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Is Covid making anyone rethink travel distance to secondary?

(22 Posts)
Whathappenedtothelego Mon 13-Jul-20 19:44:12

I had been planning to register DC for the 11+, now not sure.

DC is bright and I'm sure would thrive at grammar. It offers the possibility of doing more/a wider range of GCSEs than the local, walking distance comp.

Grammar is about 10 miles away. DC would have to get public transport.

I know that it won't be until next September, just worried all the impact of COVID will still be being felt, and that we should choose the walking distance school because of that. I'm thinking of things like staggered start and finish times, public transport disruption, that kind of thing.

Am I being ridiculous? Is anyone else rethinking school choices?

OP’s posts: |
YinuCeatleAyru Tue 14-Jul-20 07:44:39

our eldest is y6 at the moment and got a Grammar place for September start which we accepted just before lockdown. obviously this is a huge issue but I am going to have to drive him morning and evening until the buses seem safe and reliable (planning to just drive him to a point that is 15 minutes walk away to avoid sitting in the worst of the rush hour traffic jams) fortunately my work is flexible enough for this to be possible, although it's a massive pain, but it could be a total nightmare for a family with different circumstances.

Headandheart Tue 14-Jul-20 07:48:20

I think 10 miles is too far in any case. My dc goes 7 miles and I find it a pain when I have to pick them up for any reason, especially with the traffic in rush hour. The traffic Is definitely quieter at the moment but with schools back in September, it is likely to be heavy again and this adds to the journey.

I would definitely consider more local schools.

LynetteScavo Tue 14-Jul-20 07:55:44

My DD travels 13 miles, as did her brothers. I understand how you feel OP, as the pandemic would possibly make me want to chose a school round the corner. I think it's still worth going through the motions of applying for the grammar school for now and changing your mind if you want to in the autumn.

ScrapThatThen Tue 14-Jul-20 07:57:04

DD is going to a sixth form further away, she could still choose local. She's going anyway and plans to take the train. I don't want to limit her choices, she will probably have to deal with some inconvenience though.

azaleanth90 Wed 15-Jul-20 15:03:26

Mine goes to a school 6 miles away and it's a massive pain with friendships in lockdown - no transport, hard to get to them and no way of just hanging out in local park. I also think the travel is tiring for teenagers - I'd have gone for a local option if there was a decent one.

ChicCroissant Wed 15-Jul-20 15:27:26

My DD's school doesn't have direct public transport (it wasn't our first choice) and has a bus service run by a private company - luckily the company has survived the pandemic because I was beginning to wonder about that. I think it will factor into people's decisions over the next year or two.

Whathappenedtothelego Wed 15-Jul-20 16:33:52

I think we are going to still register for the 11+ to keep options open.

But really unsure.

OP’s posts: |
BlusteryLake Wed 15-Jul-20 16:38:13

You don't have to decide yet, so it's probably worth securing your grammar place for now - you have until March to make your choice if you do get the place. But I am so glad we chose local for my son, who starting in Y7 in September. He can walk and all his friends will be pretty local.

AuditAngel Wed 15-Jul-20 16:40:26

We’re in a slightly different position. DD1 is in year 8, going into year 9. She is not at our nearest secondary, but at a very good one, direct bus from outside the door, but at the moment TFL are only allowing 14 passengers on each bus. They are always full in school journey time, so I don’t see how this will work.

DD2 is at a primary in the opposite direction, same start and finish times.

Meanwhile DS is moving to a 6th form college along the road from my office, which is closed for the foreseeable future! Accessible by bus then train.

LadyCatStark Wed 15-Jul-20 16:47:23

DS is starting at a Grammar School in September. He was going to go on the bus but I’ll have to drive him at first I think. TBH, I’d drive him as far as it took to get him to go to that school rather than our local special measures sink school.

Whathappenedtothelego Wed 15-Jul-20 16:52:41

I think realistically we have to decide in October, as if we put the grammar as our top choice, get a place but then later turn it down then the local school will likely already be full.

I suppose it gives a couple of months to see how things are starting to work, which doesn't seem very long!

OP’s posts: |
FourTeaFallOut Wed 15-Jul-20 16:57:22

Do you have any other children that you have to work around? Start and end times seem to be all over the place to account for the pandemic. If you have two children in two different schools then I think I'd be thinking seriously about the local school before you hot a logistical brick wall.

betteliefsen Wed 15-Jul-20 17:00:42

Not specifically lockdown/Covid no but we've always gone with our local secondary school for various reasons but not least because the time travelling until 4.30pm is wasted time IMO.

HotFlowers Wed 15-Jul-20 17:11:20

Dd has just finished year 12 at grammar over 15 miles away, takes 23 minutes on the train.

She’s only been there for 6th form, but yes it has suddenly made everything a little more difficult, currently one 2hr lesson each day and I’ve taken time off from work to drive her, I was concerned about public transport.

I think the journey is something to really consider in light of everything going on.

For years 7-11 she went to local comp, no fireworks, but she enjoyed herself, was happy and did well with the added benefit of lots of local friends smile

FishyDuck Thu 16-Jul-20 16:01:27

I think you’d be ridiculous to be quite frank to make your DC miss out on a better education for the sake of something that will very possibly not be an issue at all in September 2021.

Grammars provide a brilliant environment for bright DC in which to thrive and 10 miles is not a big distance at all.

betteliefsen Thu 16-Jul-20 16:06:52

FishyDuck

I think you’d be ridiculous to be quite frank to make your DC miss out on a better education for the sake of something that will very possibly not be an issue at all in September 2021.

Grammars provide a brilliant environment for bright DC in which to thrive and 10 miles is not a big distance at all.

So do many comprehensives. Grammars can provide a hothouse environment which puts too much pressure on pupils, a family I know had two daughters in grammar hospitalised with serious mental health problems because of the pressures on them as a result of being at grammar school.

Mumto2two Thu 16-Jul-20 16:49:30

Not changing our plans here. Turned down grammar which is 5 minutes walk away, for a bus ride 45 minutes away. Why change course on the basis of something that may or may not be a problem?

TW2013 Thu 16-Jul-20 17:03:01

Could you move closer to the school if they get a place?

Whathappenedtothelego Thu 16-Jul-20 17:30:21

We can't move as DC1 is already at the local comp (which is totally the best place for them). It's a lovely, friendly school, and I'm very happy with it, and I'm sure DC2 would still do well, it's just we had decided the best place for DC2 was the grammar.

It does feel a bit wrong to start reevaluating that, but circumstances are different. I don't think it's ridiculous to take it into account.

I think we will have DC take the 11+ and see from there.

OP’s posts: |
iamthankful Thu 16-Jul-20 19:26:33

10 miles is not far, if for example there are train links, near me that would be less than 15 mins on the train, in which case door to door a bit more. It depends on the transport connection.
My niece goes 7 miles to her grammar, but takes 1 hour and 10 mins on the bus.

After8itsgrownuptime Thu 16-Jul-20 21:20:43

My 2 are at private and not grammar but for their 11+ we have already moved one to a local all through school and decided that DS will only sit for schools he can get to in 30 mins or less Incase we have to drive him

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