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PostPosted: Sun Feb 27, 2011 4:07 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jan 18, 2011 6:24 pm
Posts: 39
How far/ how long do your DCs have to commute to their schools?

DD is in love with a school which is about 1 hour away by the tube. There is another school with similar academic standing much closer to us (20-30 mins), but DD insists that since it's her who'd have to take the tube every morning she should be allowed to make the choice in favour of the first school. She says she likes it so much that she wouldn't mind commuting. While she is very sensible and knows all about commuting in London we are not sure if we should be overriding her or let her choose?

Any thoughts would be appreciated.


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 27, 2011 5:02 pm 
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Joined: Sun Feb 01, 2009 6:50 pm
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Location: S.W. London
While your daughter may be happy with a 1 hour tube journey, is there a straightforward way to get to/from school if there's a tube strike/trains break down/person under the track etc? Obviously, you can't prepare her for every eventuality but I'd be a little wary of the possibility of her having to continue her journey from a point she doesn't know if there's ever a problem.

Do you know if there are any other girls making the same journey?

Also, does your daughter appreciate the length of day she'd have and what tube travel in morning rush hour will be like?


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 27, 2011 7:06 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jan 17, 2011 10:17 pm
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Hi,
Just a few thoughts. Can you get to the school easily or is it a long tube ride also?? Just thinking about any sporting activities you may have to watch or pick up from!
Also worth thinking about whether other children at school will live more locally to school or if the school takes from all over London. i.e. friends in the future at weekends if they are going to be a long way for him/her to travel to/from?


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 27, 2011 7:18 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jan 18, 2011 6:24 pm
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Thanks for your replies.

There will be a shorter route in the future once TFL completes its 2012 plans, but at least for a year it will be either 1 hour on the tube or "mum's taxi".

Yes, it's going to be a horrible commute for us as well, but as adults we don't mind too much. Also, we won't have to do it every day unlike DD. Also, outside of rush hours we could drive there in about 30 mins.

As we other children, they will be coming from all over London, but mainly West London and we live in ... well... Docklands, so wouldn't expect anyone living near us.

It's all theoretical at the moment, as we haven't had the offer yet, but if we do, we won't have much time to decide as the deadlines for the offers we already have are set very closely to the dates when we hear from the 'last batch'.

It's just DD loved the open day, loved the exam day, loved interviews and loved music auditions at this particular school. Yet she is 10 and doesn't fully appreciate what the commute would do to her.


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 27, 2011 7:40 pm 
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Joined: Sat Aug 15, 2009 8:07 am
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Location: London
My daughter commutes by tube with a total journey time of 40 minutes. She is fine with it in that we all preferred it to schools closer to home. One of her friends lives much further away with a journey time of over an hour each way, so as my daughter gets off the other girl is changing tube lines for a further 20-30 minutes. Her friend does not seem to mind though and gets through the journey by reading a lot of books.

To be honest I don't think DD or we would want the commute to be much longer than it is. She relishes her independence and is fairly robust about crowded trains, but finds it pretty lonely. Interestingly though she loves her school and as time goes on it is clear that it was absolutely the right choice, she is talking about a possible move to a school much closer to home which takes girls in the sixth form. (Still a long way away so she may change her mind, but evidence that she would love to ditch the commute.)

There are some issues.

There are few/no school friends close to home, so local friends still come from out of school activities.

We want her to play full part in after school activities such as drama and sport, so we have been doing a lot of round trips. Also those mornings where she has to be in school early because of a trip or a sports tournament.

Tube strikes.

That said some schools have huge catchments and an hour wont be unusual. SPGS is one.


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 27, 2011 8:16 pm 
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Joined: Sat Feb 07, 2009 6:53 pm
Posts: 101
Hi there

Lots of girls at dd's schools travel into London from far and wide and cope well with an hour long journey.

However, in my experience some of my dd's friends live so far away it is difficult for them to engage in after school activities because their parents do not want them travelling on the tube late into the evening. In addition it is not difficult to envisage how living a long way from the school may impact on social gatherings with friends.


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 28, 2011 2:39 pm 
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Joined: Tue Sep 21, 2010 3:57 pm
Posts: 54
docklands wrote:
How far/ how long do your DCs have to commute to their schools?

Any thoughts would be appreciated.


I used to travel to Highgate from Clapton and with no underground I would spend over an hour travelling each way and have two changes of bus. It didn't take too much to make me late either arriving at school or getting home. One night I got home at 11pm! No mobiles then to let anyone know I'd be late.

Effectively you lose 10 hours plus of your week and it seriously curtails your involvement in extra-curricular activities. I never participated in school sport, instead playing for local clubs. Also if you happen to get Saturday morning detention as I did a couple of times, the trip seems worse.

My next door neighbour went to the same school, and we'd sometimes get a lift some of the way from one of our dads depending on where they were working.

I wouldn't recommend a lot of travelling to school, but I did it and it's not impossible.


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 28, 2011 2:52 pm 
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Joined: Fri Jan 21, 2011 8:30 am
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I commuted about an hour to school when I was 11. I found it exhausting. I absolutely LOVE a school which is about a 45 minute commute but will encourage my daughter to SERIOUSLY consider any closer schools. (If we have any choice!) On a cold dark rainy November night.......I just want her to be able to get home quickly.

Interestingly, her headmistress disagrees with this view. She feels that once they are travelling on their own it is up to them.


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 28, 2011 3:26 pm 
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Joined: Sat Mar 13, 2010 10:49 am
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DS's friend who is at Tiffin in Kingston, has a classmate who commutes from Portsmouth (a direct train route) but must be about 2 hours. Its all a bit mad.


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 28, 2011 4:51 pm 
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Joined: Thu Jan 27, 2011 12:00 pm
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I have just googled train journeys from Portsmouth to Kingston - over two hours and between one and three changes! That is insane. I'm sorry, but I can't imagine asking that of my child.


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