Here is a photo of my Son in His new school uniform on his first day at High school yesterday. He looks really smart and I am so proud of him. He chose to go to a high school which is 8 miles away because it a) has a better reputation than our local high school, b) it offers a better range of sciences including forensic science which he is interested in and c) it achieves better grades than the local school. My son made this decision himself even knowing that there would be only a couple of people he knew going to this school and that he would have to get a bus on his own, to and from school every day. Caleb is an A student in everything and has won several awards for his academic achievements and takes his education very seriously! He was nervous but excited to start his new school yesterday until he had to deal with the crap bus service.
He had been worrying about getting the bus on his own all summer. We got a timetable, sorted out which bus would get him there on time. Airing on the side of caution we decided he should get the 7.55 bus which would get him there at 8.15, 1/2 an hour before registration. The 8.15 bus would get him there with only 10 mins till registration which didnt give him much leeway if it was late. He set off yesterday with instructions to text me when he arrived at school. He text me at 8.55 to say he had just got off the bus because the bus had been late getting to where he got on. This made him late for school on his first day. He finished school at 3.10, I text him at 4pm to see if he was nearly home and he hadn't even been able to get on a bus yet. 3 buses should have gone past in the hour he was stood there but only 1 had and it didn't stop because it was full. By some miricle his grandparents were driving past at 4.10 and picked him up and brought him home or god knows what time he would have got in. He was in tears when he got home. He said school was great but his day had been ruined by the 'bloody buses' (I overlooked the swearing as he was in such a state!) He was so upset about being late on his first day because he said it didn't make a good first impression to his teacher. I asked if got into trouble and he said no because there were loads of kids who were late but that wasn't the point HE was late.
He has left this morning at 7.20 to get the even earlier bus which should get him to school at 7.55, 45 mins before he needs to be there, but he has just text to say he got there at 8.35 as the bus was late again. After school instead of getting the bus back to Ryde he's going to cross the road get the bus in the opposite direction which will take him to Newport bus station before returning back past the school on the same bus to Ryde. His theory is that then he will already be on the bus when it doesn't stop at the school because it is full! What a bloody palava!
I am so cross with Southern Vectis Buses (yes, I will name and shame them!) for ruining my son's first day at school. They are the only bus company on the Island so you have no choice but to use them. Their fares are extortianate. Minimum travel is £2.50...thats right, you may only go one stop and it will cost you £2.50 one way. Adult fare to Newport is £3.50 each way, Newport is 8 miles from Ryde and is the main Island town. So £7 to get there and back. In the summer holidays they announced they were stopping the student rider which was a pass for school kids up to 18 to travel at £1 each way. Kids (only up to age 14, then you are a full paying adult) would now be half adult fare so £1.75 each way. Parents have been lobbying all summer to get this reduced and the only concession they have come up with is to say if you can prove you are in full time education you can have half price fare up to age 18. This means we are paying way more in bus fare than we budgeted for when we applied to this school. I am sure that this bus company is the most expensive in the WORLD!
Sorry rant over! I realise that no one has asked to hear me whinge at this time of the morning but I am so mad about this and needed to get it out of my system!
Thanks for listening (if your'e still awake!)