Thankfully my days of doing the school run are pretty much over with the move to secondary school. But I still hit the village at primary school pick up time to get him to the bus stop. So see all the new parents coming in and having to navigate secondary school buses and multiple cars and vans going through reminds me of the start of every school year and the carnage that was everyone adjusting to the school run.
With 7 years experiencing the school run by car (we live outside the village with no paths, street lights and walking wasn’t feasible with drop off and work times), I think I’ve experience pretty much most that could happen. The good and bad (although thankfully no accidents).
Each September you get a new set of parents, who aren’t sure of the rules (unwritten and written). The school run isn’t that hard. Really it’s common sense. So here’s my tips on how to do the school run without annoying everyone else. I’ve concentrated on drivers because that’s what most parents do nowadays.
School drop off (and pick up) advice
Check the rules – ours was always reverse park for safety and visibility in the car park. Some are one way only. Others only have parking outside the school..
Tell anyone else doing the school run on your behalf. Grandparents, other relatives and friends. So many times grandparents obviously aren’t told the rules (or choose to do their own thing).
If there’s a drop off zone or it’s a drive through pick up, drive all the way to the end. Don’t stop where you want, go all the way so more cars can get in behind you. You won’t get missed out when your children come out. We used to have a few people (usually with young children), who’d stop halfway, leaving 1-2 car spaces in front, while everyone behind would have to wait for ages as their kids were the slowest and usually last to come out.
If you get to go into school out of the car, do talk to people in the playground. The worst that happens is that you get ignored. The best, you find a new friend.
If there’s no car park, park sensibly – don’t block driveways and definitely don’t park in them. And try to avoid parking on the pavements. If parking on the road think about which side other cars are parked and leave enough space for emergency vehicles to get past, as well as leaving pulling in space.
Take it easy. The school run isn’t a race. Watch out for tight lanes and tight corners. And obviously small children.
Use your brain about right of way. If you’re going up and down a narrow road, think about right of way, and follow the norm in terms of passing places. Be prepared to give way even if it’s your right of way if it make sense and is safer that way. Be gracious and say thanks when someone lets you through. It’s polite, and they’ve got as much right on the road as you.
If in doubt and you want to avoid the hassle of driving on the school run, send your children on the bus, or walk, cycle or scoot.
How are the drop offs and pick ups at your children’s school?
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I know exactly what you mean. I used to work in both Primary and Secondary schools and it can be absolute carnage at times. Some really helpful tips and suggestions here!
Bet the school staff despair. Especially in a residential area if there’s no car park.
We have a couple of schools nearby and the roads are always chaotic at the end of the school day. These are the little things that people need to remember. Great advice. x