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Secondary school - after school dilemma

20 replies

Patinkin · 16/07/2015 09:50

Not an unusual situation - my eldest going up to secondary school in September.
Have checked on guidance about her being home alone at the end of the school day (we both work) and they don't advise it for under 12s.
But there is no after school provision at secondary school.
So what do people do?
She's my eldest so I have no knowledge of this stage at all! Seeking views and guidance!

OP posts:
Walkingonsunshine00 · 17/07/2015 23:54

When will she turn 12? How long will she be left for? Is she responsible enough (e.g not answering phone/door )

Smellyoulateralligator · 18/07/2015 00:08

Could you ask your Council for advice? How long would she be home alone for?
It might be worth checking whether any local childminders could take all of your children after school, if you can afford it.

DramaQueenofHighCs · 18/07/2015 00:10

I was alone for an hour and a half every day after senior school. If she's trustworthy and it's not for too long don't worry.

TheUnwillingNarcheska · 18/07/2015 06:52

Firstly there may be after school clubs she can attend and homework clubs so that she may not be home straight from school every night.

Ds1 has just finished year 7 but I don't work so once I have collected Ds2 then I am home.

You just need to set some rules down as what they can and cannot do. Ds1 has a key on a long piece of elastic attached to his school bag so he won't lose it.

He was taught to be aware of his surroundings and make sure no-one followed him up the drive whether it be a leaflet deliverer or someone who means him harm. He has to shut the door and lock it before turning off the alarm.

With mobile phones children can contact parents by ringing or texting so you aren't left wondering if they made it home.

Scarydinosaurs · 18/07/2015 07:09

Is there an after school homework club she could attend? Could you pick her up from the local library if it's walking distance?

MythicalKings · 18/07/2015 07:13

I was happy for my DCs to be on their own at home from the age of 11. As were my parents.

Scarydinosaurs · 18/07/2015 07:14

I would mix it up so she wasn't home alone every day- is there any day you can be home early? If someone else is in a similar position could you swap childcare favours?

ilovesooty · 18/07/2015 07:20

I don't see the problem for a responsible 11 year old. My niece had to lock the door, not answer the phone unless it was her parents or me and stay in the house until her mother got home an hour and a half later.

ChippyMinton · 18/07/2015 07:59

If they are old enough to travel to and from school alone, surely they can be home alone?

How long will they be at home for? Any neighbours who could be available in an emergency?

Does the school library stay open late for doing homework? Are there any after-school clubs? Could they go to a friends?

SoupDragon · 18/07/2015 08:06

How long will it be for?

To be honest, I would just let her stay at home alone. DSs often chose to stay at school and do homework in the school library so you could check if this is an option. I do know a few children who would make their way to a childminder for the first year.

wineandpopcorn · 18/07/2015 08:07

My son is home on his own after school and has been since starting secondary, as are most of his friends. Never been a problem, at that age they can't be in childminders etc, and I have never heard of guidance saying they shouldn't be left Confused.

SoupDragon · 18/07/2015 08:08

Do you leave her alone at all now? It might be worth starting to leave her for ever increasing periods if you haven't.

countryandchickens · 18/07/2015 08:32

I think she will be fine at home alone.

JustAnotherYellowBelly · 18/07/2015 18:33

One thing to think of -
If she goes to CM after school, when will she do her homework?
If she gets home and does her homework straight away, the time will fly

WankerDeAsalWipe · 18/07/2015 23:34

As your post says, it's guidance, not law.

If you feel she is responsible then it's fine - I left my 11 year old after school but it was only for 45 minutes - he was fine, house rule was no friends in until I was home, no cooking but he could get a drink and snack and if he had any problems he could go to a neighbour/phone me.

ThereIsIron · 18/07/2015 23:48

I worked from home for a few days a week for the first month but TBH she was fine from 11. Home on her own for 2-3 days a week.

wooldonor · 18/07/2015 23:49

This is a question that comes up often and the simple fact is that the only person who knows the answer is you.

If you feel your child can be left then leave them, if not you'll have to look around for some other kind of childcare arrangement.

My impression on this kinds of threads is that MINUTE is populated by people whose children are all likely to burn the house down or start stabbing themselves if left alone for a few minutes.

I'm my real world mum's go out to work in the holidays and leave their children to fend for themselves once they are at secondary. I'm willing to accept that maybe that's not normal but imo children need a chance to learn how to look after themselves safely.

Floralnomad · 19/07/2015 00:02

If you think she is sensible enough to come home alone and look after herself then that's what you do ,like the millions of other parents of 11 yr olds . I fail to see why she will be unsafe on the last day she is 11 and safe on the first day she is 12 ,its guidance ,and you know your own child.

Heartofgold25 · 22/07/2015 22:52

I think you sound concerned for her, and it might be too soon. Could a neighbour look after her for an hour or so until you are home, or check with the school surely they have after school sports?

proudmummy2004 · 23/07/2015 11:43

Most secondary schools do homework after school for an hour or so, which should help you. Perhaps just get in touch with school as maybe they did not mention or make it clear during your school tour or taster day.

I am not sure I would leave my 11yr old alone for too long - she is trustworthy but more that I would worry too much! However I leave her now when I go to doctors down the road or pop to our local Tesco for hour or so, which is no different really :)

I think we worry too much what others think, and whether we will get reported but you know your own child. I'm pretty sure there are many kids left home alone for a short while that are under 11.

Don't do it if you feel uncomfortable with it. I hope you find a solution x

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