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PostPosted: Fri Oct 02, 2015 10:47 am 
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We are in a bit of dilemma. My eldest is currently in Year 9, attending KEFW. We very much hope (results pending but did well in QM) that our little one will join elder brother at the same school in September next year.

My son's daily commute on Green Bus currently can be in excess of 3 and half hours both ways. He leaves home around 6:55am and gets back at 5:20pm - almost being in full time work or even worse :(

We considered relocating close to the school, but then postponed it just to see how the little one gets on. At that time we were quite clear in our mind that we had no other option but to relocate if the little master ends up at the same school. However, discussing it with the boys now, my eldest is quite happy with his commute and loves it, and the little one is insistent that we will be completely unfair to him if we didn't provide him with the opportunity to enjoy the same lovely bus ride as his brother :roll:

We self-built our home, worked really hard on it and now emotionally attached to it, and, quite frankly, can't see us buying another place. If we did however sell it, I see us making a big financial loss and probably buying half the size home in Harborne or Edgbaston for the same amount of money.

But at the same time, I feel as parents we are being selfish and putting our kids through this treacherous journey, 5 days a week, for the next 7 years. To be honest so far we have not noticed any impact on his studies due to excessive journey, but I am also aware that these are early days, and as he moves on to do GCSE and A levels it will become more of an issue.

Our work really isn't an issue, if we relocate. It will probably be lot easier for both of us and less commute.

I know a lot parents on this forum who have been through the same process? Can excessive hours of commute take a serious toll on their studies? What would you recommend in our situation?


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 02, 2015 11:03 am 
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Thats a tough one. Being in a home and location you are happy with cannot be underestimated. Hving bough on grounds of great house then regretted the area I can really endorse that one. Equally, you do indeed need to be mindful of your children's commutes as they go through school. On the bad side that is an awfully long commute, on the good side your older child does not seem to mind, so no harm done!
I wonder a couple of things. If your other child gets in, and as your elder progresses up the school, might they find it harder to cope with the late arrival home and increasing amounts of homework? Maybe not.
Could you leave it a ouple of years and see how they cope and then think about the situation then? That way you will have a better idea of if they are still coping or not.
Also, is there a 'left field' way of looing at it? So, say, Edgbaston or Selly Oak may be idea, but could you go out along towards the M5 and Halesowen? Houses not so expensive? Perhaps a half way point on a commute where you don't have to compromise so much on what you can afford? How about Barnt Green or somewhere south of Bham but on direct route? Again, cheaper. I'm not sure how all this works out bus wise and obviously thats your first work, to see what shortens the commute vs your preferred area.

All in all a touch decision but hopefully one you might be able to put off for a year or two?


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 02, 2015 11:23 am 
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Joined: Wed Aug 13, 2008 4:25 pm
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The commute is long but you know it is not having an impact. What I have noticed with mine is the meeting up with friends issues. We always live rurally and initially all DC were happy. However the older one has hated not being able to live near his friends and meet up easily for the last few years. Be prepared for all those late night taxi service duties if you opt to stay where you are.

The flip side is you lose a wonderful family home for what in the scheme of things will be a surprisingly quick period of schooling. Have you considered renting out your property and renting close to school when the distance becomes an issue. Then you can move back when their schooling is finished.


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 02, 2015 11:41 am 
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Your eldest is clearly happy using the bus trip as his social life, your youngest may be a different beasty, may want to do lots of after school clubs, sports fixtures or hanging out with friends, can you cope with taxi drive commute at 5.15pm to collect him in this case? He must never feel he cannot commit to a full school life due to "missing his bus" imo, so many do feel they have no option, I have even taken to ferrying a few a out myself just so they can partake in some sports.
Obviously I have no idea how the sports, drama, music clubs or social demographic presents itself at your chosen school.


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 02, 2015 11:50 am 
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That is very tough. As Yamin has suggested I have got friends who did their own barn conversion which they love but the combined factors of school journey, after school clubs, meeting up with friends etc has meant they have moved to walking distance of the school but are renting out their family home. As time goes on they will decide whether to ultimately sell it or move back after their children have finished school.

It is good your son doesn't mind the journey although I guess if he did the decision would be a lot easier to make!!


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 02, 2015 12:09 pm 
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But it is a whole lot better a dilemma, than not having the choice for a solid grammar, as opposed to a dive comp, in a failing LEA. Many many hard working parents will have had their hopes smashed over the last week or will have them pinned to the KE results next week.

To boot, for some of the very unlucky, they then will face further disappointment of not getting their first choice comp /academy. This journey is a horrible when you add up all the stress and heartache, and that's how it feels, when the outcome means you have a choice.

I hope this post helps you decide, if only by highlighting the + positives of your situation and where you are now. You are one of the lucky winners, with a choice of prizes, all you do have to decide which is the best prize for you and your family!


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 02, 2015 12:47 pm 
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Joined: Tue Dec 16, 2008 5:08 pm
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Thank you! Appreciate all the responses.

Tolstoy - Yes, renting will be a good option and we have considered this before. But considering the input and effort we put into our current home, the rental return will unfortunately be quite minimal. And we can't seem to come to terms with another family looking after our home with the same love and care that we do :(

Yamin - We actually looked at Barnt Green 3 years back and loved the area. There was one house we nearly put an offer on, but eventually decided against it after weighing all our options. However, if we do move that will be a good option. Only few miles from school, and lot cheaper than places like Harborne and Edgbaston.

PP - You are right! We are really spoilt for choice or will be after the results are announced. But you never know. If the score is any lower than my prediction I know something went wrong with shading correctly on the answer sheet :roll:

Southbuck3 - I take your point on after school activities. My eldest played cricket for FW and still plays football for a local division. But he has since packed in cricket moaning all he ever does is field. They had few county players in their team and he never got a chance to bat :(


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 02, 2015 12:50 pm 
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Joined: Fri Oct 02, 2015 7:04 am
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Oh dear dilemmas !

31/2 hours sounds like an awful lot of time travelling…
The renting out your house option certainly sounds like an idea( if you could bear it)and renting out closer to the school for a short while to see how it suits everyone… ?

In the whole scheme of things I have concluded that time, and time with our family is our most precious commodity !?


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 02, 2015 1:24 pm 
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Joined: Fri Aug 30, 2013 7:30 am
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Petitpois wrote:
But it is a whole lot better a dilemma, than not having the choice for a solid grammar, as opposed to a dive comp, in a failing LEA. Many many hard working parents will have had their hopes smashed over the last week or will have them pinned to the KE results next week.

To boot, for some of the very unlucky, they then will face further disappointment of not getting their first choice comp /academy. This journey is a horrible when you add up all the stress and heartache, and that's how it feels, when the outcome means you have a choice.

I hope this post helps you decide, if only by highlighting the + positives of your situation and where you are now. You are one of the lucky winners, with a choice of prizes, all you do have to decide which is the best prize for you and your family!



OP didn't post this on a thread containing GS worries and results so I think it's a bit unkind to guilt trip her for wanting to discuss what for them has become a family issue. Yes, they have good schools, how lovely, but once we have attained that 'prize' wwe are still allowed to chew on issues that arise without feeling it's inapproprateto raise them, so long as they are not brought up in a thread concerning parents worried about GS access!


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 02, 2015 1:37 pm 
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Hi Yasmin - that's a slightly unfair take on the intent of my post. If you look at my posts, I have been doing exactly that. Uptil last week (prior to results) you'll see I am panicking about the what if scenario of local dive comp Vs not getting a place at QMGS. After last weeks results, posting, OMG so QMGS and WGHS is now an option, then saying hey WGHS appear to be a better grammar than QMGS, then realising that for both if KE Bham doesn't work out, then there are significant ramifications e.g. commute, sell house, rent somewhere etc etc.).

What I have done is try to articulate that significant choices and compromises remain, to be made, but they are in a different league the one that were immediately antecedent (e.g. sell the house to pay for school fees). For me taking the step back and highlighting that has helped me with thinking through the choices we now face.

Hope that clarifies intent and was not trying to cut off debate


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