The 7 School Drop-Off and Pick-Up Rules Every Parent Should Know

Do you know the ‘rules’ surrounding the school drop-off/pick-up madness? They aren’t posted in the newsletter or on the school website. But believe me. They exist and you NEED to know them.

If you are a new school parent (or the long, LONG summer holidays marathon has messed with your brain), here’s your must have guide to help negotiate the do’s and the don’ts at the school gate.

Gather round, my leisure wearing lovelies, as Mum Central reveals the age old secrets of the school drop-off.

questions about starting school on school orientation day

7 School Drop-Off Rules Every Mum Needs to Know

1. Be kind

Some days you’ll kill the mum gig, other days the mum bun will suck the smarts right out of you. Try to be there to pick each other up. If you’re actually on top of the Skoolbag App messages, this might be your chance to shine. Help another mum if the SOS goes out regarding the fete and what needs doing, or the fact that the lunch order system is changing. Don’t be a know it all; be kind. Is it sports uniform tomorrow? Is their homework due? Does the excursion note need returning? This support network is crucial in our busy world. Most importantly, it costs you nothing to say hello.

2. Don’t be scared to lick and wipe

Surely we’ve all been there? Just about to head in to school and you notice a giant smear of toothpaste down your little one’s face? It’s a primal instinct and it was good enough for our own mothers, right? The old finger lick and wipe is a necessity and will continue to roll on. This is a perfectly legit method of saving face (literally) at the school drop-off.

3. Acceptable chit chat topics

There are the safe bets. “I’m just soooooooo busy right now!”, “Isn’t this term flying?” and “How was that crazy storm that blew over last night?” These are necessary if you want a little banter but ain’t got time for more. Quick in and out, with a pretty dose of ‘polite.’ Or, if you are looking for a sure-fire way to find ‘your people’, drop a line about last night’s Married At First Sight episode or comment on a movie you just saw and loved/hated. Feel your way slowly.

And a little reminder. NEVER make a negative comment about another child iat school drop-off or pick-up. This is especially important if you don’t know the adults around you and who is connected to whom.

4. Know the traffic rules

Seriously, this is a no brainer. The traffic signs are not negotiable and exist to keep your children safe. I don’t care if you’re only dropping in a forgotten lunch box, if it is NO PARKING, keep moving. Many schools have a kiss and go zone, but if you are planning a full scale delivery, get there early and park legally. Also, ALWAYS be kind to the Lollipop person. It is possible you will be seeing them morning and afternoon for a long time to come. It can be a demanding, chaotic role and most importantly, they keep your child safe.

school drop-off rules

5. Dress for you

Off to work in the city? Full face and corporate? Fabulous. Got the leisure gear on again with no intention of hitting the gym? Good for you. Best foot forward at school drop-off, people. Some days we are smashing it, other days we are hastily wiping baby drool off our shoulders with wet wipes as we slide in after the bell.  If someone even notices that you have worn the same leggings three days running, then they are the sad sacks. If bright red lipstick makes you feel like you are on your A-game, lather that lippy on, baby. Whatever it takes to get out of the house in the morning is a win. The important rules here are dress for you and don’t judge others (ain’t nobody got time for that!).

6. Who’s Who?

Keep a bit of a finger on the pulse as to who is who in the mix. Don’t go slagging off the school in the bitchy cliques. If you have an issue, make a time to catch up with the teacher or the relevant person. Those parents in the school yard are also board members, fundraising committee members, Parent Teacher team, classroom helpers, and so much more. Often it is these volunteers who keep the whole shebang rolling. If you don’t like it, get on board and make the change. Or alternatively, keep your mouth shut.

7. Kiss the Kids

Grab it whilst you can, because your babies will soon be fleeing from you the minute you  pucker up in the school yard. Luckily my littles are still OK with this, but I know time is short. I don’t care who is watching. Mummy needs a smooch.

Finally that moment you have been dreaming about all summer long has arrived. School is BACK.

I plan to be that mother skipping back to the car with a side dose of fist pumping, relishing my hands free of snotty clingers. But I know…I know there will be a little side jab to my heart. A little moment of empty. A little tremor of ‘will they be OK?’

mum central
 Image via Keisha Leeann Gardner

Let the year roll on. We’ve got this. And for those moments when we don’t, there’s always back to school hacks that let you cheat!



Avatar of Anna Brophy

Self proclaimed salted caramel expert and champagne taster, Anna might be heard shrieking at her kids to "hold on with both hands" at a Melbourne playground near you. She lives with her son, daughter and cycling obsessed husband, and dreams of one day writing books in a little cottage, in front of a big window, beside the beach.

1 Comment

  1. Avatar of Blossom

    Good Luck getting a meeting with a teacher. I somebody who requested one because she wanted advice re a subject her son was doing because he was struggling. She just wanted advice how to help him – not to do his work for him and she stated that. She was told to wait until the next parent/teacher meeting which wasn’t due for another 6 weeks. So her son was supposed to struggle on for another 6 weeks…. and they wonder why parents start demanding answers sooner.

Write A Comment