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PostPosted: Thu Mar 06, 2008 12:25 pm 
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Joined: Tue Mar 04, 2008 2:46 pm
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My son has been offered a place at an independent school (approx 20 miles away - 40 min coach drive in rush hour). His other option is our local comprehensive which is not at all bad.

My concern about the independent school is that whilst he will make friends in school, their home locations may be widespread.

What are your experiences of having a child travel for education but being away from school friends at weekends/in the evening? How far do you travel?

Thanks


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 06, 2008 12:47 pm 
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Joined: Fri Nov 17, 2006 8:54 pm
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Location: caversham
chomps wrote:
What are your experiences of having a child travel for education but being away from school friends at weekends/in the evening? How far do you travel?


Hi chomps,

A work colleague sent his son to an excellent independent that was ten miles away, over the years he regretted it for the reasons you have identified, they switched back to the local good comp. for sixth form and DS was happier. Their may have been other factors involved but that is how it was told to me.

I guess you need to make a list of all the factors and weight them to reach a decision.

Good luck,

stevew61


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 06, 2008 12:49 pm 
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Joined: Tue Dec 13, 2005 12:49 pm
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Location: berkshire
My child has no school friends in his immediate area but has still got a good group to 'hang out' with at weekends. He does only travel approx 3 miles to school but it is out of Lea and can take up to 30 mins.


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 06, 2008 12:51 pm 
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Hi Stevew,

Many thanks for the reply. This is my main concern. Whilst the independent is a fantastic school, no doubt about it, I want my son to have friends he can call on, and am also a bit concerned that he will lose out on the independence of making his own way to and from school etc.

I will certainly give it serious thought.

Best wishes.


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 06, 2008 12:56 pm 
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Thanks Chad - I don't think I would worry the same if it was only 3 miles, but 20 is quite a trek I think.


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 06, 2008 1:15 pm 
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Location: london
It's worth bearing in mind that many of the schools deliberately put kids from the same area together in class, and they will of course be together on the coach every day too. Hope this helps.


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 06, 2008 1:18 pm 
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Thanks Alison - the school has agreed to put me in touch with the parent of a child already attending the school from my area, so I am going to have a chat with them to see what their experience is.

I never imagined that choosing a school could be so difficult! I think whichever I choose I will always think 'Have I made the right decision?'


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 06, 2008 1:21 pm 
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Hello,

My child travels a long way to school, and it has severely curtailed her social life. You have to remember that not only are you travelling twenty miles, but others may be travelling twenty miles from the other direction.

Also, long journeys stop you taking full advantage of all the facilities and opportunities that have enticed you to the Independent school in the beginning : it is harder to stay late after school, harder to get their early for pre-school things, and your journey time means that your homework is also harder to do, eating into what little free time you may have.

The other thing about long journeys is it is important that they can be done in lots of ways (by car, by train/bus if the driving parent isn't available etc.). It is much harder for the child to get home (can't cadge a lift). Particularly as the child gets older and more independent it is hard if they can't opt to get home on their own.

A school coach is brilliant - but how late does it run (if say your child is playing in an orchestra, rehearsing a play, doing football practice) ...

Having said that her school has been brilliant for her, and I think we would still do it again, but perhaps with our eyes more open about the journeys this time. It has to be a brilliant school to be worth the erosion of the childs time.


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 06, 2008 1:21 pm 
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Location: london
I completely agree - we have made our choice and I am thinking, are we making a huge mistake? But If they are both good schools everything will be fine. We are lucky to have a choice I think. My son will be on a coach every day but the kid who showed us round the school said it was one of the best parts of his day... I'm sure it will all work out.


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 06, 2008 1:27 pm 
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Lots of good points being made (and all the things which are running through my head 24 hours a day at the moment). I have decided to visit said Independent and local school again and then draw up the list of pros and cons with my son. My son is more concerned about where his friends are going, but they haven't been given the choice, and he has! Lots of mulling over to do before my deadline of the 13th!


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