School run anyone?

atoz
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School run anyone?

Postby atoz » 2 Jul 2020, 12:48pm

This comment was made on the FE news website by a schools transport specialist

"Walking or cycling to school is simply not viable for the millions of children who have miles to travel each day. Before lockdown, 61% of pupils required transportation to school, which rose to 71% of those living in smaller towns and villages, meaning that taking away the option of public transport will leave the majority of children and parents no choice but to travel to school by car."

https://www.fenews.co.uk/fevoices/50615 ... -september

Comments?

Cyril Haearn
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Re: School run anyone?

Postby Cyril Haearn » 2 Jul 2020, 12:52pm

Most people live in towns and cities where the next school is not far away
Most should be able to walk (or cycle)
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botty
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Re: School run anyone?

Postby botty » 2 Jul 2020, 1:02pm

Average 1.6 mile to school for primary school pupils would appear easily walkable (if we would let them do so like I had to in my youth) and 3.6 miles is cyclable. It's just a mindset that needs changing.

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.u ... school.pdf

atoz
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Re: School run anyone?

Postby atoz » 2 Jul 2020, 1:11pm

Cyril Haearn wrote:Most people live in towns and cities where the next school is not far away
Most should be able to walk (or cycle)


Apparently 1 in 4 journeys at peak period can be attributed to the school run if this piece is to be believed.

IMHO, the issue is not so much distance, but safety. And then there is the issue of secure bike storage. And if there is none, who is paying for it. Schools and colleges are targets for thieves.

Tangled Metal
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Re: School run anyone?

Postby Tangled Metal » 2 Jul 2020, 1:11pm

Lots of complexity that affects what is possible I think. I'll list a few..

Area, rural or semi rural harder due to distance, roads without adequate paths, no street lighting, etc
Age of child, are primary aged kids able to walk and cope with a full day at school, especially at the youngest ages.
Do parents have the time to walk with busy modern lives and work commitments?
Are roads safe for cycling with kids, indeed are they safe for pedestrians? Our town has pavements that are not wide enough for two people to pass each other at times and trucks sometimes rattle through the town as well. Dodgy with kids but unavoidable for some. There's some lights with a crossing that drivers and cyclists regularly ignore. I've seen parents pull kids back from car and cyclists wheels when they started to cross on the green man.

I'm sure people think they have the answers and memory of what going to school was like but times have changed since a lot on here took their kids to school (if they even did since mostly mothers tended to deal with that side of family life). There's more to this I think and it's not black and white.

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simonineaston
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Re: School run anyone?

Postby simonineaston » 2 Jul 2020, 1:26pm

I managed the 24 miles round trip to & fro' school from aged 10... so most people are mostly talking rowlocks, as per. Modern parents don't know they've been born - and soon, they will wish they hadn't. Oh Dear!
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Cyril Haearn
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Re: School run anyone?

Postby Cyril Haearn » 2 Jul 2020, 1:43pm

Schools are too big, they should be smaller and more numerous. Many middle class parents insist on sending their kiddies to 'better' schools that may be far from home

Maybe boarding could be a solution, home just at weekends?
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Tangled Metal
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Re: School run anyone?

Postby Tangled Metal » 2 Jul 2020, 1:45pm

My son could probably have managed that at age 6 but it is very unlikely he'd do that distance on roads around our area at main commuting time due to the worries of his mum. It's worse now than when I was a kid. To deny that you're talking rowlocks. If that's not true then why are grown men discussing the state of safety on UK roads on numerous threads over the years I've been on this forum? If grown adults find roads and motorists a problem then why can't primary school kids and especially their parents?

We live 5 minutes from our son's school and the back alleys to the back gate are usually very safe too. It's one reason we sent him to that school.

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Re: School run anyone?

Postby Tangled Metal » 2 Jul 2020, 1:54pm

Cyril Haearn wrote:Schools are too big, they should be smaller and more numerous. Many middle class parents insist on sending their kiddies to 'better' schools that may be far from home

Maybe boarding could be a solution, home just at weekends?

There's one small high school in our town. It's ok but if your kid has ability or other issues then parents try to get them into schools further away. Local HS has historically been a kind of sink school. Clever kids go to grammar school 10 miles away and use bus or train. Those unable to get in there tend to go to utter high schools from about 8 miles away to about 15 to 20 miles away. The latter has a new building specialising in vocational qualifications so suit less academic kids, a good comprehensive school and we might send ours there even though he's showing signs of being grammar school material.

Basically there's more factors to school choice than distance. Unfortunately head teachers are very influential on school quality. There's some who are creative and have drive to improve the school. Others are running down to retirement or a sacking if you ask me. It is unfair to insist parents send their kids to schools that will only take their potential future away from them, just based on distance and transport issues.

atoz
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Re: School run anyone?

Postby atoz » 2 Jul 2020, 1:59pm

Cyril Haearn wrote:Schools are too big, they should be smaller and more numerous. Many middle class parents insist on sending their kiddies to 'better' schools that may be far from home

Maybe boarding could be a solution, home just at weekends?


Most secondary schools in my area are only accessible via busy main roads and rat runs. And we have vertical hills here. Post 16 is a real problem, typically 10 mile journey for most local colleges. Nothing to do with social class, everything to do with the courses on offer. This is especially so if you need to do a HE course, and if you progress to uni chances are if you are working class you will live at home because of the cost, and that means even longer commutes.

Primary school is probably more doable but I have doubts about secondary and over.

atlas_shrugged
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Re: School run anyone?

Postby atlas_shrugged » 2 Jul 2020, 2:08pm

Walking or cycling to most schools is completely viable. Anything under 10 miles each way should be possible for school kids.

What I might agree with (although the OP did not say) is that many of the trips would be very dangerous to cycle because of motor vehicles.

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Re: School run anyone?

Postby Bmblbzzz » 2 Jul 2020, 2:11pm

Anecdotally, now fewer parents are driving to work there does seem to be a slight increase in kids making their own way to school, mostly the older primaries it seems.

Cyril Haearn
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Re: School run anyone?

Postby Cyril Haearn » 2 Jul 2020, 2:12pm

Teaching is a very hard job, I think
A retiring teacher said, 'the teachers are my class', she had to lead dozens of teachers and was in charge of and responsible for a thousand kiddies

What a job! :?
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Re: School run anyone?

Postby mjr » 2 Jul 2020, 2:13pm

How does FE News define "required transportation"?
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Re: School run anyone?

Postby qwerty360 » 2 Jul 2020, 2:15pm

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.u ... school.pdf

Hmm I make it 8% of primary and 22% of secondary that can even possibly be beyond a comfortable bike ride... (journey over 5 miles).

With regards to parents not having time to walk them to school, from what I have experienced, the traffic jams around my local state primary takes longer to navigate than walking from most of the catchment area, INCLUDING getting back afterwards... (note: I live on the edge of London, so dense population)

I will accept we need to fix secure bicycle storage at schools and road safety, particularly for secondary schools where journey distance gets longer and solo travel more practical.
Trying to allow motor vehicles to replace public transport isn't possible. We don't have the space or money. Fixing cycling and walking infrastructure is trivial in comparison.

Make the council/infrastructure designers liable if they cannot demonstrate that x% of pupils within y miles can get to school with minimum risk (e.g. only cycling or walking on dedicated well segregated infrastructure or roads with low traffic levels (max z cars per hour), limited crossings of busier roads with suitable controlled crossing points etc).

We have 2 months to fix this. It only takes days to install temporary restrictions. We cannot build enough road capacity in that time (assuming we had enough land to put the roads on anyway...).

What is the alternative? Don't reopen schools until we can resume normal public transport service in a couple of years !?!?