The school run

Why has the school run taken over our lives? Why do children need a lift to a school so far away from where they live? One of the reasons kids dont go to their nearest local school any more is because of the school league tables. When I was at school in the 60's and 70's you just went to your nearest school without a second thought and you had a mix of over and under achievers in the same school. Nobody knew about the school's academic achievements. Since the league tables were introduced, parents now look to put their kids in the best performing schools, no matter how far away they are, so you end up with ghetto schools and high achieving schools, with no thought of the transport problems involved. It's self perpetuating and will only get worse.
12:31 Thu 23rd Feb 2012
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I think the quality of education as a whole has improved though.
There is only 1 Catholic school where I live. My kids go to that. They walk though....I'm mean like that :-)
i stay off the road when the school runs are about.......mums with cars too big for them who park anywhere they choose half off em with no licence ...i will await the flack lol
My guess (for what it's worth, and I have no children) is that some parents are over-protective, hence the school run.
As regards parents choosing schools because of league tables, a recent court case has indicated that there might be some massaging of schools' performances to boost a school's image. League tables should be viewed with caution, perhaps.
would you put your children in a school next door to you that was a 'ghetto' school? probably not. its not that black and white though dave because the good schools get full quickly and they do give the children that live closer to the school first choice -thats why you get higher house prices in the catchment areas of good schools. Going back to the 'school run' - in the olden days when i was at school (sixties and seventies) i walked a mile there and back twice a day from the age of about 9 - too many nutters and cars on the road to do that safely now -and parents have'nt got time to walk the children to school as many drop them off in the car before going to work.
Schools primarily give places according to people who live in their catchment area; because population has inceased and the number of schools hasn't increased in line with that the catchment areas are now bigger meaning that some children live quite a way from their school.
When we were kids bus / train fares were affordable and services ran regularly. Many kids at my secondary school got a train and a bus to get there - and that was in backwoods Salford, not inner London.
Hacking council-run subsidised transport and pretending that moving workers around is a profit-making industry has meant its just simpler and cheaper to drive. So you drop off the kids on your way to...wherever.
Many kids now have never caught a bus on their own.
i didn't go to my nearest school when i started in 1976.
I travelled four miles to my primary school, we went on the bus, we didn't have a car.
I travelled six miles each way to my secondary school and from day one (when I was eleven) I travelled by bus (and had to pay the fare). I also travelled to the school playing field (ten miles from the school) and the school boathouse (twelve miles from the school) by public transport. All of my form mates did the same.

I know in rural areas public transport is sometimes not an easy option. But most people live where public transport is available for their children to get to school or more often the school is within easy walking distance. Yet still they stress themselves out driving them to school with all the problems that entails. Where I live I know of mothers who drive their children to school when it would take less than fifteen minutes to walk. It’s utterly ridiculous.
I had to walk 2 miles there and back to my local school , wish my mum had had a car
I also remember at secondary school if I got detention there was no prior permission or communication with my parents. We'd miss the school bus and have to walk a mile to the nearest public bus stop to get home.
I didn't go to my nearest secondry school (1976) because it wasn't very good, I went a couple of miles away. My kids go to school out of the area but they are on the school bus so I don't have to drive them thankfully, although that may change when the younger one goes up in sept as the council are withdrawing the transport subsidy, if it's too much I'll be driving.
Round our way it seems that the smaller the child is, the bigger the car is that they are getting out of. In one case I saw the mother having to lift her child from the back seat to the ground. This was of course into the road and not onto the pavement.
The village where I live has a school that was threatened with closure some years ago as there was hardly any pupils and only about three or four from the village itself, so they increased the catchment area to include the nearby town which in turn increased the amount of kids to 75+, so it remained open. Now every morning and afternoon the lanes become like a race track full of Chelsea tractors with one child and one adult per vehicle, yet as far as I can make out there is no benefit to the village at all.
I love school holidays
recent reports have shown how unreliable ofsted reports can be, I personally think league tables should be abolished.
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My parents made me walk five miles to the best school in the area every day.

I always got turned away and told to go to my own one which was the crappy comprehensive just down our road.
i walked or rode my bicycle in all seasons from about 8yrs till i finished school
Boy #1 goes to our catchment secondary school (which, luckily, is very good) but it is 8 miles away in the middle of nowhere so he gets the school bus. The other two (and fingers crossed, thing 1 and thing2 in September) go to the primary in the village. Their dad drops them off on his way to work but in September they will walk up with me as he can't get them all in his van. I only pick them up from school if the weather is vile but I do get my friend's children too (I've got a big car).

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