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Is this a valid reason to change schools?

(19 Posts)
onetiredmummy Thu 06-Feb-14 10:51:20

DCs are in Year 4 & Reception. They are at their current school which, following a house move last year is 1.5 miles away. We used to walk with DS2 in a pushchair but since he started Reception we have been catching the bus as DS2 can't walk that distance twice a day & I won't put him in the pushchair because of his peers.

The bus timetable has recently changed & now the buses either don't turn up at all or they are late. I have gone from never ever being late in the morning to being late 4 days out of 5. Its not as simple as catching an earlier bus & I can't afford to drive atm.

So the school has been niggling me for a couple of years, I've posted before about it& they have been getting better but its not a case of 'I desperately want to keep them at this school', have spoken to DS1 & he is fine about moving school.

Given that I can't get them to school consistently on time & its out of my control, is this a valid reason I can give for changing schools? A school in walking distance would be much cheaper & it would stop the school run taking 2 hours there & back plus we could do playdates with friends.

PrincessScrumpy Thu 06-Feb-14 11:07:40

Is the new catchment school good/have spaces etc?

If so then I think a school you can walk to is ideal and if dc are happy then I'd seriously consider it. Our catchment school is brilliant but it's 1.8miles. I have walked it but it takes me 40minutes (it's quite hilly) and dd is 5 and it takes her about an hour. It's also along a busy 60mph road which is horrible to walk along.

If you loved the school then it would be worth it but id doesn't sound like you do. Follow your gut instinct.

17leftfeet Thu 06-Feb-14 11:08:17

Of course it's a valid reason -although 1.5 miles is really not that far unless there are health issues

Is there a more local school that has places for both of them?

onetiredmummy Thu 06-Feb-14 11:12:22

Just phoned the council, the 2 local schools are full at the moment but if I go to the current school & fill out transfer forms then I can be on the waiting list for the 2 schools... smile

redskyatnight Thu 06-Feb-14 12:18:25

Well it's a valid reason, but 1.5 miles doesn't seem that far away. Assuming no health reasons, if DS really can't walk, why not consider scooting or cyling?

lljkk Thu 06-Feb-14 12:33:32

ime scooter would be crashed so mum would be have to carry it instead, & bike would crash into cars scratching heck out of them.

Sound like good reasons to me, OP!

Adikia Thu 06-Feb-14 12:35:37

1.5 miles isn't that far to walk, reception DD's school is 1.45 miles and we walk it everyday (I don't drive and there isn't a bus) it takes 35 minutes with DD, 25 minutes for me on my own

If you aren't happy anyway then its worth getting on the waiting list for other schools.

canyourearme Thu 06-Feb-14 12:36:16

Of course its a valid reason. My reception dc struggles to walk the 2/3 mintues to my car as she is exhausted.

onetiredmummy Thu 06-Feb-14 12:43:28

I know what you're saying re the distance, it isn't that far for me or DS1. I walk it twice a day. However for a 4 year old its too far, possibly doable on a summers day but not in the rain or the snow. Its only his 2nd term & he is knackered by 3:30 as it is. He walks a lot as I don't drive & I know his limitations, he gets slower & slower & a school run that already takes 2 hours will be made a lot longer. If you ever see a small boy crying because he is tired & refusing to walk another step in the lashing rain, while an older boy's face crumples as he's also tired & wet then it will be us.

He does have a scooter but he won't use it & he's not confident enough on his bike to ride, as the walk to school is all on busy roads. Plus quite often we have 2 bookbags, a lunchbox, a swimming kit & a guitar so I have no spare hands left to catch errant boys on speeding vehicles smile

lunar1 Thu 06-Feb-14 12:44:39

Do you think you will move again. It's an ok reason if you know there will be no more changes but you have no idea how they will settle. I'd be reluctant to move unless your children have health issues that mean they can't manage the walk.

Ds1 has walked 1.6 miles each way since he was 3, ds2 has just joined in walking one way at 2.6. It's me that is more wingy about the walk than my children!

lunar1 Thu 06-Feb-14 12:46:12

Sorry, posted at the same time.

Biscuitsneeded Thu 06-Feb-14 12:52:00

It clearly depends on the child! Mine have scooted or cycled to school since Day 1 but we are in a bike-friendly city and that's normal. Can you get one of those bikes with a capsule on the front for smaller child and all the bags, or a trailer, just until he's big enough to cycle by himself?

But you don't have to give a reason if you want to move schools, you just apply!

GhoulWithADragonTattoo Thu 06-Feb-14 12:52:31

Of course it's a reasonable reason. I wouldn't usually recommend moving a happy child but if you can't readily get them there in time then something has to change. Hopefully places will come up soon smile

Adikia Thu 06-Feb-14 13:15:39

Ah yeah, I hadn't thought about the extra stuff you'd have to carry with 2 kids, getting DD anywhere can be a pain if I haven't got a spare hand to hold onto her. We tried a scooter but there's a lot of secondary schools near DDs school so the pavements always crowded and I got fed up of apologising to the poor teenagers she kept running over.

You don't really need a reason to move schools so long as you think it's what's best for your family, tbh if I didn't love DD's school and hate the one at the end of my road the hours walk in the rain wouldn't seem worth it.

onetiredmummy Thu 06-Feb-14 13:27:23

Thanks all smile

So the plan is:

Look at the Ofsted reports/school websites & school prospectuses.

Go & view schools

Complete transfer forms at current school.

Does that sound like a plan?

GhoulWithADragonTattoo Thu 06-Feb-14 13:33:45

That sounds a sensible plan. In our LEA you have to send the transfer form to the schools your hoping to get a place at rather than existing school. That might vary though?

fatfinger Thu 06-Feb-14 13:35:22

1.5 miles really, really isn't too far for a reception age child with no disability. He would soon get used to it.

lljkk Thu 06-Feb-14 14:44:47

But it's 6 miles/day for OP to walk, too. I know very very few adults who would contemplate it. I know a lady* who did 1.5 miles each way for years with her large brood, the kids in reception-yr1 were chivvied with sweets or hopped in buggy part of the way. I am so grateful that we live in a place where people have better things than go all judgey about it.

*She got a driving license the summer before child6 started school; doesn't often drive it now.

Floralnomad Thu 06-Feb-14 14:46:42

Your issue will be if one gets offered a place at the more local school and one doesn't ,will you be able to arrange 2 drop offs and pick ups ? It's fairly unlikely that the 2 places you need will come up at the same time .

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