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Two DC at different primary schools - anyone else manage this able to share some tips?

(12 Posts)
Thingvellir Tue 03-Jan-17 10:23:22

We moved house during the Christmas holidays and while I'm extremely grateful to have found places for DD Y4 and DS Y1 in good local schools, they are not in the sane one. They both start on Thursday and I've got to work out how to manage being in two places at once in the morning and afternoon confused

DS starts school at 8.45, 5 mins from home, DD starts at 8.50 6 mins further away (but in the same direction). Both finish at 3.15.

As we've moved during holidays I haven't been able to discuss with the schools properly yet other than us all acknowledging we have the problem (both schools had to reject one of my children, so were aware already).

Breakfast and after school clubs are an option I've thought of (not sure if they have places and will be checking when school opens). So, does anyone else have this problem and do you have any tips based on your experience, or what your schools have done to help that I can suggest to our schools?

worstwitch17 Tue 03-Jan-17 11:27:20

6 mins walking or driving? Is DD mature enough to walk from your DS's school? You may find someone else managing the same run- if you so you could the kids at school A and they could do the ones at school B?

Or there might be a walking school bus running for one of the schools?

Laura0806 Tue 03-Jan-17 11:51:03

Just to say Im in the same position as you. DS1 and DD2 in one school, DD1 in another-15/20 mins drive away. One of the schools has a breakfast club and as my dd1 is year 6 , she will have to walk from her school to a place I can meet her. Not ideal but only for 2 terms. Good luck

QuimReaper Tue 03-Jan-17 11:57:24

If it's a 6 minute walk I agree you should think about letting DD do the second leg alone.

It's likely to be tricky for the first week: assuming you have to do this single-handed, I would enlist someone at DS's school - preferably his teacher - to meet you in the playground at 08:35. You won't want to leave him alone on his first day at a new school 10 mins before the bell.

Once they're both settled in I think you'll find DD provides the solution: a friend or friends who take the same route and whom she can meet on the way, most likely.

bojorojo Tue 03-Jan-17 12:10:17

You are really talking about very small differences in time. School 5 minutes away - arrive a bit early. Explain to the school secretary about the need to move ontothe other school. The school will understandand the Head will probably come and help too. You will find loads of working parents dropping off from 8.30 am sogetting there a bit early in the future willnot be any inconvenience. Just check when the doors open for the children. Not all children arrive on the dot. Walk-drive to the school 6 minutes further on. Can you drive on the first morning to help with timings?

Collect the furthest child first and make arrangements for the child nearer to home to be held onto for a few minutes. Most schools do not mind this as long as it not for more than 10 minutes. Children often wait in the Reception area for parents/carers. When you and your children get to know other children and parents, going with others may be an option.

Good luck. You will all be fine!

Thingvellir Tue 03-Jan-17 12:26:10

Thanks for the replies. I should have said times are driving distances - while DS's school is walkable, he's too young to do it alone yet. DD's school is 3 miles away so a car journey (meaning we'll have to drive DS as well)

There is no school bus as both schools are village schools - DS got into 'our' school and DD is in the next village along, I don't think there are many at her school that are not from the Village. School places are really tricky here - I'm genuinely grateful to have them placed at all! It was not looking hopeful until just before Xmas when pure luck brought about DS's place.

I think the early drop and late-ish pick up of DS in the closer school is the best option - thank you Bojo. I just hope they will be understanding....

On Thursday I've got DH staying home to help with one of the runs as I want to have time to meet teachers etc. Poor DD is very anxious about the new start and needs emotional support.

Thingvellir Tue 03-Jan-17 12:30:58

Sorry you have the same issue Laura. I keep telling myself it's only a problem for 2.5 years confused until DD starts secondary (when there will be a bus to the local school that was a key motivation for this move in the first place!)

bojorojo Tue 03-Jan-17 12:42:12

I am sure the schools will be understanding. With a lack of school places, you probably will not be the first or the last with this problem. Where I am a Governor, we often have children waiting in Reception for parents who have to pick up elsewhere first. Don't worry. It will work out.

MostAppealing Tue 03-Jan-17 18:44:06

So your DD is 8-9, in Y4, and at a school 3 miles away, which was the nearest school with a place for her? Do you know the exact distance? She may be eligible for free transport (see below, C&p from gov.uk)

We moved house and were allocated two different schools for our DC, one with free transport as >2 miles (DC <8yrs). We successfully appealed, and both DC are now at the local school. It's a stressful experience but was a definitely worth it for us. A Y4 appeal would be a standard appeal (arguing prejudice) rather than ICS.

New school is used to 'looking after' (they wait in the library) DC for an extra 5-10 mins at the end of the day and DC can be dropped off in the playground from 8.30 (except YR who need to be handed over from 8.40 - in practice, can be taken into classroom from 8.30), so something similar may be in operation in your new schools.

Free transport: Your children may be able to get free transport to school, depending on how far the walk is and any special needs they have.
All children between 5 and 16 qualify for free school transport if they go to their nearest suitable school and live at least:

2 miles from the school if they’re under 8
3 miles from the school if they’re 8 or older
Find details on free school transport from your local council.

If there’s no safe walking route, they must be given free transport, however far from school they live. Contact your local council if you think that the walk to school isn’t safe.

Thingvellir Tue 03-Jan-17 22:55:49

Thank you Most. The Local council (who have been utterly useless throughout so far I've found these places myself!) wrote me a letter confirming DDs place was offered and advising that she does not qualify for transport - its less than 3 miles - it's 2.8miles (8min by car, not including driving via the other school). I was rounding up in my OP, sorry! It is not walkable under any stretch though, and even if you tried to walk it, part of the route is along a dual carriageway without pavements.

I have written to them following your post asking them to review the transport decision in light of the fact that I have 2 drops and an unwalkable route for DD, so now await a response. When I spoke to them on the phone about it last week and asked for their guidance on how to manage the situation they advised it was 'not their role to advise parents how to manage their time' hmm which is why I've since been thinking along the lines of asking for flexibility from the schools.

A complicating factor for an appeal is that our village school (DS's school) is an independent CofE (we are happy about this as CofE is our preference) and manages its own admissions outside the local authority remit. I'm not sure if the council can oblige them to create a place for DD.

Thank you for your advice, maybe an appeal for transport will work

Babykrazy05 Tue 03-Jan-17 23:18:52

Thingvellir - doublecheck your council policy - where we live transport must be provided if there is no pavement! as that constitutes an unsafe walking route.
(this means in our LA all of the children in the next village a mile away are given taxi's if the parents wish as there is no pavement for less than 50 metres around 1 busy roundabout!)

before moving to said village I had 2 in 2 schools - older childs school kept dc for 15 minutes for quiet reading till I got there smile no problem, these days a common problem. but hopefully you should get transport if no safe walking route!

Thingvellir Tue 03-Jan-17 23:35:30

Thanks Baby - I'm feeling pretty good about my chances for transport now, or at least I feel confident in my right to push it a bit harder - the council have been really shite, and I was allowing them to brush me off too easily I think.... I really don't want to cause issues with the schools if I can possibly avoid it, keen to have positive relationships there.

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