Safer School Runs

Redbridge Neighbourhood Watch got in touch this afternoon to ask us to publicise this message from a PCO in Fulwell:

A request to all those of you that take part in the school run: We are receiving numerous complaints from all of our Primary Schools in relation to inconsiderate and dangerous behaviour when dropping our children off too school. If parking is at a premium at the school you are going to please allow sufficient time to find a spot and get your children school safely. I know that this is a stressful time and the roads are extremely busy, but it could be your child that is injured if you don’t address this issue.

There has been a significant increase to trend to stop and drop, where you just stop in the middle of the road and let your children get out there and then not only are you causing an obstruction of the highway doing this (yes this is an offence), but most importantly you are putting your children’s life’s at risk. We have recently had a child knocked over after getting out of a vehicle that had stopped and dropped. Very fortunately their injuries were not serious, but it could have been a lot worse.

school crossing
Personally, I’m glad to have seen two Community Police persons during our school run yesterday, standing on the pavement near the gates. It simply amazes me how many people park right over the yellow lines or climb kerbs on the road right in front of my daughter’s school at peak drop-off time.
Here are some other things that can help improve safety during the school run:
  • Don’t make three-point turns in the roads around school.
  • Don’t park over peoples’ driveways
  • Park on an adjacent street and walk a block to the gates.

We’re in the News!

Here we are on primary admissions decision day, interviewed for the BBC. . .  We’re so happy that we got our first choice. This was filmed before the afternoon meltdown. It’s been a stressful time, waiting for this news for six months, dreading the ‘what ifs’ of starting our daughter at school at age 4, the youngest in her cohort. At least any decision we need to make regarding part-time attendance or a deferral until later in the year can be made directly with the school.

BBC London news 16/04/14

Primary Admissions Day meltdown

Today is the big day. Parents across the country have been waiting to hear the results of their primary school admissions applications. Some have found out already. I was up late, reading the threads on Mumsnet and people were cyber-hand holding since early in the day yesterday. At midnight, some had their news in hand.

But some of us are still waiting. And waiting. I am waiting on an email from Redbridge Council to arrive sometime after 6pm today. So, sometime after the girls have had their dinner, possibly a bath, I will be glued to my iPad waiting for an email. Feels a little like waiting for that guy to call back in high school. . .

Adding to this stress is the fact that I’m very reticent about sending her to school in September anyway, as she is a summer-born child and still, today, just three years old. She’s having a big old meltdown at the moment after I tore out a sheet of colouring paper for her baby sister and started colouring it. Apparently, I wasn’t supposed to do that. It has caused her to come apart.

Is she ready for school? She will be 4 years old on August 1 and won’t be 5 years old (compulsory school age) at ANY time during the Reception Year. We thought hard about trying for a deferral, as is our legal right, but were discouraged because our borough is very oversubscribed and we wanted her to have a place at a specific school. We couldn’t risk it; we felt we had to apply, though we have the legal right to pursue the deferral.

We shouldn’t feel that way about exercising our rights under the law.

My daughter is still whimpering after she has tried cleaning her colouring page with water and it has fallen to pieces. Is she ready for school? Sometimes I think yeah, maybe; sometimes I think NO WAY.

The Summer-Born Campaign has this to say about today’s decision and how it affects families with children born in the Summer (April to August):

“Today is primary offer day.  In addition to the worry and stress that parents are going through if their child is not offered a place in their preferred school, for parents of summer-borns wishing their child to start school in reception class AT compulsory school age this stress is significantly magnified.  Different admissions authorities are at liberty to reach different decisions for the SAME child.  Parental preference  is effectively removed if one of those admission authorities (either school and/or local authority) refuses to admit these children into reception class.  They are left with whichever admission authority will accept their child into reception, which may not be in a preferred school.  They may also be denied access to a reception class education at all and be forced to miss this crucial year and join Year 1 in any school that has a place.  As the School Admissions Code was amended so that no child should be forced by the admissions process to miss even one term of reception class, it is scandalous that admission authorities and the Department for Education now think it is reasonable for a child to miss the whole of reception class – simply for starting school at compulsory school age.”

If you’d like more information, please visit the blog:


Toward Legal Clarity for ‘Summer born’ Children

The campaigners for Flexible Admissions for Summer-born Children have a unique opportunity to present their case to a Dept of Education Minister.

This campaign’s aim is help parents who want their child to begin Reception year aged 5, and not aged 4 (those born between April and August). The law is unclear about this and local authorities and schools often don’t know or misapply it.

The campaign is working toward greater legal clarity for these families and they would like to have your personal experience on record!

Anyone with experience of considering delaying admission for their child to Reception (whether you went through with it or not) is invited to answer.


New Survey for Parents of Summer Born Children

c artwork for cufflink april 2011If you are the parent of a summer born child and in recent years have applied or thought about applying for a Reception class place for your child(ren) when they reach compulsory school age, PLEASE COMPLETE THIS ONLINE SURVEY a.s.a.p.

The more responses we have, the better. Thank you.