to think that using the local secondary school where children can walk to

(156 Posts)
catham Fri 06-Sep-13 21:51:45

should be what every parent aspires to

today driving past my sons school (where he walks to) i was pretty horrified at the amount of cars lined up outside to pick up their little darlings, most who could probably walk up the road a mile or so where there i less congestion.

why do so many parents have to drive their kids to school? i imagine that as its the start of term so many parents are paranoid that their kids can't walk home alone but they will learn if we let them!

waffling sorry but cars are more dangerous to our kids than letting them make their own way to and from school.

littlemog Fri 06-Sep-13 22:47:13

Do you not think that your 'horror' at the sight of cars may have been a slight over reaction?

catham Fri 06-Sep-13 23:44:54

no, i was horrified at the amount of cars

I drove mine today because my DD had PE but hasn't got her locker yet.
2 pairs of training shoes
Ful PE kit
Schoolbag.

She's been there since Wednesday and I've paid for the bloody locker ,

I didn't drive DS when DD was in Junior and when the locker is sorted she can leave her kit.

Lestagal78 Fri 06-Sep-13 23:56:23

Unlike primary there are a lot of children that travel miles to get to school as its their catchment area school.

My dds high school has a lot of children that come from rural villages in their catchment, so walking is not possible.

My DD walks every day as her walk is shorter than her journey to primary school. We are lucky that our closest school is one of the best in the country.

BackforGood Sat 07-Sep-13 00:00:33

My (clearly deprived) Yr7 managed to walk the 1.5 miles to her secondary school with her school bag and PE kit 70. You don't say how far your dd's school is, but having to take a PE kit in is hardly disabling grin.

I am pleased my dc live close enough to walk, but do worry about the traffic from the high number of people that do drive their dc to their school though (and I know we are right at the edge of the catchment, and, in higher birthrate years, wouldn't have got into the school, so nobody at their school lives too far to walk, unless they have some sort of mobility issues)

ErrolTheDragon Sat 07-Sep-13 00:12:02

I feel more this way about primary schools - there's more of them so more should be within walking distance you'd have thought. But the congestion around the primaries near here is worse than the secondary(despite it also being way larger), the older kids do mostly bus/bike/walk. Probably you'll find it rapidly gets better at your sons school - the new year 7s will soon realise its horribly uncool to be driven by mummy.

marriedinwhiteisback Sat 07-Sep-13 00:18:00

I drove my DS to school for 10 years; he got a lift home in the early days and then the public bus when he was bigger. Lack of exercise didn't stop him achieving 10 A*s (we've forgiven him his two As) and 42 IB points. I have a feeling the local comp would have stopped him though - in fact I can think of three subjects they don't even offer.

Don't tell other pparents what to do OP. They have reached decisions having considered all the options available.

DD went to a top 100 comp for a couple of years little more than a hop, skip and jump away. Thank God we could afford to move her to a more nurturing environment 15 miles away where she doesn't live in fear of the behaviour of animals. Oh yes, I drop her at the school bus stop a mile or so away too.

What were you telling me about how to care for my kids OP? Oops I don't have baby goats; I have CHILDREN and I care for them to the best of my ability but just to be sure keep yours away from bridges as well as cars - goats are at risk from trolls.

ShadowSummer Sat 07-Sep-13 00:39:43

Not everyone lives within walking distance of a secondary school.

The nearest secondary school to my house is about 6.5 miles away, much of that route along 60mph A-roads with no pavements for pedestrians.

But to be fair, our local council do provide free buses if the secondary school is more than 3 miles from the pupil's home, provided that they're attending the nearest secondary school with available places.

No idea if other local councils provide free buses for pupils living beyond reasonable walking distance. If not, some parents may find driving their kids to / from school to be the best option.

grumpyoldbat Sat 07-Sep-13 07:18:14

You haven't answered my question cat. How safe do you think it would be for children to walk miles along a fast, pavementless road in the dark?

shockers Sat 07-Sep-13 07:26:19

My mother sent me to the nearest high school, it was dire. I sent my children to the best schools for them; a special school 17 miles away for DD and a wonderful high school 12 miles away for DS. DD gets LA transport and DS uses the bus.

Parking outside primary schools around here is a real problem though!

Sparklingbrook Sat 07-Sep-13 07:29:43

DS1 goes to a secondary 12 miles away by bus. I drive him to the bus stop 6 miles away. I hope that's ok, he did a year at the one 1/2 a mile away and hated it.

AndyMurraysBalls Sat 07-Sep-13 07:31:54

It was my priority. Some might call it the local cess-pit but my DC's are doing ok there. I feel very strongly about community and for me this is part of it.

OP - don't forget that lots of parents are rushing off to work. I know there are the ones who drive them round the corner and then go home to watch Jeremy Kyle, but most are under real pressures in the mornings.

Parmarella Sat 07-Sep-13 07:37:37

I don't aspire to a secondary school they can walk to.

I aspire to get them into the best school we can get them into, hopefully not too far.

I am sure I am not the only one smile

OP, telling people what ghey ought to aspire to, just because it works for you, shows a serious narrowness of mind and inability to understand anyone who does not think as you do.

MrsLouisTheroux Sat 07-Sep-13 07:37:50

catham :that's the thing that worries me, that amount of cars and bad parking and aggressive parents outside the school. i know it isn't just my local school as it happens everywhere No not everywhere catham. Do you live in a particularly unpleasant area?

Johnny5needsinput Sat 07-Sep-13 07:41:30

I didn't aspire to send DD to the local secondary school she could walk to because there isn't one. It's 8 miles. She gets the bus has, but I drop her off in the morning because I drive literally right past the front gate of the school on my way to work. Is that ok op? Am I allowed?

waltzingmathilda Sat 07-Sep-13 07:42:00

happy you feel the need to diss your local school so badly though, do you live in a particularly shite area waltzing?

I live in a spectacularly racist area unfortunately. I prefer my children to have a more realistic and multicultural upbringing. My local school is a shit hole. Nicely rebuilt but a shit hole full of (massive sterotype) the products of the south London skinhead revival circa late 70/early 80's.

It will never change it's catchment. That sort never move on and off the estate and never manage to get educated.

fffinsake Sat 07-Sep-13 07:44:34

This thread is a bit ridiculous. I didn't hear the op saying children should be made up walk on 60mph roads on the dark for 8 miles.

We all know there are plenty people dropping kids off who do not need to do so if they all got up half an hour earlier and that's what the op is taking about. Release the pearls!

Johnny5needsinput Sat 07-Sep-13 07:48:58

That's not what the OP said.

Not everyone lives in a city or town with a school on their doorstep.

And I look like one of those parents dropping little Sybil off in the car in the morning. But I am driving right past the gate of the school. Why shouldn't I?

SilverApples Sat 07-Sep-13 07:52:04

Different issues being muddled here though.
Going to your local secondary.
Walking/riding as opposed to being driven.
Parents who are very poor drivers, parkers and indifferent to the safety of others.

That last point is inexcusable, but will only be solved by an awareness campaign and then relentless monitoring and penalties.
The second point is one that needs a lot more prioritising, but also needs safe routes to school and awareness of the positive aspects.
The first point, it really does depend where you are and the choices you have available.

SanityClause Sat 07-Sep-13 07:59:02

The congestion around schools is always worse at the start of the year, before people get lift shares organised; when they drive DC in because there is more stuff to carry; when they drive DC in to "settle them in"; and, before extra-curricular activities start, which effectively stagger the end of the school day. There could well be other reasons I have missed.

I bet the congestion in a month's time won't be as bad, OP.

grumpyoldbat Sat 07-Sep-13 08:03:31

The OP said that children should go to their nearest secondary and implied that meant they could walk and it would always be safer and healthier. She needs to learn what constitutes the nearest school for some people.

Wishihadabs Sat 07-Sep-13 08:07:27

I see this too OP. I have categorically stated that I will not be driving my dcs to secondary. I took public transport/cycled and my dcs will do them same. Education is about more than academic grades and being driven to an exclusive private school with small classes is a poor preparation for real life imo

Johnny5needsinput Sat 07-Sep-13 08:14:05

Oh and the op also implies my child will be less willing to learn because she hasn't had physical exercise before school. hmm

I drive DD because its on my way. The op states "probably" most of the kids could walk. How do you know op?

I aspire to many things for my dd as a parent. A school she can walk to is really far down my list. That would mean uprooting dd from her friends, you know, all the others who also get the bus from here to school, or go in cars, ANd would mean moving far away from my friends and my support network. I'm a single parent. I rely on that support network. And her father lives close and it makes our arrangements easier and more flexible which is a good thing.

I'll stick with dropping her off in the morning thanks all the same.

DumSpiroSpero Sat 07-Sep-13 08:14:11

If you'd be willing to send your child to a drastically inferior school just so they can walk there and back, then good luck to you.

Personally my DD's education is more is important to me than that. Not everyone is lucky enough to live near a good secondary or have a choice within working distance.

Johnny5needsinput Sat 07-Sep-13 08:18:46

There are many things I expect to be judged for. Being a single parent. Yes. Living in a council house. Yes. Getting benefits. Yes. But the fact that I don't aspire to move to a town instead of a village and don't aspire to live within walking distance of a secondary school wasn't one of them.

I'm really upset. I've had a tough week and the thought that I am getting judged for living where I do and that I don't have aspirations for my child has made me cry.

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