No space on school bus(4 Posts)
Apologies firstly for NC on this. I have been on a number of threads under my normal name which mention my DS' new school so I don't want to be identifiable.
Basically I am getting myself into a huge stress about DS's transport to school from September. (I don't make a habit of posting at 1.30am so this is really getting to me). He is going to a private school about 8 miles away and which has a bus from our village. That bus is really the reason we thought it would be feasible for him to go to school (we both work longish hours and a long way from the school) but its now clear that it is unlikely there will be space for DS on the bus next year. There is a waiting list, which he is number 7 on, but the bursar has explained there is unlikely to be much movement now until next year, ie when DS goes into Yr8!
DS can get to school via public transport (train and bus) but it is not great and will involve a lot of walking (not a problem in the light) but as the school day finishes at 4.00pm he will need to do a lot of the journey in the dark from Oct-Feb.
This is where I need advice from you all to decide whether I am being unnecessarily stressy because my friends seem to have different views and the whole private school thing is new to us.
Should I be making a fuss at the school? DS is will be 11 for most of next year, my PFB panic-head feels its mad that an 11 year old has to face this journey when there will be 6th formers on the bus who only have the space because they've been at the school longer. (I am aware I am probably being unreasonable here). The school has a strict no mobile phone policy too so he would
over my dead body be doing this journey without a phone.
The other thing that worries me is that because of the school busses, you don't see boys from the school on local public transport so DS will be in the classic private school kid situation, standing out. There'll be no safety in numbers.
Has anyone else faced anything similar? Should I be worried about an 11 year old doing a 1hr 15 minute commute with 35 mins walking, most of it in the dark in Winter.
Yes, I am stressed
That does appear to be quite a ridiculous state of affairs, but on the other hand, with only a finite number of seats on the bus, I can see how this could happen.
Our situation is a little different. Our son is starting at Independent secondary school about 6 miles away, but only needs two busses. We've chosen public transport to cut costs.
Have you asked the school whether any other students are in the same boat, not necessarily the same year? They might be able to put you in touch with someone taking at least part of the route. With mobile phones, is there no way he could leave his phone at reception or in his locker (DS's school allows this)?
One other thing, your son will not be quite the same as the 10 year-old that started Y5. Get him to sit at the front of the bus and wait for the train in a well lit part of the station. Over the summer, encourage him to be generally aware of his surroundings (no headphones, don't stare at the pavement) and he will be fine. There's no reason why at that age and with a little preparation he couldn't manage such a journey safely.
On the positive side, he will be that little bit more independent than your average UK 11 year-old as a result.
Get together with the other 6 (at least) people on the waiting list and arrange a group taxi - if your school bus costs anything like ours it won't cost any more!
My DS is a mid August birthday, so was 11 for the whole of Yr 7 too. He went to a Grammar school via public transport (2 buses each way) and yes, a lot was in the dark. He left at 7.20-7.25am and returned about 4.40 (later when he fell asleep on bus and had to get another bus back from the end of the line!)
I'm sure he'll be fine. You have the holidays to do practice runs and they make friends doing the same routes from other schools too. He can have a phone and switch it on for the journey alone. Having a public transport bus pass also gave him the freedom to meet his friends all over town as they all lived miles away and travelled in.
I do understand your stress though, it took me a while to get used to him travelling like that.
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