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Would you send your Reception aged child to school in a taxi?

(70 Posts)
Lucky13 Tue 16-Oct-12 19:20:15

DD (4) is entitled to free transport and the LEA currently provide a taxi service with CRB checked drivers. As of next term I won't be able to take her to school anymore but I'm worried about sending her in the taxi. She probably will be with two other children who she knows, but they are much older.

My other concern is car seats - they don't provide them! She is still under weight for a booster seat, so I wouldn't be happy with her in one of these on a regular journey either.

When they get to school, the driver just drops them off at the entrance and they have to make their own way in with no teacher to meet them. So in theory they could just walk off if they wanted.

What would you do?

MerylStrop Tue 16-Oct-12 19:22:28

Can you talk to the older kids' parents and see if they can buddy her a bit?

Surely the school has some responsibility to make sure that it works ok

If you can't take her, you probably have not much choice......I understand why you are a bit torn

Sirzy Tue 16-Oct-12 19:24:01

I don't see you have a lot of choice if you can't take her yourself.

Try to get to know the other children and ask them to keep an eye on her.

calypso2008 Tue 16-Oct-12 19:24:55

I would not do this, no.

It is simply not worth the risk.

curmit Tue 16-Oct-12 19:27:16

Do you have any other options at all? Is it your working hours that make it impossible for you to take her / do the school offer a breakfast club where you can drop her off early?

CheddarandMarmite Tue 16-Oct-12 19:30:07

Is there not an escort in the taxi with them? I thought you had to have one.

Lucky13 Tue 16-Oct-12 19:32:42

Working hours would mean that I can no longer take her. There are no breakfast clubs, and no childminders who are interested in before school care.

The other children are nice, but it wouldn't take much for them to decide to mess about and disappear off would it?

The lack of car seats also really concerns me. Does anyone else use a taxi with car seats?

Can I ask the school to meet the taxi?

Lucky13 Tue 16-Oct-12 19:33:47

No escort I'm afraid. There is already another taxi with a reception aged child in it and it was watching this child come into school on their own that concerned me.

GW297 Tue 16-Oct-12 19:35:50

Please reconsider. I know someone who did this and i think it's deplorable to be honest. The driver kept changing and they once dropped the child in the wrong playground alone and unsupervised.

GW297 Tue 16-Oct-12 19:39:47

This child didn't have an escort. I was surprised to find that this is allowed too. I also think taxi drivers are potentially putting themselves in a vulnerable position as if they are alone with a child and the child says they hurt them...

curmit Tue 16-Oct-12 19:40:12

sad How late would you be for work if you took her to school? Could you not take her as soon as school gates open, and leave her under the charge of the teacher / playground monitor? I don't think I would like the taxi arrangement.

littleducks Tue 16-Oct-12 19:54:37

It depends on the child. I could envisage dd doing it no hassle at 4, she was super sensible, especially if it was the accepted arrangement with the school. Ds would not cope that young,

At our school the LEA transport buses and taxis are are allowed Into school car park (parents are not) and handover to office staff or a ta. I'm surprised that not all schools do this.

cumbrialass Tue 16-Oct-12 20:03:40

Over 10% of our children arrive by taxi, from Reception onwards. There is a large "taxi-bus" which takes them all ( currently 13) with a driver and escort. The seats have adjustable seatbelts but not car seats ( the variety in sizes of the children would make this pretty unmanageable and potentially as dangerous with children in the wrong sized seats. The taxi comes onto the premises and frops the children off at the front door, where ther is someone to meet them, in the afternoon they are lined up and counted on the taxi ( we have a regular firm with a regular driver and escort ( barring problems) The older children look after the littlies and make sure they are fine!

Bunnyjo Tue 16-Oct-12 20:58:27

DD is on a dedicated school bus and has been since the beginning of reception, but the LEA have a specific company and driver doing the route - in 6yrs of doing the route she hasn't had a single day off! About 1/3 of the children are on the same school bus.

The bus driver takes all the children to the classes and hands over to a teacher. At the end of the day, they are lined up and counted onto the bus by a teacher and the bus driver. It is a small village school with only 3 classes though.

dixiechick1975 Tue 16-Oct-12 21:07:06

There was a thread on here recently September ish where a mum was worried about a similar arrangement with a young child on a provided bus. There seemed to be a blackhole where the bus was dropping off at x time and the school not be responsible until y time.

I think the op resolved it with the LA.

I personally wouldn't be happy with the taxi arrangement with no car seat. Legally children can travel in taxis or as an emergency with no seat but this is not a one off. Maybe ask to see their H & S risk assessment?

I absolutely wouldn't, no.

yousankmybattleship Tue 16-Oct-12 21:09:31

I would not do this. Is there really no other way?

BoysBoysBoysAndMe Tue 16-Oct-12 21:13:16

Not a chance.

Not in a million years at 4 I'm afraid (and my eldest is nearly 6)

Can you ask at work to start a little later maybe? Employers have to give a little leeway with families with children.

Another mum take her?

Maybe get in touch with the school and see if there are any known childminders at the school.

The lack of car seat would be the least of my worries tbh. Who's going to stop her wandering off after out of the car? Shes 4... I'm all for teaching independence but personally i think its far too much responsibility for her.

ravenAK Tue 16-Oct-12 21:13:25

I send my ds (aged 8) to his Martial Arts club by minicab if dh isn't home early enough to take him, & I have a friend who is shock that myself, dd1 & dd2 don't travel there with him & sit & watch for an hour.

I think 4 is probably a bit young unless there is an established handover routine at school - the older kids in the taxi can't be assumed to be responsible.

I wouldn't be happy with this arrangement, although I suspect dd2 (also 4) would be thrilled!

izzywizzyisbizzy Tue 16-Oct-12 21:14:48

Not in a MILLION BILLION years, DS school has a bus, the teacher is on the bus with them, taxi, no one meeting DS at gate (also reception), never.

Hassled Tue 16-Oct-12 21:16:34

I wouldn't do it, and I'm relatively lax about this sort of thing. Way too much scope for things to go wrong, and you would start every day in a state of tension and anxiety.

Hassled Tue 16-Oct-12 21:18:13

So what are your realistic alternatives? I take it this is the nearest school. How flexible could your work hours be? Is there anyone local you trust who would do the drop-off for petrol money and a few quid extra?

izzywizzyisbizzy Tue 16-Oct-12 21:18:21

Its chaos at DS school in the morning, I lost him once (I had a heart attack and panicked), he had decided to take a stop off at the nursery part.

Gumby Tue 16-Oct-12 21:18:37

Have you looked into all the childminders in the area?
Is there another school she could go to with a breakfast club?
Could you afford to drop some hours so you can take her or her dad?
You must have thought what you'd do once she reached school age!!

MelodyPondering Tue 16-Oct-12 21:19:04

My two boys (8 and 4) get a taxi to school as we are entitled to free transport. They love the driver and there is no escort.

But, I was told the council would provide car seats if I asked and also they are handed over to a teacher not dropped off on their own.

They both love going off to Heyy in the taxi in the morning!

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