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Having to pick 11 yr old up from school

(262 Posts)
Knitwit101 Wed 05-Dec-18 11:44:27

Our school has a new head. Been there maybe a month. He has announced that in the winter all kids must be collected from school. I have an 11 yr old in p7 (Scotland) who has been walking home alone since p3. We are really near the school and he has only one road to cross, it has a crossing. This is a ridiculous rule, right? Surely an 11 yr old can walk maybe 4 minutes home alone if his parent says he can? It's not even nearly dark at 3.15pm.

To add to my irritation my 6 yr old finishes 20 minutes earlier. There is nowhere sheltered outside to wait and we are not allowed to wait in the school. There's no point walking home, sitting at home for 10 minutes then going back out again. So I am expected to stand outside (in weather and light that is unsuitable for 11 yr olds to be alone in) with my 6 yr old for 20 minutes to collect an 11 yr old who is perfectly capable of walking home alone.

I have complained, as have several other parents. The school have said that they are not making judgements about the capabilities and journeys of individual pupils, it's the same rule for everyone and that's that.
One parent refused to come and collect her dd. She was made to wait in school and her parent was called to collect her.

Yesterday I offered to 'collect' a bunch of kids and walk them to the school gate then let them go. So i basically collected every p7 kid then let them walk home like they usually do. I half thought the school would have phoned me this morning and complained about deliberate flouting of their policy but they haven't. Another parent is going to collect them all today and walk them round the corner out of sight.

AIBU to think this is a ridiculous policy?

OP’s posts: |
Gileswithachainsaw Wed 05-Dec-18 11:47:37


The oldest of primary school can be just days younger than the youngest of those in secondary who are expected to make their own way to and from school.

11 is more than old enough to walk home hmm

I would be trying to get to the bottom of why. Have local.shops reported issues ? Was someone abducted or something?

It's nonsense.

Knitwit101 Wed 05-Dec-18 11:50:53

It's "the weather" and "the dark", that's what we have been told. I dont know of any other reason. We mostly all live locally so if there was any rumour of abduction or anything we would all have heard about it. The only thing I wonder about is if somethjng has happened at a previous school the head has been at so he is over-cautious, I don't know.

OP’s posts: |
BarbarianMum Wed 05-Dec-18 11:52:39

Id challenge it. Not surethe Head has the legal right to make that decision, let him report you to SS if he thinks its a safeguarding issue.

Gileswithachainsaw Wed 05-Dec-18 11:55:03

It's not dark at 3.15.

And let's face it (I'm in England but England Wales Scotland etc ) if kids can't walk back in the rain then their parents would spend majority of the year besides the month long heat wave picking their kids up.

I'd be putting in a complaint I think.

Messes everyone up for no reason. 11 is fine to walk home. Most schools are yr 5 + that are allowed to walk home

PermanentlyFrizzyHairBall Wed 05-Dec-18 11:59:27

I would set up a system with other parents in the class, one parent officially collects all the children who usually walk home, said parent then leaves the kids to walk home.

Chickenitalia Wed 05-Dec-18 12:03:27

That’s completely crazy. My kids school let them go by themselves from year 3 (England). They just open the door and out they go. Only ks1 and reception classes are sent to a waiting adult. KS2 are told to return to the office if they are expecting to be collected and wait there. We are fairly rural and small though, most people know each other and kind of keep an eye out for the kids around them. I can imagine that if something bad or worrisome occurred, things might change, but otherwise it’s just annoying for parents and sends a negative message to children who are learning first steps to independence.

I would complain, but I’m not sure how far you’ll get if they insist on this policy.

Caprisunorange Wed 05-Dec-18 12:04:38

How can they insist? What about parents who work?

hannah1992 Wed 05-Dec-18 12:06:45

What does he mean by the weather? If it's raining then they are going to get wet walking home with an adult or not? That makes no sense at all

Sitranced Wed 05-Dec-18 12:07:46

You shouldn't have to be sorting out workaround for the silly rules the head tries to enforce. Challenge it.

StealthPolarBear Wed 05-Dec-18 12:08:22

Presumably parents who work are expected to make whatever arrangements they'd make if their children were younger

Gileswithachainsaw Wed 05-Dec-18 12:10:55

Which is unnecessary epense if they could just walk home and wait 20 mins for a parent or neighbour to get back.

Or prove difficult for a few a parent who would find it hard to get to the school and who should quite easily be able to have the grand kid walk to their house instead

Caprisunorange Wed 05-Dec-18 12:11:33

Well childminders don’t usually take 11 year olds so the options open to younger children may not be available

StealthPolarBear Wed 05-Dec-18 12:12:37

Oh I completely agree I'm not saying it's reasonable at all. But the school isn't saying the parent has to pick the children up directly, just that they must be picked up by an adult.

Gileswithachainsaw Wed 05-Dec-18 12:15:04

Dont see how that's any "safer" tbh

Handing kids over to random adults in groups or letting them walk home...

WickedGoodDoge Wed 05-Dec-18 12:17:45

Are they worried about icy paths in winter in case a child falls and breaks an arm or whatever? Even if it is, I think it’s nuts and couldn’t you just sign something acknowledging any risks and accepting responsibility <don’t think you should have to, but you know...>

CecilyP Wed 05-Dec-18 12:19:23

That's crazy, half of P7 would already be in secondary if they were in England. Negotiatng , buses, trains and tubes rather than just a short walk.

Is the rule about not waiting inside strictly enforced? What would happen if you just went in? There was a similar rule at DS school it none of the teachers were bothered; in fact they were quite welcoming!

Gileswithachainsaw Wed 05-Dec-18 12:21:30

Is the rule about not waiting inside strictly enforced? What would happen if you just went in? There was a similar rule at DS school it none of the teachers were bothered; in fact they were quite welcoming!

Now that's an idea actually. Can you get together a group of parents spirited toddlers and younger children, hell even the dogs too and camp out causing a riot in reception..

Repeat til they get so fed up they cut the crap

PlayingForKittens Wed 05-Dec-18 12:22:06

That's bonkers. My 11 year old is in year 7. tonight he has sport training after school so at 4.15 will walk from school into town and get the public bus to the neighbouring village and walk a mile from the bus stop home.

Hopefully the school will come yo their senses, at least you parents are united in flouting the rule!

abacucat Wed 05-Dec-18 12:29:10

Not legally enforceable. I would just ignore it. Let him call SS who will laugh in his face,

Steamedbadger Wed 05-Dec-18 12:37:26

Is it so that they don't get Darked on?

DerelictWreck Wed 05-Dec-18 12:39:26

He has announced that in the winter all kids must be collected from school

Even the 16 year olds?!

What is there response for parents who work?

DerelictWreck Wed 05-Dec-18 12:39:33

woops *their

littlemisscomper Wed 05-Dec-18 12:41:19

Maybe there's another reason, like a pedophile in the area, but they don't want to tell the parents in case it causes panic or something? I can't think why they'd suddenly be saying it now otherwise. confused

KatharinaRosalie Wed 05-Dec-18 12:41:37

So what will they do if you don't pick your DC up? Considering the child is perfectly capable of walking home and has parental consent to do that. Ridiculous.

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