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Home to School transport could be changing in Bucks

The proposal includes charging for transport for pupils with Special Educational Needs aged 16-18

Published by Mix96 News at 3:57pm 26th February 2019. 3-minute read.

Home to School transport could be changing in Bucks

Sixth formers with Special Educational Needs could have to pay for home to school transport in Buckinghamshire. 

Following a 10 week consultation asking residents and organisations their views on how the service is delivered, Buckinghamshire County Council's Cabinet is being asked to approve several recommendations.

This comes after the increased demand on the service is causing unsustainable budget pressures.

The recommendations are aimed to modernise the services and make them sustainable for the future.

  • How we provide school transport - Many school and public bus services currently duplicate routes. We aim to reduce this, making services more efficient and offering children and young people more flexibility in their travel options.
  • Phasing out two historic local transport arrangements - in Ivinghoe (relating to Cottesloe School) and Evreham (relating to Chalfont Community College). Parents in these two areas who choose a school which is not the nearest appropriate one for their child, would be required to pay for transport. This change would mean fair and consistent transport charges are applied to families across the whole county.
  • Charging for transport for pupils with Special Educational Needs (SEN) aged 16-18 - In the future, parents of all children aged 16-18 years would be required to contribute towards their child's travel. This includes parents of children with SEN. Students with SEN who attend college can apply for a bursary to assist with costs. Transport will still be provided to pupils with SEN which affects their ability to travel.

The proposals aimed at supporting young people by helping them to access education and develop their independence.

There will be no change to arrangements for more than 5,000 pupils who are eligible for free travel.

Mike Appleyard, Cabinet Member for Education and Skills, said:

"We want to provide the best possible home to school transport service for children in Buckinghamshire we can, but rising costs mean we have to carefully consider the way we do this in the future.

"The proposals to be considered by the Cabinet aim to offer a high quality travel service for pupils that is both safe and sustainable for the future. There are a number of options to explore that will help up to achieve this."

Mike added: "Where changes affect families we will ensure these are managed in as fair and as considerate a way as possible".

Any revisions, if agreed, would only apply to children and young people who are not eligible for free statutory home-to-school transport.

Full details of the consultation results and recommendations can be found here

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