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If your dc didn't get into your choices, would you go private or make do?

31 replies

Feelingbetterslowly · 02/04/2008 12:03

If dd doesn't get into ours (one is catchment but only accepts 9 pupils a year, other not catchment but we can get to it-we have no car) then she is expected by the LEA, at 4 years old, to get an LEA bus to school, by herself, which is 3/4 hour each way according to their pamphlet thing-it may not be this bad, this is just what their literature says. I have the choice of:

a) Letting her do that, or
b) Selling the house and putting her in the private school that she can walk to.

I have to be in work at 9am, and so will be v if we have to get a bus for 3/4 hour in the morning, find a childminder near the school, drop her off their so she can be dropped off in time and then get a 3/4 hour bus to work again (my work is round the corner from our house, catchment school and private school), but on the other hand I do not want to sell the house unless it is desperate.

What would you do?

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sussies · 03/04/2008 00:28

sell the house, or better still rent it out to someone else for enough to pay the mortgage and then rent near the school. At four she is baby, she needs to be able to easily get to school more than anything.

Clary · 03/04/2008 00:36

Why do you not expect to get into catchment school?

How many have applied? Lots of siblings?

What I am saying is, are you panicking a bit soon?

Feelingbetterslowly · 03/04/2008 19:12

I don't know anyone that has got into the catchment school-I know I'm over panicking but it is the only C of E to serve a really large area, so anyone who lives further away and is of ANY denomination, be it Jewish, Muslim, Hindu, C of E, gets in before we do by the look of it. It's a great school too, so anyone who can afford it moves into the houses directly surrounding it (which are WAY out of our budget) so they get in on proximity, get their kiddies in, and then sell to someone else who wants to do the same thing. The other school I have applied to is on a bus route that we can get from the bottom of the road so we can get the bus there together, but is always over subscribed too, so am holding out little hope as we are out of catchment. Thank you both so much for posting-I was worried I was being precious not wanting to send her on the bus on her own, as others will have to do it, but she's my only one and I want to give her the best educational start I can.

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mazzystar · 03/04/2008 19:18

I certainly wouldn't want to send her on the bus, she's too wee.

But I don't quite understand the catchment thing. Are there any other schools closer, or only these two?

Feelingbetterslowly · 03/04/2008 19:22

We live two roads away from catchment school, the next is about 2 miles away, and all others are south of the town centre. There are quite a few schools that we can get to on buses, and one that we can walk to but is outside the town border so is counted as belonging to the village nearby. All the schools seem to be really close together, but quite a long way from our house IFSWIM. [I've confused myself let alone you guys face]

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StripeyKnickersSpottySocks · 03/04/2008 19:46

I would let her try the bus and see how she gets on with it.

Desiderata · 03/04/2008 19:58

Don't take no for an answer. Tell you them you don't drive, and that you're not prepared to put dd on a bus for that long.

If they still don't give you a place, home-ed until a place becomes available.

I face a similar situation next year when ds (supposedly) starts school. I'm quite happy to home-ed until the LEA get their priorities right, and source enough school places for all the children who live in the village.

Hulababy · 03/04/2008 19:58

I wouldn't be happy with a 4yo going on a bus on their own. DD is a pretty independent, confident little girl but would not have been up to this in her first year of school.

Feelingbetterslowly · 03/04/2008 21:02

Desi-thank you so much, I did not even THINK of home-ed, and my hours are flexible (ish) enough to do it. I have to do 3 core hours a day, which are at set times, and the rest I can do from home. Oh hurrah I have another option, I could kiss you!! The stupid thing is we moved from a tiny town with 3 schools that all had enough places and which all children could walk to no matter where they lived, to a huge town with "better" schools, and now we're stuck!!

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Desiderata · 03/04/2008 22:19

Ah, that's nice! I'm not generally noted for being helpful

Elephantsbreath · 03/04/2008 22:46

I agree with Des also. I would not put my dc on a bus by himself till much older than this.

Fennel · 04/04/2008 14:06

I hope you get your local school.

It may be though that they don't expect 4 year olds to bus. Our school has quite a big catchment - our village + several nearby ones - and the children come in a taxi from the next village. With a very friendly taxi driver, always the same one, he looks after them all and takes the little ones into their class.

leosdad · 04/04/2008 16:24

Why not put DD on the lea provided bus, my DD does it along with several other children from reception class as did my other DC's. They are well looked after by the escort and some of the older children from year 6. I have found it much easier than driving to the school and imo it is safer than me driving and adding to the traffic.

Feelingbetterslowly · 05/04/2008 18:46

I thought they may provide a taxi as I remember one of my friends doing it as a child as her parents couldn't get her to the school in time, but apparently it's a bus. I suppose a little bit of this is also mummy selfishness, I have changed jobs so that I can take her and pick her up from school at large pay cut as I felt it was important while she was still very little, and to be able to take time off if she's ill etc, and don't want her to have to go to a school so far away-I remember it being very important to me at 4 that I got a kiss and a cuddle before school and when I got back (although at night it was from a childminder-but that didn't matter as long as there was a friendly face), I just feel like having to get on a bus for so long and have to wait for a cuddle when all the other kiddies get picked up by parents or people they know is a bit .

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Desiderata · 05/04/2008 20:32

I strongly disagree that primary aged children should be bussed to school, or taxied, or anything else .. unless it is the parents' express choice.

Sorry, but I'm in kick-ass mode on the subject! It ain't civilized.

Miggsie · 05/04/2008 21:33

well I went on a bus to primary school. I had to, we had one car, Dad went off to work in it, the school was 5 miles away.
We had a bus that went round all the homes for 20 minutes, then took us all to school (very rural it was).
It was that or walk.

When I was 7 I occasionally cycled there but the bus was the only way

Heated · 05/04/2008 21:41

How come they only take 9 pupils a year?

Desiderata · 05/04/2008 21:49

Ah, but that's a slightly different scenario, miggsie. If it's the norm that children (all the children) are bussed to school, that's fine. In rural areas, it has always been the way.

But I (as a for instance) live in a village with two primary schools. The council agreed to build 900 new homes in our village recently, but made no further provision for school places, and are adamant that they will provide no more for four years!! It is anticipated that next year there will be a shortfall of sixty places .. and this is a village! My kid is due tos

So, generations of children have walked to school, and now, due to gross over-subscription, we are being asked to bus our four year olds to schools that are seven, eight miles away.

It is detrimental to the local community, in every respect. It should never be accepted as the norm that young children go to school miles away from their home, when that home has two perfectly good schools already.

That way madness lies.

Desiderata · 05/04/2008 21:50

Sorry! My sentence drifted off

My kid is due to start school next September ..

Feelingbetterslowly · 05/04/2008 22:34

He he Desi-you're not trying to watch the Shipping News too are you? Am getting throughly depressed! Don't know why they only take 9 a year-it's right in the centre of town so should take more but want to keep the numbers to under 100 over the full 4-11 years and have to save places for travellers or something ???!!? All the other schools take over 400! I used to love walking to school-you felt so grown up when you hit 9 and were allowed to walk with your friends instead of your mum!!

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pukka · 05/04/2008 22:38

we have a local school that went from being two forms per year, to three. far easier than building an entirely new school. if you are going to have a shortfall of sixty places, then surely that is a solution the council needs tolook into?

Quattrocento · 05/04/2008 22:40

You might find someone you can share a school run with? just a thought and maybe not something you could bank on

avenanap · 05/04/2008 22:42

don't go private. Spend the cash on a tutor and some nice holidays, you'll regret spending needless cash eventually.

Desiderata · 05/04/2008 22:59

No one should have to do the school run. It's in contravention of all decent laws of society.

Unless you live in the wilds of the country, children should walk to school.

When society decides that driving four year olds to a school seven or ten miles away is acceptable, is the time to call a halt to it all.

Stuff and nonsense. If the council can approve planning permission for new houses, then they can approve bums on seats at the local school at the same time.

Anything else is total bumfuckeryarse.

Feelingbetterslowly · 06/04/2008 22:30

He he go Desi-we should start a mumsnet petition!!!

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