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What's a reasonable school commute?

(18 Posts)
3asAbird Mon 10-Oct-16 11:04:59

We looking at all sorts schools varying directions and distances as we live in a city with lots of choice .

Wondered if people don't pick local schools they can walk to.

What's a reasonable or unreasonable commute for an 11 year old in miles/ time
What modes of transport do people use?

School bus seems limited to lots of schools so means public bus or train
Probably one if us dropping at train station/ bus stop ect.

I have freinds horrified I consider public bus but so many kids do.

I have 2 younger kkds in primary once eldest goes so it's going be juggling act and wondering exactly when kids are allowed independence these days.

Of course living in rural areas most kids take the bus.

Heard some stories locally about bullying on school bus so thinking sat in city bus with seven betties having a ride with their free bus passes can't exactly be more dangerous.

Providing bus stop close to school
Majority time crossings next to schools too
That the bus not travelling through any dodgy areas.

Early morning mostly large groups of people commuting to work.

Traffic is so bad with bus lanes it might actually be quicker and definatly quicker by train.

MrGrumpy01 Mon 10-Oct-16 12:36:30

My catchment school is 3 miles away and not an ideal walk. There are closer schools (non catchment) but again not a suitable walk due to main roads, walking through parks/back cuts and busy junctions.

Out of the 3 schools 2 have a bus (3 miles and 7 miles)and the other would be a public bus.

NotCitrus Mon 10-Oct-16 13:13:45

I'm pondering this. A new secondary is being built near me but while a 10 minute walk would be convenient, I rather want dcs to spread their wings a bit rather than walk the same streets for another 7 years! The 10-15 min bus ride school would be ideal journey-wise but may not get in.

There are grammars ds might get into in the next borough, which would be 2 buses or 1 train+15 min walk or bus, taking about 50+ minutes. It would at least be going against the tide of commuters but not sure how it would work for cementing friendships.

Most likely option is one stop on the train so should be 20 min door to door, but the terrible trains mean have to allow about an hour! Or two buses, 40 min, or would probably suggest the frequent bus and then walk, which would be a similar time.

I do wonder how a long commute in a city (so not rural where most people have to travel) affects the kids.

atticusclaw2 Mon 10-Oct-16 13:17:06

Mine leave school on the bus at about 4.10 and get to the bus stop at about 4.50

But its a school bus and not a public bus. It seems to be a social event..

shouldwestayorshouldwego Mon 10-Oct-16 13:24:19

Weighing up similar issues. One school about a 45 min walk (two busses) or another 8 miles away, again two busses. Slight preference to school 2, but is it enough to outweigh the distance? Also I guess need to think about what else they can do with up to an hour a day in terms of activities/ homework/ grades. School 1 means could incorporate a walk at least once a day.

manyhappydaysoutside Mon 10-Oct-16 13:28:57

Sorry, I have just posted a very similar question! I should have updated my search earlier. Best of luck with your decision.

GloriousSlug Mon 10-Oct-16 14:41:22

My son is in year 7 and travels by public bus to school, it's approx. 13 miles away and takes around 45 minutes.

No trouble so far, most of the pupils get on school buses so I feel more comfortable with him getting the public bus, due to the potential for bullying on the school bus service.

We have several local secondary schools that are within walking distance but I didn't feel as though any of them were suitable.

Badbadbunny Mon 10-Oct-16 14:47:28

You're lucky to have choice. Lots of people have none. My opinion is you should choose the best school for your child in terms of how it meets ALL of the requirements, the transport/distance only being one aspect. Far more important are whether the school offer the subjects your child is interested in, what provisions are there if your children is at either end of the ability spectrum (i.e. further maths or Latin for the brightest etc), range of extra-curricula clubs & societies, range of sports, etc, etc. Kids are resilient and will cope with whatever distance/transport they have to face - they soon get used to it. I certainly wouldn't choose a close/easy school if it didn't tick my boxes in other aspects too!

Badbadbunny Mon 10-Oct-16 14:50:01

Bullying happens on foot too! I walked to school, about 15 minutes walk, but was constantly harrassed/bullied by others on the same roads doing the same journey, so I ended up taking a much longer detour to avoid them.

BackforGood Wed 12-Oct-16 00:09:38

Being able to walk is SUCH a bonus.
In terms of what is 'reasonable' though, it depends on so many other factors.
There would have to be several very good reasons to make my dc travel on 2 buses, or travel long distances to a school when there were nearer options - but those reasons do sometimes exist!

PawWavingCat Wed 12-Oct-16 14:28:07

We're very fortunate, in a SE town with 4 state schools all within 30 mins walk from us.

No need for public transport and the traffic is quite bad at times so probably quicker to walk than to drive.

Many of DC's school friends come by bus or train, journey door to door is often around an hour. They're fine doing it and the commute doesn't seem to restrict their after school clubs (although they do have to up v early to be in school on time in the mornings).

ErgonomicallyUnsound Wed 12-Oct-16 17:35:09

My DS gets two trains, train station a three minute walk on our road, school a 5-7 min walk the other end. Whole journey door to door about 40 - 45 mins. Distance as crow flies about 12 miles, in actuality by road around 16-17 miles.

Considering the same town for DD next year.

Great thing about the train is that there is more than one each way! So can do after school clubs easily. Certainly the school bus to our nearest grammar 8 miles away takes longer as it stops everywhere. Downside for us with train is the exorbitant cost. Which doubles at 16! shock

Remember they are Y7s only for one year, and what might seem daunting when they are diddy soon fades. They are at secondary a long time!

SisterViktorine Wed 12-Oct-16 17:39:13

I have done 45 min drive (for nursery- not really 45 mins away but that was how long it took in commuter belt rush hour traffic), 10min dive (5 miles on a country back road) and now 5 minute walk.

I cannot tell you how amazing having a 5 minute walk is. I love it. Love having a chat to DS on the walk, love what a relaxed start to the day it is. We have befriended a cat.. it's amazing. grin

BizzyFizzy Wed 12-Oct-16 18:10:58

I think an hour is fine if they are with other students and have social time with them.

My commute, back in the 70s was exactly an hour, and I don't have any bad memories, even in the depths of winter.

SE13Mummy Thu 13-Oct-16 10:52:03

DD1 is in Y7 at a school she can walk to in 20-25 minutes. We turned down a guaranteed place at one of the local grammar schools in favour of this school, in part because of the travel time and the flexibility being closer gives her. Yesterday, she was at school for a sports club until 5:15pm, walked home, had tea and was at dance by 6:30pm. Had she gone to the grammar, her journey would have been the best part of an hour.

cingolimama Thu 13-Oct-16 12:22:47

My DD (Y7) travels by public transport (two buses) into central London. The journey takes about 40 minutes. The school is fantastic, she's very happy and imo it's worth the journey. Tbh, it was my one reservation about the school - how she'd cope and the time it would eat out of her day etc. But actually, it's completely fine. DD loves her travelcard and her independence and the fact that she can now navigate around makes her feel very grownup. She spends the time chatting to friends for part of the way, reading and staring out the window.

The key, OP, is that the school is right for your DC.

eddiemairswife Thu 13-Oct-16 12:47:56

Government recommendation July 2014. Journey time......up to 8yrs old 45mins, over 8 75mins.

PurpleAlerts Thu 13-Oct-16 14:41:47

My catchment school is 200m away but neither of my DDs went there.

DD1 went to an independent a few towns away (7 miles or so). 5 min lift to the station, ten minute train journey and a fifteen minute walk or 3 min bus ride the other end.

DD2 got into a grammar (15 miles away) and takes a school bus service a 2 min walk away and then about a 40 min journey straight to her school (not free though- we pay about £1200 a year)

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