. Or they don't want their dc mixing with the great unwashed on the buses.

rightsaidfrederickII Sat 13-May-17 18:14:37

YANBU - if this really is about public transport. Which I highly doubt. The parents are trying anything in their (meagre) arsenal to get their kids into the better school.

My response would be to point out the many options that they have for getting there - think of all the good that the exercise of walking or cycling will do them, and their local council will almost certainly do free bikeability training for the whole family wink

Shoxfordian Sat 13-May-17 18:23:06

Yanbu and they have all summer to teach their children the bus route

Sirzy Sat 13-May-17 18:24:11

Unless they have some sort of special needs then yanbu.

daisypond Sat 13-May-17 18:25:52

YANBU. 11-year-olds all use a combination of bus, Tube or train, not just their own two feet, to get to school where I live. In year 6, parents were told by the primary school to get their kids to practise travelling alone.

Justmadeperfectflapjacks Sat 13-May-17 18:26:31

My dd is 11 and has just started going out with her friends around the doors. She would be horrified if I said she had to get a bus alone!!

Spikeyball Sat 13-May-17 18:27:19

Unless they have sn, an 11 year old should be able to use a bus to get there and it is how most secondary age children get to school.

corythatwas Sat 13-May-17 18:27:45

what redsweater said: most parents are probably clutching at straws

harderandharder2breathe Sat 13-May-17 18:28:57

Using public transport is a life skill

I grew up getting buses and trains with my mum (we had a car but my dad used it to get to work and worked full time plus extra in the evenings and weekends). So naturally as I got older I progressed to getting the school bus and then getting the public bus with friends or on my own and friends getting on a few stops later. in sixth form I travelled to various places around England to meet up with friends.

As an adult I don't drive so rely on public transport. I walk, I get the bus or train into town, I travel around the uk on the train.

I'd say most of my Brownies never get public transport. They're driven everywhere.
We sometimes do a trip to the seaside in the summer (a short train ride away) and the train ride is at least half the excitement for them.

BarbaraofSeville Sat 13-May-17 18:29:23

Of course they can use a bus on their own. People are using the word 'can't' when they mean 'don't want to'.

Friend of mine's DD had to go to a school about 10 miles away that involved 2 buses and a ferry to cross an estuary.

They practiced the route over the summer and the girl had friends to travel with anyway. Due to work etc it just wasn't practical for it to be done any other way.

A lot of schools have dedicated school buses too that go right to the school door.

meditrina Sat 13-May-17 18:30:24

I think quite a lot of parents simply don't realise that transport/logistics are not appeal-winning issues (unless there is some exceptional circumstances such as mobility issues). Those parents won't be MNers!

Also, if it is their PFB, they won't have realised how rapidly DC settle into their school run independently in the first days of year 7. Starting 'training' then in year 6 is always a good idea too.

katymac Sat 13-May-17 18:32:30

When my DD was 11 she couldn't get the bus by herself; of course that could have been to do with there being no local buses grin
She got the school bus at 11 & by 13 was getting the train to the next city

This has little to do with the bus & more to do with the school!

dentydown Sat 13-May-17 18:43:40

It was reported to the school that my son was using the bus. He was is in year 6. I was told it was a safe guarding issue. He went into the next town (where one of the schools he wanted to go was) to get something then came straight home.
In the end we chose a school (his school is a feeder school to it) in our town because I couldn't accompany him on the bus due to having to get his younger siblings to school.
He went in broad daylight on his own, went straight to the shop, bought what he wanted, then bought some food then went home. Very confidently, no problems.

Ketzele Sat 13-May-17 18:50:35

I recently took a bunch of Y6 kids into central London, and was really surprised at how inept they were on public transport. They didn't know to stand on the right of the escalator, didn't understand the tube lines etc. These are London kids! I guess they get driven everywhere. Made me quite pleased we don't have a car, so my children are at least comfortable and confident on public transport.

eddiemairswife Sat 13-May-17 19:54:49

I was a London child, and travelled to school by bus from a very early age. By the age of 11 my best friend and I would go to the museums by bus and tube, and were pretty capable of sorting how to get there without adult input. Parents don't seem to realise that, unless their child has some kind of special need, an inability to use a bus carries no sway with an appeal panel, however timid or unselfconfident their precious darling is.

museumum Sat 13-May-17 19:56:42

Your schools might be on bus routes but their homes might not be.
(Personally Im bamboozled why people choose to live off transport routes but they do)

katymac Sat 13-May-17 23:10:54

Sometimes you move somewhere with a shop and a bus route & then they close the shop and stop the bus route, they even closed the church!

VinIsGroot Sat 13-May-17 23:22:24

My DD has been getting the bus since 4 ad DS since 7!

PatriciaHolm Sat 13-May-17 23:27:07

I hear you. I've been hearing appeals this week too!

mumeeee Sat 13-May-17 23:38:37

All my 3 DDs could use a bus by the age of 11 by themselves even DD3 who is Dyspraxic and has other difficulties.
I once met an 18 year old on a bus who was going to the train station to get the train home. She told me this was the first time she had used public transport and was very unsure of her self. asked me to tell her what to do.
She was going home for a few days from university and up until then had been ferried around by her parents

GnomeDePlume Sun 14-May-17 00:16:43

I think it very much depends on where you live. I live in a small town, there is public transport but nowhere near the level of service a major conurbation would enjoy.

DS had a place on a course in the college in the next town - great, he could get the bus! Except that the college then decided that it would only offer that course in a different town. The bus journey to that other town was 2 hours. By car it was 34 minutes.

HildaOg Sun 14-May-17 00:44:53

Depends on where you live. I wouldn't be comfortable letting an 11 year old travel alone through most cities.

daisypond Sun 14-May-17 09:47:57

HildaOg, but an 11-year-old who has grown up in a city should be comfortable with it. My DC were, because they'd grown up travelling around by train, Tube and bus since they were babies. We didn't have a car, so that was the only means of transport they knew, plus their bikes. By the age of 11 they were capable of getting around by themselves.

Katie6448 Sun 14-May-17 11:04:32

I have a colleague who is currently trying to make the argument that she should be able to work out of a different office in order to pick up her DD every day from a secondary school the next town over from hers. The request is going to be rejected anyway for business reasons, but the school is about 30ft from a bus stop that has a direct route to a bus stop at the end of colleague's road. Child can't possibly get the bus though, might have to mix with the public.

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