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How far would you travel to school? 1 hour??

(60 Posts)
nat73 Thu 16-Feb-17 13:32:03

We are in a dilemma. Our village school is all things lovely but academic results (KS2) are woeful. We have no farm so our kids will need to find their own ways in the world.
I have spoken to the school about my concerns and they ultimately said this is what we offer, if you want something else you need to go elsewhere.
Village school is 200m walk = 15 mins dawdling.
The alternative is another village primary 20 mins away which is more academically focused or an independent school which is a 1 hour bus ride away. (We cannot afford the prep school which is 35 mins away)

DD is in Year 2 so we were thinking of moving her for September. DS is 3 years old so we will keep him in nice but dim village school for KS1.

Is 1 hour (each way) too far? My heart says yes but having seen the school and how great the facilities and teachers are I have confess I am tempted!

Meeep Thu 16-Feb-17 13:34:41

Why not get a tutor for 1 hour a week with your saved bus money. Ask them to give lots of extra homework.

CMOTDibbler Thu 16-Feb-17 13:35:38

Thats 4 hours a day travelling for you. Its waaaay too far, and don't forget your childs friends can be at least that far away. When ds was at a school 20 min away, parties were a complete pita, and his social life really suffered

KissesOnKittens Thu 16-Feb-17 13:38:22

I'd go with meeep.

How's your dd overall performance? Is she meeting the expected levels?

LIZS Thu 16-Feb-17 13:39:49

A 2 hour round trip at 7 is too long imho. What about when you need to go back for parents' evenings, concerts, matches, play dates, parties? Or trips returning too late for the bus. You'd have to drive it , in all weathers, and presumably take your ds too. How much more is the prep? If she is only y2 there is plenty of time for results to pick up. Also last year was the first under new structure so many schools dipped.

snowgirl1 Thu 16-Feb-17 13:42:34

When I read the thread title, I thought you meant senior school. I think 1 hour each way is too much at that age.

SavoyCabbage Thu 16-Feb-17 13:50:07

I think that worrying about the KS2 SATs results in relation to your child's future earnings is unnecessary.

I think spending two hours a day traveling will have an impact on them. It's a big chunk of their free time that could be spent doing other things.

The distance could also affect their friendships.

MiaowTheCat Thu 16-Feb-17 13:54:39

We went for the less awesome local school than the awesome "need to drive it" school - I fucking hate deicing the car on a winter morning with two whining kids in tow so that, along with classmates being really nearby and the idea that parties would be local (hah hah at that one - we've been on some right treks this year) swung it for me.

Newtssuitcase Thu 16-Feb-17 14:00:40

I'm a bit confused. would you be sending a primary child on their own on public transport? Or would you be travelling with them on the bus? Or is it a school bus which takes an hour?

You may well find that the private school won't allow a primary child to travel on a bus to school alone. Ours doesn't. An adult has to take them and sign them out.

If you're travelling with them on the bus is there a reason you can't drive it instead which would presumably be quicker?

If school bus then just be aware that school buses can be unpleasant places at times. Certainly in our school if any "bullying" is going to go on that's where it happens since the children are unsupervised.

DixieNormas Thu 16-Feb-17 14:00:48

Two of mine are at school an hour away, its awful especially in the winter.

ErrolTheDragon Thu 16-Feb-17 14:01:11

Its too long for primary (ok for secondary if theres a school bus or reliable public transport).

Maybe think how much you can do with your kids in the time it saves them and you? Much research indicates that the most important factor in a child's outcome is the level of parental support, I believe. I don't mean formal 'schoolwork'.

Wallywobbles Thu 16-Feb-17 14:01:34

My kids 8, 11, 11, 12 travel an hour for school. Leave home at 7 get back at 7. Breakfast (porridge, boiled eggs, muesli biscuits, fruit, yoghurts, bread rolls etc) in the car and supper is on the table when they get back.

nat73 Thu 16-Feb-17 14:02:02

She is meeting expected standards (according to her teacher) but I feel the school don't push her enough (at all) and there is a general acceptance/celebration of mediocraty.
We have also considered tutoring as a cheap way to fill the gap.
The private school do most of the clubs during the lunch hour so that the children who take the bus don't miss out. (So hopefully 2 x 2 hour round trips would be the exception rather than the rule).
I do take the point re the parties. We have friends who travel 30mins to the school and this is already a pain for them.

The plan was to go to the independent school at 11 but the performance of the village school is lower than we had hoped. :-(

multivac Thu 16-Feb-17 14:02:34

"KS2 results" is a meaningless phrase in relation to your child. What matters is how your child is doing.

How many children are there in each year group in your "nice but dim" village school? Do you realise just how far "KS2 results" can be skewed in a small cohort with, for example, a couple of kids who have SEN (including dyslexia, which is extremely poorly served under the new assessment regime)? How much data are you working with, and how well do you know the individual children involved?

And finally - do you think a high SATs score at the age of 11 is more, or less, important than an experience at primary school that is enjoyable, nurturing, not overshadowed by two hours or more commuting spent every day on a bus, and leaves the child keen to take the next step?

Newtssuitcase Thu 16-Feb-17 14:02:53

Mine go to a school which is about a 40 minute drive away in rush hour. No issue with friendship groups since independent schools tend to have a very wide catchment area and so lots of children all in the same position.

It did mean that in the early years we would frequently get home and the Dc would be asleep and go straight to bed. That's partly because the school day doesn't finish until 4pm for primary and 4.15 for secondary.

ErrolTheDragon Thu 16-Feb-17 14:03:23

The village school 20 mins away might ok if they have places for both kids.

multivac Thu 16-Feb-17 14:04:12

Ah, just read your update. She needs to get to the independent school at 11. Best you hire someone to push her, then.

BertrandRussell Thu 16-Feb-17 14:04:25

What do you mean by "woeful"? How are the results contextually?

MirandaWest Thu 16-Feb-17 14:05:18

How low are the results? And would you be able to get a place at the school 20 minutes away? Having two children at two different schools would bring its own problems too.

MirandaWest Thu 16-Feb-17 14:06:41

Are you wanting to move her so she can get into the independent school at 11? If she didn't go there, what would the school she'd go to be like?

EweAreHere Thu 16-Feb-17 14:08:28

It depends.

Are the children/parents of the local school driven to do their best?

Do parents want their children to be pushed, to look at learning as important?

Or will your daughter be surrounded by people who don't give a crap about education, which will pull down teaching progress overall and possibly have her joining in with their attitude towards learning?

I would travel rather than have my child in a school where a large majority thinks minimum effort/coasting is good enough.

BertrandRussell Thu 16-Feb-17 14:08:42

What does ofsted say about "nice but dim" school?

DoraDunn Thu 16-Feb-17 14:08:57

If it's the school you want both your children to go to and it goes all the way through to 18 then have you considered moving closer to the school?

nat73 Thu 16-Feb-17 14:11:51

Newtssuitcase - Its a special school minibus not a public bus. We could drive but that means driving for 4 hours a day (then we should move house).

multivac - according to the school our child is doing 'fine'. I am concerned about the environment. The school always give the same blurb about the high % of SEN etc. So to allow for this I worked out the results for the 10 nearest schools and came out with only a 38% over KS2 pass rate (over 120 kids). Not every school can have all the SEN? And where are the smart kids? We had 0 in the top 5%. So TBH I am not buying the school's argument on this. We have v low rate of EAL and FSM. DC will need to sit an entrance exam if we wait to move her til age 11. Why is a more academic school not 'nurturing'? But you are right I dont want to wear her out / put her off school..

I'm just not sure 'nurturing' replaces an education. It frustrates me that we seem to live in an education 'black spot'. DH said if we lived in London parents would be rioting ;-)

nat73 Thu 16-Feb-17 14:14:27

EweAreHere

Are the children/parents of the local school driven to do their best? No

Do parents want their children to be pushed, to look at learning as important? No, most dont listen to their kids read etc.

Or will your daughter be surrounded by people who don't give a crap about education, which will pull down teaching progress overall and possibly have her joining in with their attitude towards learning? Yes!

I would travel rather than have my child in a school where a large majority thinks minimum effort/coasting is good enough. Quite!

What does ofsted say about "nice but dim" school? Good - but weak Maths at KS2 (I pointed this out to HT and she refuted it)

DoraDunn -If it's the school you want both your children to go to and it goes all the way through to 18 then have you considered moving closer to the school? I guess this is the ultimate result...

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