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Illegal for Children to travel to school alone

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I didn't realise until Queensland Police sent a letter home with all school children today that it is illegal to let your child walk, ride or catch public transport to and from school if they were 12 and under. I know mine use to walk across the park to school although I suppose he was with his older brother but then does this mean they have to be with someone over 18? I have seen very young children (at a guess 6 years old) walking to school and thought that was risky. Some of the parents have been arguing that they walked to school from prep onwards when they were kids, but then I suppose the world was a safer place.


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I always wonder if it was actually safer or if people were less aware due to social Internet presence. I used to walk to school by myself around 10 years. At my daughters school (uk) they say from year 5 (age 9-10) upwards are allowed with written concent. Though as we are a 30 min walk I am not happy with my daughter walking to school by herself. She's currently 10. Maybe at 11 I would be up for discussing the idea. I think high school age is a good age. I can understand why 12 though I would have it from first year of high school.

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The greatest danger kids face these days going to school I expect is being run over by a 4x4 being driven by someone elses mother.


Nearly there! Don't drop the ball now guys! Vaccines are weeks away. Stay safe!

 

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Just drove back down from the land and a young fella on a bmx riding in the cycle lane facing oncoming traffic doing no handed, my head hurts sometimes at what being oblivious to things is.

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I didn't realise until Queensland Police sent a letter home with all school children today that it is illegal to let your child walk, ride or catch public transport to and from school if they were 12 and under.

 

Is that a Queensland state law? I have never heard of it before anywhere in Australia.

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Is that a Queensland state law? I have never heard of it before anywhere in Australia.

 

I hadn't either 9e93f1c72534cb7901e096b72f5ddf55.jpg

 

 

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I hadn't either 9e93f1c72534cb7901e096b72f5ddf55.jpg

 

 

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That is interesting as we have just started having this discussion concerning our son using his scooter and going to school with friends. I wonder if there is a similar ruling in WA?


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Is that a Queensland state law? I have never heard of it before anywhere in Australia.

 

Definitely the law in Qld, or at least it was when I fostered. On one occasions I was "hauled over the coals" by their case worker for letting the kids walk to school ..............it was less than a minute from our house to the schools back gate and they were always in plain sight. It was further to walk across the school grounds than it was from our house to the gate!


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That is interesting as we have just started having this discussion concerning our son using his scooter and going to school with friends. I wonder if there is a similar ruling in WA?

I have no idea, like @skani said I had no idea there was such a rule full stop in Australia, I always thought it was a case of if you thought your child was not at risk and sensible then there was no problem. The same as if you go out and leave a minor home alone.


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Definitely the law in Qld, or at least it was when I fostered. On one occasions I was "hauled over the coals" by their case worker for letting the kids walk to school ..............it was less than a minute from our house to the schools back gate and they were always in plain sight. It was further to walk across the school grounds than it was from our house to the gate!

Wow @johndoe I never knew.


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I can only assume it's either not a law in SA or the hospital my youngest got taken to in an ambulance without us either didn't know or care enough to report us. He's 11 and has been walking to and from school on his own for ages. The ambulance trip was after he fell and hurt himself on the way home from school one day and some nearby parents called an ambulance for him. He's not the only kid around us that walks to school by themselves and they are definitely not all over 12.


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It looks like Qld police interpretation of the state law regarding at what age you can leave children alone to me, rather than specifically about journeys to school. I have to say i disagree with their interpretation because as has been mentioned by some posters, if the journey to school is a short/easy/safe one I see nothing wrong with it.

 

Like many kids in the 70s, I walked to school (in a large village) from age 5 with my older brother and mates. I think when I was about 7 my mum stopped insisting I went with my brother but I was expected to go straight to school and straight home, no mucking about on the way so she knew when I would come back

 

http://raisingchildren.net.au/articles/australian_laws_about_leaving_children_alone.html

 

Fortunately looking at the above link there is no specific age in NSW. Which is somewhat of a relief because in less than 2 years my son will be going to high school at age 11 and it's in the city, and taking him there is impractical. He'll be catching the train with his mates, as lots of Sydney schoolkids do

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My two walked to primary school with a group of friends. The school was at the top of the street with no roads to cross. They caught a bus to high school from the age of 11.

 

I often saw very young children (approx 7 or 8 years old) travelling by train into the city on their own to attend private school - some them in the city and others would have to change train to go to the other side of the harbour.


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Good heavens, I would most definitely have been in breach! Both of my kids caught buses to school until about age 9 we made the eldest ride his bike the 10km each way every day, Did tend to take the youngest to school though as he was always coming from swimming training at that age but at 6 he insisted on doing the 2 buses there and back on his own (he'd had a child carer at kindergarten and wasn't going to do that again!). It was 30 years ago though and things were different then. I honestly don't think my granddaughters could get themselves to school at 9 and 6 but the little one could be her father's daughter if allowed! They're not encouraged to be independent at all it seems.

 

Mind you, there are some kids who shouldn't be allowed to roam at 16 let alone 6!

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It looks like Qld police interpretation of the state law regarding at what age you can leave children alone to me, rather than specifically about journeys to school. I have to say i disagree with their interpretation because as has been mentioned by some posters, if the journey to school is a short/easy/safe one I see nothing wrong with it.

 

Like many kids in the 70s, I walked to school (in a large village) from age 5 with my older brother and mates. I think when I was about 7 my mum stopped insisting I went with my brother but I was expected to go straight to school and straight home, no mucking about on the way so she knew when I would come back

 

http://raisingchildren.net.au/articles/australian_laws_about_leaving_children_alone.html

 

Fortunately looking at the above link there is no specific age in NSW. Which is somewhat of a relief because in less than 2 years my son will be going to high school at age 11 and it's in the city, and taking him there is impractical. He'll be catching the train with his mates, as lots of Sydney schoolkids do

I wonder if it would come under not providing them with supervision?

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If you are depressed you are living in the past. If you are anxious you are living in the future. If you are at peace you are living in the present.

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Shame really kids need to develop independence but some are not as mature. Mine started to walk home from school at 10 and 8 it wasn't far and we had done the route together many times with no major road to cross except one with a pelican crossing. Only the home journey to start with so I knew they had got home. Then later to school, after I had been assured I would be told if they had not arrived!

 

The school encouraged it and later set up a "walking bus". Where a few parents would pick up kids along a route pop a tabard over each one and continue in a crocodile to school. This meant the younger ones could also join in, much better that a car journey for less than a couple of miles and much healthier too. Even in the rain!

 

I know kids under 12 are not supposed to be home alone but I guess. I noticed in Florida near Bradenton kids walking and cycling to school and they were younger than 12 but in groups generally. And the law is usually strict there!


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Ah good I'll let my son scoot(e) to school then!


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It looks like Qld police interpretation of the state law regarding at what age you can leave children alone to me, rather than specifically about journeys to school. I have to say i disagree with their interpretation because as has been mentioned by some posters, if the journey to school is a short/easy/safe one I see nothing wrong with it.

 

Like many kids in the 70s, I walked to school (in a large village) from age 5 with my older brother and mates. I think when I was about 7 my mum stopped insisting I went with my brother but I was expected to go straight to school and straight home, no mucking about on the way so she knew when I would come back

 

http://raisingchildren.net.au/articles/australian_laws_about_leaving_children_alone.html

 

Fortunately looking at the above link there is no specific age in NSW. Which is somewhat of a relief because in less than 2 years my son will be going to high school at age 11 and it's in the city, and taking him there is impractical. He'll be catching the train with his mates, as lots of Sydney schoolkids do

do they do the thing where they call the parents if the children don't turn up and you haven't called to report an absence?
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Nearly there! Don't drop the ball now guys! Vaccines are weeks away. Stay safe!

 

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do they do the thing where they call the parents if the children don't turn up and you haven't called to report an absence?

 

All the schools that I sent my kids to rang me within an hour of school commencing if their was an absence that I hadn't notified them of

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All my kids walked a km or so to school on their own every day but my grandchildren mostly get picked up except the 13 year old who walks a couple of kms to our house and waits for his mum to take him home. Sad that life has come to this. My youngest used to get a bus and a train to school on her own( wouldn't be seen dead with her parents). Don't think there is much danger from pervs but definitely from some of the mums picking up kids who drive like maniacs. Why don't they ban lifts for anyone who lives less than a km away from school , aged 7 onwards?  Except in the case of extreme weather of course.

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we had that info too and live in Queensland.  Good to be cautious but this rule is very vague.  My children 9 and 11 would often walk to and from school on their own, my son now in high school so my daughter at times walks to school with one of her friends of the same age.  Usually the school route is very busy and I am more than happy for her to travel with someone.  I see nothing wrong with this.

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On 10/03/2017 at 4:12 AM, Nemesis said:

 

There's an article on the ABC now clarifying the whole 'walk to school' issue.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-03-09/how-long-is-too-long-to-leave-a-child-unattended/8335692?WT.ac=localnews_brisbane

As mentioned in this article linked above, it's all about what is reasonable in the circumstances and is taken on a case-by-case basis, eg, age, capabilities, time, time of day, distance, etc.  In Vic the law is

 "offence to leave child unattended" under section 494 of the Children, Youth and Families Act 2005:

  • A person who has the control or charge of a child must not leave the child without making reasonable provision for the child's supervision and care for a time which is unreasonable having regard to all the circumstances of the case.


Re:  The original note, "It was written by the Officer in Charge of Miles Police about six months after a six-year-old girl was found walking alone, following a hand-written map to a location "some distance away" she had never visited before." 

Obviously a 10-year-old walking or riding a route they've done plenty of times before with mum is vastly different.  Or compare an 8-year-old going across a quiet road and three doors down to a pre-arranged play date at 10 am vs an 11-year-old being sent to the shops 3 km away in the dark. 

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On 10/03/2017 at 4:12 AM, Nemesis said:

 

There's an article on the ABC now clarifying the whole 'walk to school' issue.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-03-09/how-long-is-too-long-to-leave-a-child-unattended/8335692?WT.ac=localnews_brisbane

I was going to quote the above article but well and good, you beat me to it.:)

In regards to the quoted ABC article, I think the comments by Emma Aldersea from the law firm Slater and Gordon puts the 'walk to school issue' into perspective.

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We live too far away from school for our girls to walk home (it would take them about an hour) so letting them come home alone is impractical for us, and to get the school bus would mean from the school gate to pretty much our door, so there is no independence really required.  However, I have started meeting them at local parks on occasion, because I think that they need a little bit of independence.  I always choose a park no more than a ten minute walk away, always on a route that they are familiar with (i.e. a park that we've walked to before or after school together), and I always make sure that they absolutely know where I am going to be by not only telling them the name of the park, but also confirming exactly which one with a description (e.g. Suchandsuch park, next to the swimming pool).  I also make sure that they understand that they are to walk together.  They absolutely LOVE that little bit of freedom, and I truly believe that it is good for them to have it.  

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