Daughter walking home from school

(210 Posts)
MrsL86 Thu 17-Jan-19 11:05:31

My 11 year old daughter has recently started walking home from school alone. It is less than a mile & she was desperate to do it. She starts high school in September where she will have to get a bus to & from so we thought we’d start giving her a bit of independence now rather than throw her in at the deep end in sept. This morning I received a call from who school saying a concerned parent had been into school because they saw her walking home alone. School we’re asking me questions & making me feel like a bad parent for letting her walk home. I can’t stop thinking about the phone call & im now panicking if I have done the right thing. A lot of people I know have said they let their kids walk home in year 5 (she’s in yr 6) so I didn’t think she was too young... thoughts?

OP’s posts: |
5lnaBed Thu 17-Jan-19 11:06:34

Lots of children in yr 5 and 6 walk home alone in my school. I think it’s excellent preparation for what will probably be a much longer journey to and from secondary school.

Nicknacky Thu 17-Jan-19 11:07:49

My daughter is the same age and the only reason she doesn’t walk is because it’s too far away.

Don’t feel like a bad parent, you are not at all. You have judged it and you are both happy with her walking so I would give it no more thought.

SnuggyBuggy Thu 17-Jan-19 11:08:10

No wonder children have such poor coping skills. 11 is easily old enough for a short walk home.

Fatbutt Thu 17-Jan-19 11:10:47

we waited for school hols after leaving Yr 6 for this kind of prep, but only because it weas convenient for us to do that

I think what you are doing is excellent, you are setting her up to be independant once she goes to high school, she will be confident to get herself there/back - does she have a phone?

Also, do the school insist on parents collecting Yr 6 kids at the door? If not then it is nothing to do with them!

Pemba Thu 17-Jan-19 11:12:29

The school are being ridiculous. An eleven year old could easily be in secondary school anyway, where walking home alone is the norm and the school would have nothing to say. I let DD walk home alone occasionally from about 10 and all the time when she began middle school the next year.

Many countries encourage this from 5 or 6 years old! You have to start giving them a little independence at some stage, and I'm sure you know your own child best.

redexpat Thu 17-Jan-19 11:12:44

The concerned parent is overly anxious is my thought.

paxillin Thu 17-Jan-19 11:13:57

Totally normal here, we are in central London. I'd say perhaps a third walk to and from school alone now. It feels a bit scarier now, because it is dark so early. Come spring many more are going to do it. Nine months from now these kids will have to take the tube or train to get to school alone.

CreakyBlinder Thu 17-Jan-19 11:14:00

For goodness' sake! My daughter is 8 and walks home. 11 is very definitely old enough. The 'concerned' parent needs to wind her neck in!

GerryblewuptheER Thu 17-Jan-19 11:16:05


Just ignore the school. Of course she's old enough to walk home from school.confused

Don't doubt yourself. Unless you are going to suddenly drop feed she has to cross a motorway on a blind bend or something wink

OutPinked Thu 17-Jan-19 11:16:58

There’s an option when you sign consent forms for after school clubs at my DC’s school to say the child will be making their own way home and that you give permission for that to happen.

Mine are too young and their school is too far away but I think in year six it’s absolutely fine. Great to prepare for secondary school.

tessiegirl Thu 17-Jan-19 11:17:10

Ridiculous! My mum started allowing me to walk home alone in year 6. Nothing wrong with it.

ILoveChristmasLights Thu 17-Jan-19 11:17:24

🙄 it’s no wonder our universities have hit crisis levels with students unable to cope.

I’m in my 40’s, so ‘older’ but not exactly ancient, I walked home from school at 7 (in the uk) because I wanted to, not because I had to.

It’s bloody ridiculous that someone went into the school about an 11 year old walking home from school and even more bloody ridiculous that the school have reacted this way.


MrsL86 Thu 17-Jan-19 11:17:50

Fatbutt, she has a phone but doesn’t usually take it to school. I felt absolutely fine about it & she was very happy walking home but they’ve just made me feel terrible. There is no policy to say that cannot walk home that I know of. She only started walking this week. I’m annoyed that the parent felt the need to go into school about it. I don’t see how it’s their business. Thank you for all your comments, you’ve made me feel much better smile

OP’s posts: |
Larasshadow Thu 17-Jan-19 11:18:57

Does she look younger than she is? Maybe the concerned parent didn't realise she was in year 6.

Most year 6 seem to walk to our school. Only reason DD didn't was because we walked DS to the same school.

fruitpastille Thu 17-Jan-19 11:19:36

It's completely normal for year 5 and 6 children to walk home on their own and is encouraged by my kids school.

MrsL86 Thu 17-Jan-19 11:21:39

No, if anything she looks older, she’s over 5 feet tall. I assume it was a parent that knew her for the school to know straight away who it was & ring me

OP’s posts: |
planespotting Thu 17-Jan-19 11:22:32

My goodness
At 12 I was taking buses home and back on my own, walking to English lessons in the evening confused
OP I dont think it is unusual but I was raised abroad

Pandasarecute Thu 17-Jan-19 11:22:58

I think you’re absolutely correct, just started my y6 child walking home alone

MrsL86 Thu 17-Jan-19 11:24:17

Thanks everyone! If I hear anymore from school I’ll be showing them these comments lol

OP’s posts: |
Lindy2 Thu 17-Jan-19 11:24:21

It is entirely appropriate for her to walk to and from school herself. My 10 year old in year 6 has been doing this since last summer term.
It would be more wrong to not let them prepare for secondary school like this.
I would ask the school why they thought it was necessary to contact you.

Larasshadow Thu 17-Jan-19 11:25:16

I'd just continue as you are anyway. If she is happy to walk and she is doing it safely (crossing roads carefully etc) then there is nothing wrong with that at all.

Odd that the school would contact you anyway as they would know what year she is in and they must be used to years 5 and 6 beginning to walk to school.

Fantasisa Thu 17-Jan-19 11:25:26

The only reason I don't let me very sensible 7 year old walk to school is because of the reaction from other parents. It is a very short walk that he is capable of doing and would make life much easier in the morning.

My 9 year old has walked home (on days when there is someone in the house) since she was 8 and in Year 4. She loves it and feels very grown up! It means DH, who often works from home, doesn't have to lose time walking to school, waiting around for her and walking back.

AllMYSmellySocks Thu 17-Jan-19 11:26:11

Unless the one mile walk is down the side of a motorway or through a crack den I'm sure she's fine. The school probably felt they had to follow up since the parent called in. I live in a very safe village and children tend to walk from year 5 (unless the parents also have a younger child who would need walking in anyway). I do know some people though who wouldn't dream of sending their child alone during primary school but suddenly become fine with them getting the train or bus in secondary. It doesn't make much sense but each to their own.

TeenTimesTwo Thu 17-Jan-19 11:29:02

I think it is fine.

But I also think that it is fine that another parent checked with the school. Although unnecessary in this case, I'd rather other parents kept an eye out for things rather than just ignoring.

I'm slightly surprised your school doesn't seem to have asked for written permission to walk home alone, which is what a lot of primaries do just to cover themselves. (They would then be able to say, it's OK she has permission).

(Unless this is Scotland, in the dark and rain along an unlit, no pavement road of course).

Join the discussion

To comment on this thread you need to create a Mumsnet account.

Join Mumsnet

Already have a Mumsnet account? Log in