Letting a child walk to school alone?
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  1. #1
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    Default Letting a child walk to school alone?

    I live right near a school. Literally come out of my house, turn left, then about 8 houses along, the school is immediately on the right! There is a road to cross, but it is a dead end road, and in theory I could stand on my doorstep and the child could cross right in front of me, then no more roads!

    The child in question is 8 and in year 3, and the reason I ask is, when Mum first signed him up she said that he wanted to walk in by himself and she said it would okay with her, I did say I would not feel comfortable with that so I walk him right up to the Junior gate in the school.

    My own children go to a different school. The school run was not a problem as, DH was able to take them in the morning, however, he now has meetings every other Wednesday, when I have 3 under 5's. This means I have to take the 3 under 5's, my two children and schoolie, up to his school for 8.40am I then have to get back to my car, load them all in, and the pushchair, then try and get down my hill, by this time it is 8.55am and the hill is totally blocked with cars and takes about 5 - 10 minutes to get down and my children end up late for school... Like I said, this is every other Wednesday. Fridays are now difficult too, as DH does not have to go to work until 10am, and is usually in the shower when I do the school run.

    Would you let this child walk to the school by themselves if you had all relevant permissions and signatures in place? I am still not sure I feel too comfortable with this, but the school run is starting to prove very difficult, stressful and resulting in my own children being very late for school. This is an ad-hoc contract, so days vary each week, although I do have him at least once a week, sometimes 4 times a week.

    I don't want to let her down and tell her I cannot do it anymore. My MIL is a CM and she actually does a drop at his school, but her child is in year 6 so she drives to the top of the hill, turns around and he gets out and walks.

    Any advice, ideas? Or does this look like I am going to have to let her down? She is really lovely as well, which means this sucks that little bit more LOL!

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    I've done this before with a 10 year old - getting ready for big school and learning independence. Mum signed a letter to say I was not responsible for her child once she left my house

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    You would need to check this with your insurance company x

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    Is there any way you could load them all in the car and then drive him up to the school and then you are all ready to turn around and drive on to your normal school?

    I'm not sure (as a parent) I would want an 8yr old walking to school on their own even such a short distance??

    xxxx

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by EmmaReed84 View Post
    I live right near a school. Literally come out of my house, turn left, then about 8 houses along, the school is immediately on the right! There is a road to cross, but it is a dead end road, and in theory I could stand on my doorstep and the child could cross right in front of me, then no more roads!

    The child in question is 8 and in year 3, and the reason I ask is, when Mum first signed him up she said that he wanted to walk in by himself and she said it would okay with her, I did say I would not feel comfortable with that so I walk him right up to the Junior gate in the school.

    My own children go to a different school. The school run was not a problem as, DH was able to take them in the morning, however, he now has meetings every other Wednesday, when I have 3 under 5's. This means I have to take the 3 under 5's, my two children and schoolie, up to his school for 8.40am I then have to get back to my car, load them all in, and the pushchair, then try and get down my hill, by this time it is 8.55am and the hill is totally blocked with cars and takes about 5 - 10 minutes to get down and my children end up late for school... Like I said, this is every other Wednesday. Fridays are now difficult too, as DH does not have to go to work until 10am, and is usually in the shower when I do the school run.

    Would you let this child walk to the school by themselves if you had all relevant permissions and signatures in place? I am still not sure I feel too comfortable with this, but the school run is starting to prove very difficult, stressful and resulting in my own children being very late for school. This is an ad-hoc contract, so days vary each week, although I do have him at least once a week, sometimes 4 times a week.

    I don't want to let her down and tell her I cannot do it anymore. My MIL is a CM and she actually does a drop at his school, but her child is in year 6 so she drives to the top of the hill, turns around and he gets out and walks.

    Any advice, ideas? Or does this look like I am going to have to let her down? She is really lovely as well, which means this sucks that little bit more LOL!
    NO....you will be getting into trouble if someone notices that he walks alone as the child is in your care...yes you are very close to the school but it takes a split second for something to happen
    Children must be within sight of you and you need to make sure he gets to the classroom
    please talk to mum and talk to the 8 year old and explain clearly that you cannot allow him to do so while in your care...he can be reasoned with as he is not a toddler

    You say you were not happy when mummy asked in the first place so your instincts are right....follow them

    If mum and the child insist you need to cover yourself by having some sort of extensive note from mum and make sure the school is aware this child walks to school alone...if this is not enough I personally would end the morning drop off contracted hours

    Please consider this carefully...yes your other children are being negatively affected by the 8 year old drop off so follow the EYFS...which is very clear on this...and find a solution but do not take any chances

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    The following is taken from the ofsted document Guide to registration on the Childcare Register

    CR5.3
    The registered person must ensure that a child is unable to leave the premises unsupervised except where the childcare is open access childcare, or where the child is aged eight or over and the parent of the child has agreed that they may leave the provision unaccompanied.
    Voluntary part of the Childcare Register only

    So in theory following the above guidelines they could with relevant permission (which i would want in writing) however I'm not sure I would be happy for my ds aged 8 to walk to school alone, but I don't know what your route to school is like. The fact your initial reaction was no makes me think you are not happy for him to walk alone anyway.
    No one on here can tell you what you should do as if there are any negative come backs it will only affect you.
    If I were you I would think very carefully about this and don't do this out of guilt if you are not truly happy.

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    Quote Originally Posted by dawn100 View Post
    The following is taken from the ofsted document Guide to registration on the Childcare Register

    CR5.3
    The registered person must ensure that a child is unable to leave the premises unsupervised except where the childcare is open access childcare, or where the child is aged eight or over and the parent of the child has agreed that they may leave the provision unaccompanied.
    Voluntary part of the Childcare Register only

    So in theory following the above guidelines they could with relevant permission (which i would want in writing) however I'm not sure I would be happy for my ds aged 8 to walk to school alone, but I don't know what your route to school is like. The fact your initial reaction was no makes me think you are not happy for him to walk alone anyway.
    No one on here can tell you what you should do as if there are any negative come backs it will only affect you.
    If I were you I would think very carefully about this and don't do this out of guilt if you are not truly happy.
    I don't think anyone will tell what to do just make sure the CM covers herself and the possible consequences...so reflection is required


    No contract has this clause in them....that is why I suggested a cover note ...I have had that clause in my contract for the last 12 years but still reserve the right to say NO

    These sorts of questions are popping up too often...we should make sure parents are aware what our responsibilities are and should not ask things that will put us in a difficult situation.
    I really don't want to pay much attention to the Ofsted document and would like cms to cover themselves...Ofsted have been found to fail in the past.

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    Quote Originally Posted by dawn100 View Post
    The following is taken from the ofsted document Guide to registration on the Childcare Register

    CR5.3
    The registered person must ensure that a child is unable to leave the premises unsupervised except where the childcare is open access childcare, or where the child is aged eight or over and the parent of the child has agreed that they may leave the provision unaccompanied.
    Voluntary part of the Childcare Register only

    So in theory following the above guidelines they could with relevant permission (which i would want in writing) however I'm not sure I would be happy for my ds aged 8 to walk to school alone, but I don't know what your route to school is like. The fact your initial reaction was no makes me think you are not happy for him to walk alone anyway.
    No one on here can tell you what you should do as if there are any negative come backs it will only affect you.
    If I were you I would think very carefully about this and don't do this out of guilt if you are not truly happy.
    I agree with Dawn.

    IIUC the document is saying it's permissible. That doesn't necessarily make it advisable, and you may well find your insurers are not the least bit interested in a any possible future claim relating to this.

    If the child leaves your premises unaccompanied and has an accident or goes missing, do you believe for one moment there'll be no come-back from the parent? no visit from the investigating police officer? no playground gossip? no loss of reputation? etc. etc.

    OK, tell me it's highly likely nothing will go wrong. True. But it's also true that good drivers put their seat-belts on, even though they're not planning on crashing the car on that particular trip.

    I would ask myself, "Do I want to stake my business, my income, my reputation, and my emotional well-being totally and absolutely on the abilities of an 8 year old?"

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    Where we live we have a 3 tier education system, children are at first school from aged 4 - 9, then middle school 9-13 then the comprehensive school from 13. It is quite common for the children attending the middle schools to walk from age 9, my own children had to cross 2 busy roads on the housing estate without any help from crossings patrols. Many childminders in my town have the children walk from the middle schools back to the childminders house on their own.

  13. #10
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    Thank you for the replies. I personally would not feel overly comfortable with it.

    The school he goes to is a separate Infants and Junior school, you go in to the main gates of the school, then walk past the infants gate, then on towards to junior school gate. We often get in to the main gate and he asks to run off in to his gate, but I always say no, not until I get to a point where I can clearly see the junior gate and see he has actually gone in. When we get past the infants, that is when I let him go, and I carrying on walking at my pace, watching him go in, then turn back around.

    I wanted to get other opinions on this.

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    Is there another way round this? Can you drop him off a bit before 8.40 so you're not then late at the other school? Is there a parent/cm he could wait with? Just thinking out loud.

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    Quote Originally Posted by sing-low View Post
    Is there another way round this? Can you drop him off a bit before 8.40 so you're not then late at the other school? Is there a parent/cm he could wait with? Just thinking out loud.
    I could take him in to the main school gate and leave him with his friends to go in to the Junior gate when it's open, but I don't feel comfortable with that either. I like to see they have gone right in to the gate when the teacher opens it.

    This morning I only had schoolie, 3yr old and my boys. DH was getting ready for work, so left my boys in doors while schoolie and 3yr old speed walked to the school, luckily the gate was open pretty early and I was back at home, loading the kids in the car by 8.46am and got them to school by 8.55am, their gate was only just about to close, but they made it, without having to go through the office!

    I don't know any of the other parents there.

    I think I only have two choices really... Carry on and risk my boys being really late some days, or give notice

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    Quote Originally Posted by EmmaReed84 View Post
    I could take him in to the main school gate and leave him with his friends to go in to the Junior gate when it's open, but I don't feel comfortable with that either. I like to see they have gone right in to the gate when the teacher opens it.

    This morning I only had schoolie, 3yr old and my boys. DH was getting ready for work, so left my boys in doors while schoolie and 3yr old speed walked to the school, luckily the gate was open pretty early and I was back at home, loading the kids in the car by 8.46am and got them to school by 8.55am, their gate was only just about to close, but they made it, without having to go through the office!

    I don't know any of the other parents there.

    I think I only have two choices really... Carry on and risk my boys being really late some days, or give notice
    Third choice is do what the mother originally asked for and let this child walk independently, he is over 8 so doesn't come within the Under 8's rules and if you get relevant permission forms in place to cover you and the child knows what to do if there is a problem eg: school closed unexpectedly then you will be covered.

  18. #14
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    Personally I wouldn't leave him alone but up to you obviously.
    Could you not drop yours and then him after? I know he's a charge, but far easier to leg it with less children! Would he still get into school on time?
    Also, my oh sleeps in until he needs to get up which makes me cross as he could get so many jobs done lol but I think in this case, when hes home, and rather than lies a contract, he could maybe support you by getting up earlier and taking the kids to school!

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    I wonder what a parent view would be and what she would say if she knew her child was allowed to go to school and then handed to another parent?
    I understand there are parents here in the forum ...it would have been good to hear what they have to say

    If this happened to me I would ask the parent who makes the request to allow her 8 year old to walk to school independently to ring Ofsted herself and get this matter clarified by the inspectorate itself....after all there is guidance but it is not very clear and I would not take any risks

    Funnily enough a similar situation happened to a parent who came to me for advice ...she used a Cm who did something very similar...the parent was none too pleased her child was being looked after at school by another parent she did not know rather than the CM who she had entrusted his care to...next time I see her I will ask how she resolved the situation

  20. #16
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    At my daughters primary school children as young as six walk themselves to school every day (mainly because the school is up a steep hill and some parents are to lazy to walk up it everyday!).

    Could you create a new contract that have a finish time of the time the child would leave your house to walk to school, then he would not be in your care form that time. As a parent I would be quite happy with that.

    I did read a post on here a very long time ago about a child minder who taught one of her mindees road safety and all about what to do in strange situations. They then got the child to pass 'tests' to prove the child had understood it all. This was to show Ofsted that she had thought about the dangers involved and done her best to help the child.

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  22. #17
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    There's a CM who does drop off at multiple schools round here (mad woman!) and she has to drop a mindee off at the school mine go to before they can go in and before the bell, otherwise her children are late for their school. She gets round it by dropping the child to the office who mark down he's there and then she goes, and he waits on the playground with everyone else till the bell goes. I'm guessing that's one way around it with the relevant permission and cooperation from school.

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    Just a thought, do you know any other children that walk to school that he could walk round the corner with?

 

 

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