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What's the furthest you would commute to primary school?

(23 Posts)
Confusedmartie999 Fri 19-Jun-15 12:51:08

Having a dilemma with where to live versus how good the schools are.
Spoke to my mother in law about it last night and she said I was being ridiculous and that if we want to move why don't we and just make the drive each morning ( roughly 20 miles we are thinking of moving so 45 min drive approx ) stay in the old area for the day so I don't have to do the journey twice then head home.
My point was not only will that cost about £250 a month but would mean I wouldn't get home until gone 4pm and I leave for work at 6pm so that will be very rushed.
There is another school he could start in the other area but the results aren't as good, EAL is 50% and they have mixed ability teaching throughout the year groups which as a teacher she is completely against.
Does anyone here do these long commutes for a school?

KatyN Fri 19-Jun-15 16:34:22

My parents moved when I had two years left of primary school and we commutes back to school for the last two years. It was a 15 minute drive and my mum worked nearby.
It was quite a faff especially when I wanted to play with friends etc.

nikki1978 Fri 19-Jun-15 16:38:27

20 miles?! No way. We live 2.5 miles away. If there was no traffic I would live a 20 min drive away tops.

Finola1step Fri 19-Jun-15 16:41:43

How long would you be doing it?

How old are the dc?

Would new house put you in a good position re secondary schools (if dc are primary aged now) ?

LIZS Fri 19-Jun-15 16:42:18

Too far. What about play dates , concerts, parents evening etc. do you really want to do a 40m round trip each time, not to mention cost of fuel etc. There must be somewhere more local or you just don't move that far.

Charlette1 Fri 19-Jun-15 16:44:55

I moved my dd from a school that is a 2 minute walk away to a school that is 2.2 miles away due to her being bullied for over a year on and off. So every morning and afternoon I have to drive to pick up my dd (I would walk but I have a 4 year old as well) and although it's not a long drive it's far enough and when I get stuck in traffic it is a pain, but a school 20 miles away, there's no way I would even consider it as IMO it's ways far, regardless of how good the school is.

Indantherene Fri 19-Jun-15 16:50:14

We had a 22 mile commute to primary for 4 years, and like your MIL says you don't come home inbetween because it isn't worth it.

It cost a fortune in diesel and the car needed a service every 3 months which was a PITA, but there was a good reason for it and we had 2 others at 2 different schools in roughly the same area. DH worked nights and actually slept in the car during the day (rural area, plenty of laybys)

Actually the whole playdates, concerts, parents evenings etc were not that big a deal. Just the car expenses.

(and the time DH was woken up by the police when he was parked up because they thought he was a burglar confused, but that's a different story).

Charlette1 Fri 19-Jun-15 16:53:40

Gosh a 22 mile commute, and I thought a 4 mile round trip for us was bad lol.

Notthecarwashagain Fri 19-Jun-15 16:54:08

I drive DCs 18 miles each way to school, and their schools are then 4 miles away from each other.
It's awful!

Rush hour traffic, if there's an accident on the motorway (frequently is) then the dual carriageway and side roads are just standstill.
Parents eve, after school activities, discos, parties- all a pain to get to!

If DCS forget something or one is ill and needs picking up its so much more difficult than just nipping back.

And although it's just driving, it's exhausting! I am just coming to the end of it now, Dd is finishing school, and DS will be able to go to a local one (I couldn't move one without the other, and couldn't move DD so close to GCSEs.

Really wouldn't recommend it if there is other option.

lexyloub Fri 19-Jun-15 16:57:19

Are your dc already attending the school?because if not it's unlikely you'd get a place at that school living so far away. Maybe trial it for a bit to see how you get on then maybe consider moving schools if it's too much.
Also like pp said if you did do the commute for primary school again when your dc move on to high school they probably won't get in the school near to the primary all their friends will be going so would mean them making all new friends again in high school personally I wouldn't like that for my dc.

Confusedmartie999 Fri 19-Jun-15 16:59:43

Thanks for the feedback.
New location is where the ideal secondary is and is also a lot cheaper to rent in ( although by the time you add petrol there's not much in it )
The only school that has a space for reception this year in new area got the following SATs which I'm guessing aren't very good as everyone keeps telling me :
54% level 4 grammar
80% level 4 reading
74% writing and 63% maths in comparison to the school he is due to start where everything is in the 90s but secondaries here are single sexed and not near each other so a pain as we have a son and daughter 1 school year apart

LIZS Fri 19-Jun-15 17:02:56

Have you visited the school with a place? Stats alone aren't everything.

LemonYellowSun Fri 19-Jun-15 17:03:03

How could you stay in the area all day to avoid going home???

sighsloudly Fri 19-Jun-15 17:06:32

my dc's school is 27 miles away. its a lot of driving and means my day is very much shortened but the dc's are happy and thriving so we are happy. it takes exactly 30 mins door to door. It actually takes less time than when we had to walk and take the train to their old school but is way more miles!

Confusedmartie999 Fri 19-Jun-15 17:22:57

The whole making friends for secondary is the reason we actually want to move as well and were planning on using the local primary until I saw it.
It's nice, the kids were happy and the head was good but there's no grass, it's a complete concrete playground and they teach in mixed ability groups the whole way through so 1/2, 3/4 and 5/6 which I'm not sure about.
They have 2 intakes rather than the 1 here.

BackforGood Fri 19-Jun-15 17:23:36

No way would I do a school commute like that, unless it were just for a Yr6 to finish off the Summer Term or something.

I agree with Lizs - don't make decisions on statistics - go and visit the school(s) that is/are nearer.
There are all sorts of reasons for having a lower % of dc not achieving some kind of arbitarily set "level" - what you need to think about is how your dc will do in a school. At Primary level at least, there is a very strong correlation between achievement and parental input from interested and supportive parents - FAR more relevant than a statistic.

BackforGood Fri 19-Jun-15 17:24:31

x-posted. You have seen it. Nothing you've said about the school would make me so horrified I'd do that commute to school though.

Pippidoeswhatshewants Fri 19-Jun-15 17:33:25

Is there no other primary near the new location that you could go in the waiting list for?

SaulGood Fri 19-Jun-15 17:40:36

My dd's best friends have recently gone from a 5 minute walk to school to a 32 mile drive each way (moved from state to private). I'm sure it works for them but I couldn't add that onto either end of my child's day and I'd never afford the fuel or car upkeep.

Go and visit the school you're not keen on and then form an opinion.

Confusedmartie999 Fri 19-Jun-15 18:45:41

Lots of others we are on waiting list for but as we are tied Into a contract until March I can't even give them an address in the borough so we are right at the bottom.
This one we are at the top as it's a catholic one and we are practising.
Had I never seen the other school I don't think I would be in 2 minds although 50% EAL is quite high and I wasn't expecting it as it's a seaside resort and almost too English I've thought on visits however not sure if that's impacting on the learning etc.
What exactly is the point of mixed ability classes? That I just can't get my head around.

Imeg Fri 19-Jun-15 20:13:25

When you said 1/2 etc, do you mean Year 1 and 2 mixed classes? I don't know any theories about the pros and cons of this but I started school abroad in a school that did this - I don't remember much about it but my mum said it helped us because we could do more or less advanced work in each subject depending on our strengths - there was more flexibility in terms of level.
I'm sure people may disagree but I think primary school is less about academic learning (especially if parents are motivated and will ensure the basics are covered anyway) and more about developing interests and building a social life, interpersonal skills etc. I suppose the exception would be if you either live in an area with the 11+ or intend to enter your child for exams for private secondaries, in which case I can understand you'd be interested in how prepared they are for the exams.

BackforGood Fri 19-Jun-15 23:47:06

I too am confused about what you are saying re mixed ability.

Most Primary schools teach in mixed ability classes - it's perfectly normal. Some might set for maths or maybe maths and English but many, many don't, and the overwhelming majority don't set for the whole curriculum.

However - you saying 1/2 3/4 5/6 makes me wonder if you are talking about mixed age group classes? The usual reason for doing that, is that it's a small school with only enough children for 1/2 a class in each year group. Is that the case?

Confusedmartie999 Sat 20-Jun-15 09:45:37

Sorry I wasn't clear.
There are 45 children a year that start.
When they initially begin they are split into 2 groups not based on anything.
Over that year they are assessed and then will go into low / middle or high groups.
This is mixed with a year 2 set, so it makes up 30 children but some will be year 1 and some year 2 and that's then the same for year 3 and 4 and 5 and 6.
I'm guessing as is 45 who start they don't qualify for 2 teachers hence this choice.
My worry with my son is that he's very easily led and distracted and if he's permanently in the bottom groups then he will only be mixing with others who are also struggling.

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