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How far is too far to commute?

Discussion in 'Headteachers' started by hawaii, Jun 15, 2020.

  1. hawaii

    hawaii New commenter

    Headship position 69miles from my house- roughly an hour and a half! Am I going to be too exhausted to run the school after the drive? I really think I can do it but don’t want to set myself up to fail. What do others do?
  2. cornflake

    cornflake Senior commenter

    If I am honest, there are times I struggled with the ten minute drive....
    Think of the late night Governor meetings, PTA meetings, the safeguarding crisis .....
    The weekend fairs.... the emergency call outs...
    But if you think you an do it, and want the job enough, then go for it.
    Could you afford to rent a small flat or Mon-Friday house share nearby?
    Or have the occasional BnB when the late nights are planned?
    strawbs, welshwales and becky70 like this.
  3. Professor Dumbledore

    Professor Dumbledore New commenter

    My longest commute was 30 miles each way and I don't think I'd do it again. On lovely Summer evenings it was fantastic driving through the Northumberland countryside, reflecting on my day, etc. But after a rough one, snowing and hailing, traffic jams, horrible conversations running around my mind, it was hellish.
    welshwales likes this.
  4. Sundaytrekker

    Sundaytrekker Star commenter

    I think that’s too far unless you’ve got a place to stay nearby. I knew a headteacher who took their camper van and stayed over a couple of nights a week. Their commute was about 40 miles. My maximum has been 25 miles. Fine in decent conditions. But add in traffic jams, poor roads, roadworks, bad weather, snow and it can easily double the commute. Emergency call outs? No, I had someone else do that.

    On the other hand, when I lived ten minutes away there wasn’t enough unwinding time on the drive home. And you’re more likely to bump into school families.
    strawbs likes this.
  5. asnac

    asnac Established commenter

    I did almost exactly that. I think it was 62 miles, and it typically took 100 minutes if I timed it right.

    I like driving but it got tedious. And the farther the commute, the more chance of getting affected by bad traffic. It's probably lovely right now - my job started in June and I drove past the poppy fields and the traffic was light and it was a new job and everything was great. But then autumn and winter came with weather and darkness and queues.

    I would never do it again. I often stayed Tuesdays and Wednesdays in a B&B to ease off on the driving but that was lonely and I found it harder to switch off there too.

    If you are in a relationship it will put a great strain on it.

    This job needs to be amazing, in my opinion. And if it's that amazing you should move there.
    Professor Dumbledore and strawbs like this.
  6. sunshineneeded

    sunshineneeded Star commenter

    Too far. Much too long a commute. Don't even consider it. That's not to say don't apply for the job - think about moving.
  7. thejudgesscoresarein

    thejudgesscoresarein Occasional commenter

    Comments on this post are accurate- 69 miles is a big commute! Think of the excessive travelling, the wear and tear on your car and the lack of a healthy worklife balance.
  8. thejudgesscoresarein

    thejudgesscoresarein Occasional commenter

    Pressed submit early- it’s over 30k miles a year, and that’s just standard working- no extra days you’re required to attend (e.g Saturday) - Are there no headship roles that are nearer for you? Is the school in an area that you would be happy to relocate to?
    I think a reasonable commute would be no more than 30-35 miles.
    If you’ve got to be in work for 8, you’d have to be up by 5, and wouldn’t be getting home until 8-9pm at night. I personally would stay where you are now, and if a headship closer to home comes up, then apply.

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