Mumsnet Logo
My feed

to access all these features


School gate etiquette

87 replies

UN17280 · 10/10/2022 06:57

Just read another posters thread on this-made me have a little question of myself! I'm new to the whole school picking up and dropping off and will quite happily wander in to the front of the queue by the gates-there is always a lot of space and I haven't noticed any eye rolling etc? Certainly haven't been shoulder to shoulder pushing past adults or kids as if they're giving out cakes for the first one in (trust me if they were I'd be moving faster😄)
Question is-what is correct school gate etiquette?

OP posts:

YellowTreeHouse · 10/10/2022 08:50

YABU and very rude.

When you see a queue, you join the end of it. If you want to be at the front you arrive there earlier.


Cheeseandcrackers86 · 10/10/2022 08:50

Definitely a queue at the gates to get into the school and I would see it as bad etiquette to push in. Once we're inside waiting for teacher to call them in it's a bit more grey as parents sometimes lurk around the peripheries whilst kids have a play etc. A queue usually forms just outside the classroom door though and I'd see it as jumping to push in front of one of those but not necessarily the lurkers if that makes sense. If you're that hell bent on getting out on time you should go wait by the door IMHO


pantsville · 10/10/2022 08:55

We didn’t line up at pick up, but the TA would call the names of children whose parents she could see. So parents nearest the door generally got their child called first. It was I suppose, for all intents and purposes, a queue - just not one where you stand in a single file line.

One woman used to do my head in though, came in as one of the last last then just walked straight up to the door in front of everyone else still waiting. Once she turned up with her MIL and I heard her say “let’s go nearer the front” and they both stood directly in front of me. I’m afraid to say I walked straight round them and stood directly in front of them too. I mean - what did she think I was waiting for?!


shockthemonkey · 10/10/2022 09:00

I mean, this can be easily solved OP.

Either it's a queue, with people in a line, then you join the end. If there seem to be spaces between people in a queue, you put that down to Covid and you still join the end.

If it's a relaxed milling crowd of people, spaced out or not, then observe how everyone else acts. There may still be a loose notion of first-come-first-served, even in a crowd.


Sunshinebug · 10/10/2022 09:08

Perhaps ask one of the other mums if you can’t tell if you’re being rude or not. It sounds like you think you might be, given you’re asking rhis question. Plus it’s a way to be friendly and meet some of the other mums of the kids your kid is potentially friends with. It doesn’t sound an issue but then none of us are witness to the set up so we are all just guessing here!


Kissingfrogs25 · 10/10/2022 09:08

If paremts are gathered and chatting and NOT moving (they can gather and chat and still be moving forward) then it is not a queue

If there is some kind of queue but it a relaxed and chatty one you should absolutely stand at the end of face being one of 'those' mothers 😂


GonnaGetGoingReturns · 10/10/2022 09:15

At DNephew's school where I've picked him up recently, there's no queuing as such, well there is a sort of queue but it's very fluid and parents often get to the front and no one says anything. No idea what drop off is like as haven't done that yet.


JustLyra · 10/10/2022 09:15

For me it totally depends how they release the kids.

At DD4’s school that would be the height of rudeness as the teacher releases the children based on which parents she can see so it would be skipping the queue.

Whereas at DD3’s school the children are released in order of their classroom queue. Everyone spreads out more so it’s easier for the child to spot their adult and say.


Butchyrestingface · 10/10/2022 09:16

I haven't noticed any eye rolling etc?

You may not have noticed any eye-rolling, but has any mother 'gently chastised' you recently to the point of making you cry and you telling a TA?

If this sounds familiar, I think t'other mother posted about you last week. Grin


Dahlietta · 10/10/2022 09:20

I think you would know if there were an actual queue. If there isn't, what you've been doing sounds fine.


GertrudePerkinsPaperyThing · 10/10/2022 09:23

If it’s a queue - people standing behind other people in a rough line - you join it.

If it’s just people milling about in the playground then not necessarily.

You’d notice the difference immediately.

You can’t “wander” to the front of a queue though. Why would you be first if you didn’t get there first?


Istolethecookies · 10/10/2022 09:26

I’ve been wondering about this too. Child’s just started school and some parents queue and others don’t… also annoying if you walk up from the opposite side to where the queue is, so you have to walk past everyone to join the back of it. I’ve just been going a little later so by the time I get to the school the queue has died down and I don’t have to worry about stupid etiquettes. I’d carry on doing what you’re doing until someone complains.


Diyextension · 10/10/2022 09:26

I just wave a fiver at the woman on the gate and she lets us straight in.


NKFell · 10/10/2022 09:26

We don't have a queue, just a 'milling about' system. Some people hang back, some people loiter closer to front....I think it totally depends on the system. If it's a queue, go to the back, if it's a loiter, loiter away!


Haudyourwheesht · 10/10/2022 09:27

At school it's just a cluster so it doesn't really matter where you go. At nursery there is a queue as everyone is rushing off to work. Woe betide anyone who tries to jump the queue. It looks like a queue though.


IloveGogglebox · 10/10/2022 09:41

We still have a queue and one way system.

DS finishes at 15.20 but I don't leave my car until 15.25. That way the queue is gone and I can walk in grab him and walk out no problem


CosyDarkNights · 10/10/2022 09:44

So everyone is stood waiting and you walk straight to the front? Gosh are you that stupid? At our school they let the children out in the order of people waiting, you'd be a massive cf. It's still rude even if you are just waiting to get onto the school yard, you just don't do that.


mam0918 · 10/10/2022 09:45

UN17280 · 10/10/2022 07:26

Crikey you made a lot of assumptions there didn't you?!
Like I said, was just asking a question to garner opinions

Well since you delibaretely answered fuck all questions any one has asked and werent remotely clear what else are people meant to do?

You are litrally being a vague as possible which would indicate your just here to stir drama.

The fact you clearly said 'queue' though makes it seem like you know you jumping it would be being a CF move as schools with no queue system like ours wouldn't have the word queue as there is litrally no form of queue at all.


Justnosing · 10/10/2022 09:51

This has made me laugh because my daughter started preschool last week and I’ve been riddled with anxiety about this every day😂.

The parents sort of just “gather” around the gate, then when teacher comes to open the gate to the little yard (which im normally stood in front of) nobody really moves so I find myself looking around for a couple of seconds to see if the earlier parents step forward, they never do and sort of look at me to go in first even though I didn’t arrive first! When the queue then forms on the yard I find myself trying to linger so as not to be at the front of it as I’d feel I’d jumped it.

bloody hell parenting introduces a new anxiety every day


pantsville · 10/10/2022 09:53

Butchyrestingface · 10/10/2022 09:16

I haven't noticed any eye rolling etc?

You may not have noticed any eye-rolling, but has any mother 'gently chastised' you recently to the point of making you cry and you telling a TA?

If this sounds familiar, I think t'other mother posted about you last week. Grin

I’m just wondering how she’d be able to see people rolling their eyes when they’re all standing behind her!


wonkylegs · 10/10/2022 09:58

Ours doesn't have a queue as such and can get quite congested at the bit through the first gate (always open) waiting for the second gate to be opened this is because it's where parents with kids in both areas of the school wait and chat because they can see the kids go in two entrances, there is often loads of space beyond them if you are only going to one gate.

It really depends on the school layout as to the etiquette. If there is an obvious line then don't push in but otherwise as long as you are sharp elbowing yourself to the front crack on.


CaronPoivre · 10/10/2022 10:01

Ever had a queue fin any school the children attended. Parents gossiped on playground until teacher called their name (reception only) or they came hurtling out to find me.


WeepingSomnambulist · 10/10/2022 10:02

Neither the nursery we used nor the school have ever had a queue system.

Nursery, there were never more than 2 parents at a time because people just collected when it suited them. Nursery closed at half 5 but parents would collect from 5 onwards and I never had to wait. Barely ever bumped into another parent.

The school have never had a queue system. Parents just mill about in the courtyard area, the playground gate is unlocked a few minutes before the bell and the kids are let loose. The only class which is brought to the gate by a teacher is the P1 class. And then it's the kids who queue at the gate and the teacher looks around for the parent of the kid at the front of the queue and then let's that kid go. It doesn't matter if you're standing right next to the gate; your kid only gets out when they have reached the front of the P1 queue.

All the other years are just let go. The kid finds you in the courtyard or walks home themselves. Our school has no rules about which age can walk home alone. We're in scotland and i dont know any schools who have the kids line up to leave after P1.


UneFilleDeBelleville · 10/10/2022 10:06

You've described it as a queue so presumably it is a queue. Join the end. The fact that it's spaced out and no one has rolled their eyes at you (as far as you know) doesn't mean you can just ignore it.


InsertPunHere · 10/10/2022 10:11

Is this drop off in the morning or collection after school?

Our local primary - at drop off when the teacher appears, the children all line up to go in, it doesn't matter where the parents stand as the kids are all running about with their pals first.
At collection the parents stand in a roungh semi circle in the playgroud and the teacher sends children out one at a time as she spots a parent.

Please create an account

To comment on this thread you need to create a Mumsnet account.

Sign up to continue reading

Mumsnet's better when you're logged in. You can customise your experience and access way more features like messaging, watch and hide threads, voting and much more.

Already signed up?