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I need a solution to this ridiculous school run nightmare, help me please!

(17 Posts)
largeginandtonic Tue 02-Sep-08 11:29:28

Long story, sorry.

I have 6 children and am pregnant with baby number 7 (20 weeks) My husband is in the Navy, we relocated 2 years ago and since then i have been trying to get the children in to the local school. One is 500 etres from the house!

When we moved here we had to enroll then in a school a 15 minute drive away.

I have managed to get my daughter in to the school last Ocober and my 6 year old starts on Thursday. I still have the twins in the other school but on the waiting lists for the local school.

I now have a major conflict of times, i cannot be in 2 places at once! It seems ridiculous to drive to the infant school (less than 500m) drive on to the Junior school to collect dd, drive on to the other Junior school to collect the twins and then on to playschool to collect the 3 year old.

I will be taking the 1 year with me and unloading him from the car while wrestling with parking at each school.

The reasons we wanted them all local are the schools are better and i need to be able to walk them all to school. Rising fuel costs and ebilitating tax changes coming in are pricing the car out of use!

Just to add a little comlpication, i have had threatened early labour with the last two pregnancies and will have to take it easy from 28 weeks pregnant.

I have no one i can ask to collect the twins, short of paying for a taxi to get them home each day (we cannot afford it) i cant see a way out.

I would home school the twins until they get in to the local school but am concerened how i will manage this with a baby and 3 year old. My dd has Turners Syndrome and has frequent hospital visits too.

It drives me insane to think we have perfectly good schools in walking distance and we cant use them!

We have done the appeals but as the Junior school is C of E aided they follow their own rules and the LEA cant help.

Any suggestions? Thank you

RubyRioja Tue 02-Sep-08 11:32:51

Are there any breakfast clubs?
We have an afterschool 1/2 hour club to help with this sort of thing too.

somersetmum Tue 02-Sep-08 11:37:33

You say the school is a 15 minute drive away. Does that mean it's over three miles away? I thought that, if it was the only school available (or only one with spaces) and over three miles away, the LEA had to provide free transport? It is certainly the case here for secondary schools.

more Tue 02-Sep-08 11:38:04

Somebody just won a court case for getting their twins into a school just round the corner (don't quote me on that though). The school had said no to them as that would take the class size up to 26 instead of 25 (which is what it states in the school guidelines). They won because it is "only" guidelines that the class size should be 25. The "law" says that class sizes can be no more than 30.

lou33 Tue 02-Sep-08 11:40:49

it does sound as though you may have a case for school transport for the children who are further away

have you enquired as to whether or not you would qualify?

largeginandtonic Tue 02-Sep-08 11:51:07

I just googled it and it is 2.7 miles!!!!

There are after school clubs but they are £7 a child per session. More than a taxi and i would still have to drive to get them after collecting all the others.

Am phoning the LEA but not holding out much hope.

DaisySteiner Tue 02-Sep-08 11:55:33

I think it's 2 miles for primary pupils. How far away is your school?

posieflump Tue 02-Sep-08 11:55:48

what does your dh do?
could he temporarily adapt his hours to help you out just until they are all at the same school?

Fennel Tue 02-Sep-08 11:56:29

When we moved and were in a similar situation and my dc were in a primary school you couldn't reasonable walk to (less than 2 miles but no pavements, dual carriage way to cross without crossing) I appealed to get them into our local school but also applied for free school transport to the school. We were, I think, eligible for transport to the further away school seeing as we had tried to get into our local school. it's well worth pursuing.

but then the dc got into the local school on appeal so we didn't have to pursue the transport option.

hope you sort it out, I remember being horribly stressed about it, this time 2 years ago, but it did all get resolved for us very quickly.

posieflump Tue 02-Sep-08 11:56:40

oh sorry just reread OP and see he is in the Navy

cece Tue 02-Sep-08 11:59:14

Phone the LEA up and cry! hmm

largeginandtonic Tue 02-Sep-08 12:04:42

Have phoned them and they were quite helpful, she is sending out applications for me to fill in and we have to send a covering letter too.

Thanks for all your replies, it is so stressful! Blardy school nightmare. It's worse than potty training!

edam Tue 02-Sep-08 12:05:14

One of the other mums at school had a similar problem. Her four daughters got into ds's school but her son, in a different year, had to wait for a year before someone moved and there was a place.

She explained the situation to both schools and got leeway to arrive late at her son's. Both schools had the same start times but like you, there was no way she could be in two places at once.

scaredoflove Tue 02-Sep-08 12:07:04

Is it 2.7 miles measured as if you were walking it? I think you could probably argue them paying for transport

Also, have you gone for appeal to get the children into the nearer school? I think you would have a good case

jimjamshaslefttheyurt Tue 02-Sep-08 12:07:10

Do look into transport.

I have to deliver ds2 and ds3 to school the same time as transport picks up and drops off ds1- so the younger 2 go into before -school club and after care.

scaryteacher Wed 03-Sep-08 16:26:06

You could apply under the vulnerable children provision that covers Armed Forces kids perhaps, so they could all be together? I know Cornwall does it, so Pompey might, or do you come under Hampshire?

scaryteacher Wed 03-Sep-08 16:33:25

Try this:
the Children's Education Advisory Service, a specialist advice organisation offering information to service families on schools,
Phone Icon Phone: 01980 618244 - CEAS

Email E-mail: enquiries.ceas@gtnet.gov.uk

Have (school) bag, will travel...
If the Local Education Authority is unable to place your child at a school close to you they may grant a place in a school further away. Then if your child is under 8 and the school is more than 2 miles away, or your child is over 8 and the school is more than 3 miles away, transport to school can be arranged by the Authority.

website Web site: DfES - LEA Gateway

Get hold of the RN Welfare mob and create...that's what they they're for. Perhaps they can help, or get dh to do it.

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