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Secondary school - after school dilemma

(13 Posts)
Patinkin Thu 16-Jul-15 09:50:27

Not an unusual situation - my eldest going up to secondary school in September.
Have checked on guidance about her being home alone at the end of the school day (we both work) and they don't advise it for under 12s.
But there is no after school provision at secondary school.
So what do people do?
She's my eldest so I have no knowledge of this stage at all! Seeking views and guidance!

TheFirstOfHerName Thu 16-Jul-15 09:56:52

After-school activities at the school.

Local library to get on with some homework.

Many schools are happy for children to stay on the school premises working quietly in the school library until 4.30 or 5.

What time will you/DP be getting home?

yellowdaisies Thu 16-Jul-15 09:57:07

Mine was home alone a couple of days a week from 11. (I don't work quite full time). I don't think there's any hard and fast rules about 12 being OK and 11 not. Depends how many days a week, how long for, how your DD feels about it, whether she's used to shorter periods alone, how easily contactable you or a neighbour might be in an emergency, etc.

Some childminders will take secondary aged children - they usually make their own way to the childminder. But ime kids do tend to get into different routines once they start secondary - staying behind after school, going back to friends houses, heading out into town, etc so you might find she doesn't need it for long.

TheFirstOfHerName Thu 16-Jul-15 09:59:53

Also, many 11 year olds are capable of letting themselves in and looking after themselves for a couple of hours. If you work a long way away then give her the contact details of a couple of trusted adults who are close by, in case of emergency.

TheFirstOfHerName Thu 16-Jul-15 10:00:42

Cross-posted with yellowdaisies

TheMoa Thu 16-Jul-15 10:02:09

My 10 year old is absolutely fine home alone for a couple of hours, and by secondary school age, they'll be getting themselves home and fending for themselves 'til we get back.

There might be after school classes and things, but we will not be looking for 'childcare' options as such.

AndNowItsSeven Thu 16-Jul-15 10:09:15

The ncpcc guidelines are very strict , and they are just that.

JennyWren Thu 16-Jul-15 10:44:17

But guidelines are just that - guidelines, not law. It is up to us as parents to 'risk assess' based on our knowledge of our own children and the specific circumstances - half an hour or an hour in the house while you're getting home from work/another school run, with a sensible level-headed child and a helpful neighbour in case of emergency is a very different situation to three hours for a scatty child who is also expected to prepare their own evening meal...

TeenAndTween Thu 16-Jul-15 16:23:13

Sometimes y7s go back to their primary after school club and are collected from their with younger siblings.

Mainly y7s just stay home alone until parents arrive home.

cariadlet Thu 16-Jul-15 19:07:24

My dd is in Year 7. When she started at secondary school we had a mixture of arrangements - going to grandparents after school or coming into the primary school where I teach (luckily it's on her bus route home) to do homework. She was allowed 1 day a week where I let her go home on her own and then I'd leave work as early as possible so she wasn't on her own too long.

Pretty soon we both got a bit more relaxed and confident about her being on her own for a couple of hours. She's had a couple of times when she's locked herself out, but has either gone to her grandparents (who only live in the next road) or the neighbours.

I let her have a friend come back with her as long as it's somebody I know, their parents know, she's asked first and it's only 1 friend at a time.

She's pretty sensible, and if me and DP are both going to be late she's quite capable of getting herself some dinner before we get back.

BackforGood Fri 17-Jul-15 18:24:09

Who doesn't advise it for U12s?
Also, if it's advice then it's just that - an opinion.
What matters more is your opinion about your child and ^your circumstances.

When my ds (who is organisationally challenged) started secondary, he walked to the CMs rather than home to an empty house for the first half term or so, until he'd got his head around all the new changes and then wanted to come home himself. My 2 dds just came home.

All these things though will depend on what time she will get in, what time the first parent will get in, what your neighbours are like (if they are home at that time), how confident she is, if she's used to letting herself into the house, if she's used to being on her own for a couple of hours, etc.,etc.

Often schools have after school clubs or areas students can go and sit and work in, but the issue then becomes they are travelling home on their own, later (and it soon gets dark in the Autumn) rather than in the light, surrounded by hundreds of others travelling at the same time.

Patinkin Sat 25-Jul-15 23:35:45

It was this that have me the 12 years old rough benchmark
www.gov.uk/law-on-leaving-your-child-home-alone
I think we may do a mish mash of clubs and childminder for a while and see where she goes with it.
I am sure she will get used to things fairly swiftly and be ok to be at home most days for a short while before we get home.
Thank you for all your opinions on this - it's been really helpful smile

balletgirlmum Sat 25-Jul-15 23:38:12

Who is they?

I was planning on leaving 11 year old ds (about to go into year 7) home for part of the time next week as dh is working (he's ususlly off in school holidays)

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