Thanks for the response so far. To be honest the thought of leaving them terrifies me - I doubt I would enjoy my evening so it would be pointless. I feel that leaving the eldest alone would be a safer bet because they then couldn't get into a fight!
But then if he was alone and injured himself there would be no one to assist him.
Another point is he has asthma and a bad attack can come on out of the blue. Unless it improves as he goes through puberty (can go either way at this age) I wonder if I can ever leave him alone post 16.
I may consider leaving them for an hour during the day time to pop to the local shop, which is walking distance, if I need to pick up some dinner but will leave the evening for another couple of years - as mentioned, 13 or 14.
Isn't it strange that I feel more comfortable letting them go into Ealing town centre for an hour or two to buy Christmas presents or to get a pint of milk at the local shop and yet leaving them in the safety of their own home seems worse.