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How important is it to live very close to the school?

(18 Posts)
annieham Fri 01-Feb-13 16:29:30

Hi, my daughter (4 yrs old) has been offered a place at two schools that equally have excellent reputation. One is a small school (20 pupil per year) and the other is bigger (2 classes per year with bigger playground etc), but they are both such wonderful schools that basically I cannot choose! The smaller school will be a car journey (10-15 mins if no traffic... but just don't know how bad the traffic would be during the school run hours- it could take 30mins if it's very bad, can't it...). The bigger school is much further from where we live now, however, we could move to a nearby area, even within walking distance. A lot of parents I talk to say that it helps to live close to the school. I totally understand that...but how much? Am I going to regret it if I end up having to drive as long as 30mins each way everyday for the next 7 years? Are you, or do you know many parents who are doing that, and what do you/they think? I need to choose by the end of next week. I could do with some thoughts from everyone. Thank you!

housesalehelp Fri 01-Feb-13 16:51:52

small schools can have their downside with friendship issues etc
I am guessing you don't work or have other children but both of those make me want to have school run as short as possible. you could be in the car for 2 hours a day
also you tend to be in your DCs school alot not just for drop off -plays, parents evening this is assuming you are in the UK - may be different if you are not

also but it might be different if you are not in the UK and I am guess not a state school - its lovely to have friends near by and feel part of the community

YellowAndGreenAndRedAndBlue Fri 01-Feb-13 16:57:41

I would opt for closer any day, as it reduces their day and yours. A massive school run n traffic does get very tedious.

elliejjtiny Fri 01-Feb-13 17:03:07

I live 1.5 miles away from my children's school and I don't drive. I would move them to a closer school if I could. If you have more than one child then you will probably have some time when the younger one is at school part time and you are doing the school run 3 times a day.

Adversecamber Fri 01-Feb-13 17:07:17

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

noramum Fri 01-Feb-13 17:14:13

I drove DD to her preschool 4 days a week for one year. Travel time was around15 minutes plus 5 minutes walk from a car park.

A nightmare. I was glad it was over when DD started school in walking distance. We only kept her old pre-school when we moved as there was no way we could get decent childcare as we needed in our new area.

It is not only the traffic, it is bad weather in winter, the cost of petrol is also high.

The matter of having other mums living locally is an advantage. We were all down with the flu recently and I phoned a friend and she picked DD up so we didn't have to drag us out. As we have no family in the country it is vital to have a plan B and C.

lljkk Fri 01-Feb-13 17:17:47

I am prejudiced in favour of bigger schools, but Bit of a no-brainer for me. Closer school for sure. That's an extra hour of your life not wasted.

Whyriskit Fri 01-Feb-13 17:37:29

DS1's school is a ten minute walk and it's great. It also helps that it's a good school but the distance is something that makes life a lot easier for us.

annieham Fri 01-Feb-13 17:47:11

Thank you so much for all your advice! It seems that everyone agrees that it's surely better to live closer to school... It's been very helpful to hear from the parents who've experienced these things!

By the way, does anyone know about Kensington Prep? Because that's the 'bigger" school I am talking about... I know it's a really good school but is it worth moving close to the school? What's it like to live around Parsons Green / Fulham? At the moment, we live in Kensington and it's been so convenient living here and very international (as I'm not English) which makes me comfortable and not want to move out of Kensington. Would I feel very bored and lonely if we move to Parsons Green/Fulham? Also I'm trying for another baby - that's why we are thinking to move (for a bigger home)...

Tommy Fri 01-Feb-13 17:49:38

I live close to the school - it's great for not having to drive every day and also for DS 1 & 2 walking home on their own now but I do get through a lot of tea with all the mummies using my house as the meeting place grin

LIZS Fri 01-Feb-13 17:51:03

Remember her friends could be equally as far in the opposite direction - makes playdates logistically trickier and more tiring.

We live 5 mins walk away and it's brilliant, I often need to go more than once a day (DCs going to after school clubs, volunteering etc) and it's so easy. Also lots of children live very close by so very easy for going to each other's houses, and very easy for walking each other's children home as a favour or having them for half an hour after school if you get stuck somewhere. I was ill for 6 weeks last year and it was easy for various other parents to walk my DCs to and from school with theirs. Plus walking is good for the children. Plus no parking hassles. I wouldn't change it.

Back2Two Fri 01-Feb-13 18:03:30

Definite vote for living close. I'm about 2 mins from school.
Last year we were a five min car journey. I ended up really fed up, but mainly because of the friendship thing. Ds couldn't invite people round without a big arrangement.

Now,when a bit older he'll be walking to his friends and to school by himself.
It's great living near the school, it adds to a real feeling of being in a community. And I live in Brighton so it's a city, albeit a small one.

swlmum Fri 01-Feb-13 19:31:46

I wouldn't worry at all about moving to Parsons Green/ Fulham. Lots of different nationalities and 1000s of families with young babies and children!
Sheer nosiness but what is the other school you're thinking about?
I'd also say that a 'short' drive anywhere round Kensington in morning rush hour could potentially be completely horrific- much better to be able to walk!

educator123 Fri 01-Feb-13 21:01:34

Watching with interest as i am considering moving my children from a tiny school 5min walk from our house to a slightly bigger one 10min drive away (rural no traffic issues etc) i am completely torn as i think they children may be better at the bigger one but i love being so close and being able to walk!

annieham Fri 01-Feb-13 21:04:04

Hi swlmum, thanks for the encouragement about Parsons Green smile. The other school I am thinking about is Falkner now you know my dilemma! They are equally excellent schools, aren't they!!! I really like both! I think I'm gonna have a proper chat with my husband this weekend about whether and where we move to...

mumstara Sun 02-Feb-14 08:51:50

Hi annieham

Came across this old post on mums net just curious where did you net out and how has all of the first year gone for your little one? I am in a similar but reversed spot to you. Deciding between fh and ken prep. We have a confirmed spot at KP and a reserve at FH. Unlike you we are living in parsons green with KP at our doorstep. I like that it is bigger but fell in love with FH. We are also worried about DD commute. Am pregnant with my second one due in April so nanny will do drop off in sept or me till I go back to work. Do you have any advice? Where did you end up? Has the commute gone OK? I feel like living close would be great but parsons green to brechin place place isn't that far? Your experience would be helpful!

babygoldie Fri 07-Feb-14 21:39:26

Congratulations on your daughter getting offered a place at KP. I'm hoping my daughter (who is starting school in '15) will get in... Wanted to comment on your question about what it's like to live in parsons green. I've lived her for 7years (before children and now with DD). It is a very family friendly area - lots of lovely parks, cafes, restaurants, most v child friendly. The green spaces are in abundance which really makes you feel that you're out of the centre of town. Good value for money vis a vis kensington so property is attractive. Good luck with your decision!

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