Friday, 11 January 2013

We've had a note from Little Miss P's school, as follows:
[The company running the school bus service] has contacted us regarding the predicted cold spell and the potential impact on transport to and from school, for students who use County contracted bus / taxi services.  This is copied below for your information.

Please emphasise to your daughter the procedures relating to safe conduct which apply if there is a breakdown of any kind, or in the event of inclement weather as follows:

“Where such events occur, it is most important that pupils follow the instructions given by the driver and do not attempt to make their own way home on foot, especially in situations where the driver is able to confirm directly to pupils that alternative transport has been arranged and is on its way.”

Thank you for your support and co-operation.
This is a secondary Grammar school.  All the girls on the bus have passed the 11+ exam and are aged between 11 and 18.  Therefore, the attitude shared by the school, the bus company, and the local authority is that an intelligent 18-year-old girl who knows where her home is is unable to make the decision for herself as to whether to get off and walk.  Instead, she should wait for god-knows-how-long until a replacement bus arrives.

Equally, the somewhat-younger Little Miss P is likewise not to alight, even if (presumably) she can see our road!  Her bus journey actually goes past the end of our street and then on to the bus stop, so it is quite possible that the bus could be broken down nearer to home than her stop.  Nevertheless, she must wait on the bus until a replacement bus is available to take her further away from home so that she can walk back from the officially-designated place.

Madness.  She will be told that if the bus fails, she is to call us and discuss the problem.  If the bus driver then believes he can overrule her father's decision, he can expect to see a Land Rover appear in his rear view mirror.


  1. It's just fear of being sued if anything happens :(

  2. I cycled nearly three miles to and from school every day from the age of eleven. Would the school or parents allow it these days? The only instructions given by the school was that cyclists were allowed to take off their school cap when cycling (otherwise it had to be worn when in uniform) and secondly, that we shouldn't hold onto the tailboard of lorries. The last was ignored, lorries were limited to, I think, 20mph, and there was a long hill to climb on the way home!

  3. Julia - true, but it displays a uniquely British form of cowardice.

    EP - I did a 20 minute walk from the age of about 7 or 8 until 11, at whihc point I took a public bus.

    SBML - Roffle!

  4. I think by 11 we were walking or cycling ourselves to school through the badlands of inner London. Has the world really got more dangerous since the late eighties/early nineties? I doubt it.