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walking home alone....what age?? legally

(23 Posts)
GypsyMoth Fri 27-May-11 19:12:49

can school say 'no' children cant leave school alone til a certain age/year group?

new headteacher,new ways. previously i sent a note to school to say which days ds would make own way home. these were set days each week

newsletter today states children to be collected from new locations.....nobody can leave til teacher see's the adult in question....except in case of yr4's if walking home alone.

do i take this to mean they can INSIST on a yr3 child being collected?

Jamillalliamilli Fri 27-May-11 19:55:12

Our's weren’t allowed to walk home alone until yr 6. (and I then I had to fight of someone’s mum who tried to overrule me and force him into her car)

Parents who didn’t agree where told to find another school, so in that sense yes they can insist and enforce their rules. (Parents more than 30 min late also got reported to SS)

GypsyMoth Fri 27-May-11 19:57:24

but here they go to middle school in year 5 ....which is a bus ride away,so we have to give them independence a lot earlier than yr6

lljkk Sat 28-May-11 09:34:57

I don't think they can insist on anything, but they can pressure you &even get you to sign something to reduce their liability. Given that some of the now (in late May) yr3s are much older than some of the children starting yr4 will be, it's all a bit arbitrary.

crazymum53 Sat 28-May-11 09:50:34

At my dds school year 5 and 6 children are allowed to walk home by themselves.

Wallace Sat 28-May-11 10:10:19

it is 8 here

KittySpencer Sat 28-May-11 10:17:22

DS2's school are not in favour of children walking home alone at any age hmm. When I asked about it, I was told 'a few' children in Yr 6 walk home alone, but none younger. The school apparently would feel 'uncomfortable' with children walking home alone below Yr 6.

GiddyPickle Sat 28-May-11 10:54:57

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

NormanTheForeman Sat 28-May-11 11:00:45

Our school expects you to collect them until year 5. When they are in year 5 and 6, they send out a form at the beginning of the year which you sign if you want to give permission for your year 5/6 child to travel to and from school alone. If you have given permission, the child can make their own way home, if not, they have to wait for you.

GypsyMoth Sat 28-May-11 11:02:12

is it enforcable though??

HauntedLittleLunatic Sat 28-May-11 11:03:26

At our school the only 'rule' I have heard is that ks1 children are expected to be dropped off and collected directly from classroom.

Northernlurker Sat 28-May-11 11:07:44

I don't think our school has a rule. Dd2 has started walking to and from school alone a bit this year and she's in Year 5.

Northernlurker Sat 28-May-11 11:09:06

Sorry posted too soon - children can't relaibly remmebr how to safely cross roads until age of 9-10 (varies obviously from child to child) therefore imo Yr 4 is the absolute earliest it's safe if there are roads to cross.

CroissantNeuf Sat 28-May-11 11:11:10

I haven't seen anything written down here but the earliest seems to be Yr5 (and then only occasionally ie. child not walking to/from school everyday, just some days or after an afterschool club for example).

Clary Sat 28-May-11 20:45:43

My kids go to inf and junior schools (on same site really).

Infant kids must be collected; but by juniors nobody checks, the kids just come piling out. So I assume the school is fine with yr 3 kids walking home.

My DD walks to and from school by herself or often with a mate; she has done the wlak to school for a year, since end of yr 4; walk home since end June last year tho for that summer term she was with yr 6 brother.

I think it's fine (obv) and in fact quite a number of yr4/5/6 kids walk there and back without a parent. Most only have one or two residential roads to cross.

risingstar Sat 28-May-11 21:56:11

its funny that it seems to depend on what age kids move up from their first school. here, kids go to middle school in year 5 and it is common for year 4s to make their own way home and certainly not so unusual for older year 3s to be doing it at this time of year. there are no busy roads to cross etc.

i cant see how they can insist though

mummytime Sun 29-May-11 08:37:46

I know several people who at DCs school live within yards of the school, definitely no roads to cross. The parents would be furious if they were not allowed to walk home alone from year 3.
Maybe the reason children don't have road sense is because they aren't allowed out alone, I walked home alone from 5, and crossed 2 busy and one minor road on the way.

Saracen Mon 30-May-11 13:05:58

The school is in loco parentis during school hours. Outside of school hours, your children are your responsibility. No one can dictate to you about the arrangements you make for your children to get home from school. I suppose if they disapproved hugely then they could/should report you to Social Services, but they can't refuse to release your child once you have made it clear that he is to be allowed to go.

On a practical level I can see that a school needs it to be clear whether a child is officially still in their care or not, and handing over to parents is a convenient way to do this. However, there are other ways to resolve this.

I've had to put my foot down with several (privately-run) clubs about letting my dd go home on her own. After that, at the end of each session the coach would say, "Right Cathy, off you go then" or else get her to sign herself out. This signalled the end of their official responsibility for her and she was expected to leave the site promptly so this would be quite clear. Only one absolutely refused to do so and she had to stop attending. A private organisation, of course, can set any rules it likes and if parents don't like it then they have to go elsewhere. I didn't like that fact but I accepted it. A state school cannot dictate about what happens outside of school hours.

I feel quite strongly about schools and clubs trying to set rules for what children must do during non-school hours. That is the job of the parent.

takeonboard Tue 31-May-11 08:42:53

its year 5 at my DS's school although the boy who lives a few doors away has been going home himself since year 4

MaileySmith Thu 11-Aug-11 15:29:57

Message deleted by Mumsnet.

mumeeee Thu 11-Aug-11 17:41:06

When my DD's were at primary it was from year 5.

reallytired Sun 14-Aug-11 21:17:17

I can't see what the school can do to stop a child who is over eight walking home on their own. Yes, the school can inform SS, but would social services honestly care? It takes a brave parent to stand up to such a threat.

DS has walked to school on his own since year 3 inspite of the fact that the stipulation says year 5. The school knows and social services have not turned up yet.

IloveJudgeJudy Wed 17-Aug-11 17:00:52

I got disapproving looks from Y5 teacher when my DC walked home alone (with friends) from then. School was 1 mile from our house, but lots of people walked home the same way.

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