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At what age would you be comfortable with your DC getting a bus or taxi to school?

(24 Posts)
DomesticBlobess Thu 15-Oct-09 16:48:24

In the process of appealing for a school place for DD1 - if it fails she will be at school over 5 miles away and DD2 will be at local school - as I can't physically take two children to separate schools at 9am I will have to use the councils provided transport - not sure whether that will be bus or taxi.

Not at all sure that I am comfortable with the thought of her doing that - I won't say her age yet as I would be very interested in other peoples view first.

chicorita Thu 15-Oct-09 17:11:57

I would say 10 or 11 is an age where they can go alone. I know some dc who go age 6 but it depends on the bus service I suppose.

In the US they all get collected by a school bus which drops them off at a safe place to get back home too, maybe a taxi would be better for a younger dc.

BoysAreLikeDogs Thu 15-Oct-09 17:15:54

A child with SN may go by bus or taxi from reception age or even earlier

pagwatch Thu 15-Oct-09 17:16:13

well if you have a child with special needs sometimes you have no choice. Ds2 had to get counsil transport at age 6 - either that or no school.
It was very hard especially as he is non verbal etc but it was one of those things.Sometimes life is shit like that.

Ds1 had to travel by train and then school bus at 10 but he is extremely bright and i had no concerns. Actually the day he missed his stop on the train, he phoned me as he had simply taken a taxi from the station he ended up at. I was very proud at his problem solving.

Depends on the child and depends on the circumstances .

pagwatch Thu 15-Oct-09 17:16:56

good grief - my spelling blush

LadyMuck Thu 15-Oct-09 17:17:06

For a daily taxi journey from a named pool of checked drivers I would be happy from 6-7. Our school would be unhappy with a taxi dropoff for a reception age child. As far as the bus is concerned I guess it would depend on how close the pick up was and what their policy was if someone wasn't in the agreed place at pickup.

Millarkie Thu 15-Oct-09 17:19:58

Mine have been using the county council provided bus/taxi since dd was 4. It's not like public transport, they have a register to check them on and off and a 'chaperone' (who protects the driver from the noisy little wotsits). They all know each other and like to chat about their school day/invite friends home etc on the way.
I prefer the bus because it seems safer - they don't get car seats in a taxi and often have to sit in the front seat which is something I would never do in our own car.

paisleyleaf Thu 15-Oct-09 17:21:47

The school that's 5 miles away may well not be your designated school. Even though the LEA placed her there, she may not be entitled to transport.
(That's what I'm finding anyway, now that my DD didn't get a place at our designated school).
I know it's not what you asked, but thought you might want to look into it. (unless you were thinking of transport for DD2).

sarah293 Thu 15-Oct-09 17:21:48

Message withdrawn

Fayrazzled Thu 15-Oct-09 17:55:48

Our primary school has a fairly large catchment covering some outlying rural areas. Some children take the school bus from age 4. The service is chaperoned, the driver knows which adult is to collect the child from the designated stop, there is a chaperone on the bus, and should a parent need to get a message to the driver it can be done via a call-centre. It's very well run. Having said all that, I wouldn't want my 4.1 doing it unless I didn't have another option. I'd probably be comfortable from about 6 or 7.

tibni Thu 15-Oct-09 19:17:40

My ds takes his car seat into the taxi for school each day. All the seats are then kept in reception at school until hometime along with SN pushchairs / wheelchairs etc.

HairyMaclary Thu 15-Oct-09 19:24:00

I was very unhappy about my DS with physical disabilities taking transport to school when he started Reception this year. However it has been fantastic! He goes on a minibus with a max of 6 children, 1 driver and 1 escort. They are amazing, he loves it, and after pressure from him he now goes to and from school everyday in it. He loves the independence from me!

He was given a brand new high back booster seat that was changed after an accident the bus had (luckily when the children were not in the bus). I have excellent communication and rapport with the transport staff and the school staff as well.

Currently I can't fault the service and it saves me and DS2 over 3 hours driving a day.

ChasingSquirrels Thu 15-Oct-09 19:29:56

The next village which also feeds to our school has a bus laid on, the majority of children go on it from reception.
If we lived there I would have been happy for my children to use the bus from reception.

lazymumofteenagesons Thu 15-Oct-09 22:46:19

DS(2) took school bus from age of 7. One driver, no helper. But it picked up and dropped off at my door.I did have to complain a few times that the bus drove off before DS2 was in the house.
At age 10 bus was at a drop off point and I was manic about getting there early in case. The driver just used to dump them, but he did have a phone and could have walked home.

marialuisa Fri 16-Oct-09 08:15:54

DD has used the school bus from the age of 8. I grew up in a rural area where kids are bussed to school from Reception so it doesn't seem odd to me.

DomesticBlobess Fri 16-Oct-09 11:01:38

Great replies - thanks all very interesting.

My daughter has just turned 6 and I am just not sure about it all. I dare say if we do end up using transport, taxi or bus, we'll get used to it and it'll be fine. Recently in our village there was a case of an 11 year old getting off the school bus and then walking straight into the road and was hit by a car - so very worried about a 6 year old... Interesting about having chaperones on the bus - that would help me be less worried about it.

Also worried that if we use transport it would be harder for her social life to develop. At this age so much is arranged by parents chatting in the playground after school. Also when she is settling in, I wouldn't have that time at the start and end of the day to have quick chats with the teacher to help ease the way.

MaggieBehaveOutGuising Fri 16-Oct-09 11:03:52

I had to get a bus at 12, and I was sensible enough to get the right number bus and save back the bus fare..... BUT... I wouldn't have liked to do it any younger. I actually remember feeling quite daunted by it to begin with.

MaggieBehaveOutGuising Fri 16-Oct-09 11:04:56

oh, it's a special bus, sorry!

my four year old will be taking one of those soon. I am ok about it. They're all strapped in safely and there's aminder.

Bramshott Fri 16-Oct-09 11:10:23

DD1 has gone to school by taxi since Reception - I took her in for the first term, and then she went on the taxi after Christmas.

I'm sure DD2 will be on the taxi from day 2!

It's brilliant - comes to the door, almost always the same driver every day, about 9 kids. DD loves it!

pagwatch Fri 16-Oct-09 11:10:26

if there is a bus then she will not be the only one and therefore the school will have mechanisms to help with communication. Ds2 has a home to school book and we exchange pretty detailed info - especially at the start of the new school year when things are settling in.

As for the other parents - well lots of working parents have the same situation and you just have to work a bit harder.
We arrange coffeee morning and email each other re tea dates etc. But you will have to push this.

Bramshott Fri 16-Oct-09 11:13:20

I go in and hear reading once a week, which is great for staying in touch with the teacher, and I also make sure I pick DD1 up on Fridays which is our "having people to play day", and makes sure I am in the playground once a week. Could someone else collect DD2 for you once a week so that you could get into DD1's school on one day?

cory Fri 16-Oct-09 13:53:50

I imagine they would be looking out for a 6yo in a way they wouldn't do for an 11yo, which might explain how the accident happened to the 11yo. Around here all 11yos make their own way to school, often across town, so no adult would think they would need escorting off the bus, but they would be totally different with a 6yo iyswim.

abra1d Fri 16-Oct-09 13:57:33

Mine went from just under five. They were absolutely fine.

ampere Fri 16-Oct-09 14:48:11

I used to have to catch a public service bus- in fact, two! -to get to my secondary school 11 miles away from the age of 10. It was scary at first but oh so soon became second nature.

I also used to catch a specific school bus from my village to the primary in the next village from the age of 4. It was 'overseen' by a bunch of smart-arse 10-11 year old girls, thus no adult chaperons and there was appalling bullying going on on it (often at the hands of these girls)! That wouldn't be allowed to happen today.

DS1 is due to start secondary 3.5 miles away next Sept and is already anxious about the transport thing which I DO understand but I am telling him that OF COURSE it'll be a bit daunting at first but after a couple of weeks, he'll be in the groove and it will all be OK.

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