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Children walking home from school alone

Discussion in 'Personal' started by fab208, Jun 14, 2011.

  1. fab208

    fab208 New commenter

    Just wondering, following a slight difference of opinion with a parent, what age do you think is OK for a child to walk home from school alone? The walk is through a largeish village and involves crossing four residential roads and a fairly busy A road, which has a crossing patroller if the children get there fast enough!
  2. I did it from the age of 6 (my elder brother and I didn't get on well, so avoided each other). But then, most traffic was horse drawn (well, there was certainly significantly fewer cars on the road). I would say that most kids should (SEN etc being a factor) be able to manage this by the start of year 3.
    Are there no schoolmates who live close by this kid, so they would only have to negotiate a small part of the journey alone?

    cyolba, about to break into the Four Yorkshiremen sketch :)
  3. lindenlea

    lindenlea Star commenter

    I would expect an 8year old to be met by someone, possibly an older sibling / friend. I would consider 9 to be a watershed age depending on the child.
  4. I let my two walk home once they were in year 5, they have to cross residential roads but no main roads. I would say it also depends on the maturity of the child(ren) concerned. The children at the infant school aren't allowed to leave without an adult.
  5. fab208

    fab208 New commenter

    Interesting - i am a start of Year 5 believer personally but child in question is year 3. Nearly got hit by a car as he was playing a spy game, hiding between parked cars on his way home. Another Year 4 one was walking home on the edge of the pavement (apparently playing 'tightropes' [​IMG]) and toppled into the road and unseated a cyclist and got bumped on the head. I'm thinking this may have something to do with the calibre of common sense amongst our children!!
  6. Yep, many kids are thick. But, by the age of 7 haven't the parents taught them how to cross roads and beware of traffic? Does the Green Cross Code still exist, with Darth Vader telling kids how to be safe?
    cyolba, expecting road safety to be part of the NC any day now :)
  7. When my children were at school we still had lower, middle and upper schools, it was generally accepted that most children in year 5, when they started middle school, were able to walk to and from school each day.
  8. cinnamonsquare

    cinnamonsquare Occasional commenter

    Can you imagine the paperwork? Every lesson would be an offsite visit, requiring manager's approval, parental permission, risk assessments.

    Yep, you're right, I can practically hear the bods at LA (and higher) thinking, "Now that's a good idea!"

    To the OP, I think start of year 5 is about right. I'm not happy for Year 5s and 6s being responsible for their younger siblings on the walk home though. Even if it is only 5 minutes, some of them can only just take care of themselves!
  9. We did our cycling proficiency in the playground, cones all set out for us!
  10. We did too!

    cyolba, still putting BAGA certificates on his application forms :)
  11. My children did once the eldest was in Year 6. The youngest was then in Year 3. The two eldest helped to supervise the younger two but they were all really road savvy (I made sure of that) and did have common sense.
  12. Perhaps that's the answer, then. Let all kids find their way home and it'll be an exercise in evolutionary theory.

    cyolba, eugenicist for the 21st century :)
  13. gergil4

    gergil4 New commenter

    I'm with the Year 5 train of thought ...... especially as it's something I'm looking at for my daughter for next year.
    At what age would people let/expect children to be in the house alone after school?
  14. Msz

    Msz Established commenter

    I'm sure our Y3 children have "road safety" lessons which involve wearing high viz vests and crossing roads ...
  15. It is illegal for anyone under the age of 16 to be unsupervised. So, not until they are 16, I'm afraid.
    It's a law more observed in the breach until something goes wrong. Officially you are not allowed to let any kid out of your classroom without an adult.
    cyolba, barrack room lawyer :)
  16. Is there a legal age that we are allowed to let children leave school alone? Or is it down to school policy?
    I have only ever taught KS1 so it has never been a factor, but just wondered.
    Where I teach I wouldn't want any child under Year 5 walking home alone.
  17. 8 seems reasonable
  18. Yes - we have a road safety certificate they all do here in the last year of nursery and another one in Primary.
    However, even a sensible child of 7 has limited vision (there are diagrams on it) due to height and whilst playing, will forget.
    I was another one who walked to school alone as of the age of 6 - a good half hour over fields, across roads and down lonely alleys and along ditches.
    But that was then and this is now. There is much more traffic about and some drivers even race across pedestrian crossings (one idiot did it to me this morning!).
    It very much depends on a) the child b) the route and c) the time of year and weather, IMO.

  19. oldsomeman

    oldsomeman Star commenter

    i used to walk home from primary school by the time i was 7..and walk there o my own in the morning.....mind you it was eons ago...and non of the fears of modern parents that their child might be aducted or molested.
    Certainly y4 should be ok and def by yr 5
  20. I didn't drive until my kids were in their teens so they were used to crossing the roads because we had to walk everywhere. I felt they were fully able to manage roads in general by the time they were in Y5 - which, ahem, coincided with my return to work :)
    Unfortunately however because of road reorganisation, the residential road at the bottom of our street became a rat run for traffic trying to avoid the new lights. The main road had a crossing, the school road had a lollipop lady. but the road that they used to cross every day on their own to the park became quite dangerous.
    So they had to Look Very Carefully.

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