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 Post subject: Crazy Travel Distances
PostPosted: Tue Oct 04, 2011 9:22 am 
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Joined: Fri Dec 25, 2009 6:35 am
Posts: 45
My DD has just started at HBS. I was shocked to hear from her that there is a girl who is travelling from Surrey to HBS in year 7. This poor soul has to travel for 2 hours each way (in buses and London Underground) and get up at 5:30 in the morning to get to school! Surely this cannot be sustainable and will have a detrimental effect on the child.

This really brings in question the policies of schools like HBS and QE Boys who in order to attract the best students do not have a catchment area. I am more for schools like DAO and Latymer who at least recognise that it is in no ones interest to commute long distances. Any thoughts?

Incidentally my DD mentioned yesterday that the girl is already fed up of the travel and the family are now thinking of relocating.


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 04, 2011 10:06 am 
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It's the same in Surrey where we have kids in North London (and further - Slough was one I heard of!) coming to the grammar schools in Kingston and Sutton! It's not simply about attracting the best talent; these schools are bound by the Greenwich ruling to have no catchment areas. Really think this needs reviewing. But, then, the whole of secondary education needs reviewing. Primary schooling is vastly better than when I was a kid, but there's a real social and educational gap between elite grammars and the local comps in many areas.

Perhaps we should begin an EPE campaign ...

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 04, 2011 10:43 am 
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Location: Maidstone
I think travelling too long to school is bad and it stops the child from participating in any extra curriculum.

However I really support parental choice and don't feel its right to stop anyone from doing it if it is right for their family. Its easy for us to judge without knowing local options available to this family. I think the family knows it and are therefore considering moving closer.

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 04, 2011 12:48 pm 
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Location: Watford, Herts
fatbananas wrote:
It's not simply about attracting the best talent; these schools are bound by the Greenwich ruling to have no catchment areas.

The Greenwich Judgement forbids discriminating on the basis of local authority alone. The Rotherham Judgement confirmed that catchment areas were legal, as long as they do not conflict with the Greenwich Judgement. It's fine to define a catchment by distance, or some logical area around the school; it's saying using a local authority boundary when there's no other good reason for it that's the problem.


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 04, 2011 1:51 pm 
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Joined: Sat Oct 09, 2010 10:46 am
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hi,

i do know for a fact that they are moving closer to the school,in fact dd told me they were moving by sept 30.
so no more tedious travel for the girl.

sgcmum


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 04, 2011 3:24 pm 
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Location: Herts
That is good to hear but it is worrying that they actually signed up for it and thought it was sustainable. School is about so much more than academic standing. I see the Islington children at DAO struggle to join in with afterschool clubs and teams especially this term when it gets dark so early. Our clubs run from 4pm to 5pm so by the time they have got changed and down to the railway station they are travelling back into London right in the middle of the rush hour. No school is worth an isolating exhausting journey with heavy school books and pos music instruments as well. DG


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 04, 2011 4:47 pm 
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Location: Maidstone
Daogroupie wrote:
No school is worth an isolating exhausting journey with heavy school books and pos music instruments as well. DG


Daogroupie don't you think that's easy to say if you have decent local schools that you are happy with in your locality? This may not be the case for these families from Islington.

I say this as someone who nearly decided on a comprehensive school 20miles away (with horrible transport connections.)

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 05, 2011 5:44 am 
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Dg,
They didn't sign up for it,so to speak.the girl in question had already scored highly enough for Nonsuch but they liked HBS so much that they decided to give it a go.
They were always going to move closer if she got in,which they have done(DD told me yesterday they had moved)
Personally I am against long commutes (hence why we moved) but I know of some children from Harrow who go long distances to schools like tiffin.just listening to them describe the commute is exhausting. But not all can have the flexibility to move and they would rather do the commute so as to maximise their potential/go to the school that they feel is best suited etc.


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 05, 2011 6:43 am 
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Joined: Tue Jun 02, 2009 9:28 pm
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Sometimes its ease of travel rather than distance that makes the difference.

My son has to leave the same time as children travelling half the distance to get to his school. It all depends on your local transport network. A longer direct journey, can be easier than a shorter, indirect journey.


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 05, 2011 6:55 am 
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Joined: Tue Feb 08, 2011 10:23 am
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One of the major factors in deciding what schools my DS will apply for is the journey. Maybe I'm totally biased based on my own experience but my parents sent me from the outer London suburbs to a school in the centre of London. From the age of 11 my journey consisted of a 10minute walk to the bus stop, waiting for a bus to take me to the tube station and then a horrendous journey on the Northern Line (which at the time was acknowledged by London Transport to be their worst line). I rarely got to school on time inspite of leaving home at by 7am, often the tube was delayed or not running the full length of the line. I remember clearly one dreadful journey home where the tube was terminated halfway due to someone jumping onto the line - by the time I got home I was in such a state my mother gave me a large brandy - I was only 15! I could not stay for any after-school activities as it would mean travelling home in the rush hour. Also, in hindsight, I realise why men always seemed to push up against me and other schoolgirls in the packed tube carriages - we were very innocent in those days. Another factor to consider is not living near school friends - we rarely met up for 'playdates' or social activities when we got older. I would not put my son through this even if it meant getting the best possible education - second best would have to do if it meant having time to spend doing extra-curricular acitivities, time to spend with friends and not being at the mercy of the London Transport system.


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