Home to School Discretionary Transport Policy

Closed 1 Jul 2013

Opened 30 May 2013

Overview

The county council is proposing to phase in a change to its discretionary school transport policy from September 2014. The law states that in certain circumstances local authorities must provide free home to school transport to pupils up to and including Year 11, attending their nearest school, where they live beyond walking distance from the school. For many years, Staffordshire County Council has extended this to also give free discretionary transport to pupils attending their catchment area school when it is not their nearest school as measured using the council’s Geographical Information System (GIS).

 

Why your views matter

This consultation has now closed.

Under the proposals, parents would be asked to contribute £380 p.a. towards the cost of their child using school transport, where:

a) their child is starting or moving, from September 2014 onwards, to their catchment area school which is not their nearest school.
AND
b) they live beyond walking distance from their catchment school (over 2 miles below age 11 and over 3 miles age 11-16).

In return for the contribution the county council would guarantee that transport assistance will be provided whether it is on public transport using the “Your Staffordshire Card,” or contracted school transport. The proposed contribution of £380 per pupil, for 2014-15, can be paid in instalments. This represents half of the average cost of transport and is equivalent to £2 per day per pupil.

What happens next

After listening carefully to the views of parents, schools and teachers throughout the county, County Councillor Ben Adams, Cabinet member for Learning and Skills, has taken the decision to end the consultation today (1 July) and recommend the county council does not continue with the proposal.  The consultation was due to end on July 12.

 As a county council, we are committed to listening and acting on the wishes of Staffordshire people and this is exactly why we hold consultations such as these.  Many parents, heads and teachers took the opportunity to contact the county council with their views, and raised many valid points which we have taken into consideration.

We wanted to make the fairest decision for everyone who lives in Staffordshire. However, we recognise there is the need for flexibility where these decisions affect significantly our unique community of schools in Staffordshire, and in particular those in rural areas.

In making an early decision we wanted to remove the uncertainty for pupils and parents as they move into the important last few weeks of term, and to allow heads to focus on their work to improve schools and achieve outstanding outcomes for local children.

Parents who received a letter and consultation booklet at the start of the consultation received a letter informing them of this decision.  Headteachers and MPs were also been informed via email.

 

Areas

  • Cannock Chase
  • East Staffordshire
  • Lichfield area
  • Newcastle-under-Lyme area
  • South Staffordshire
  • Stafford area
  • Staffordshire Moorlands
  • Tamworth area

Audiences

  • Parents and Families
  • Young People
  • Children and young people
  • Parents, carers and guardians

Interests

  • Public Transport
  • Roads & Highways
  • Post 16 Transport
  • Admissions to school
  • Transport to School