Reminder to have your say on school transport changes

First published in News

Cornwall Council is in the process of conducting a review of school transport and is asking for the public to have their say.

The council provides transport free of charge to school, however as part of the review, there are some possible changes to the provision.

The consultation document can be found here.

The consultation runs until the February 28, and any changes will be implemented in September 2014.

The main proposals are as follows:

Secondary travel – there is no change proposed to the general entitlement for secondary pupils in respect of distance. All secondary pupils are entitled to transport to their nearest (or designated) school if it is over three miles (two miles if they are from a family on low-income).

Primary travel – the council currently provides an entitlement to transport to all primary aged pupils attending their nearest or designated school if it is over two miles. However, the Council only has a statutory duty to provide transport to the nearest school over two miles for children aged up to eight (or up to eleven if from a low-income family) – for all other primary children aged eight and over the statutory distance is three miles.

This has therefore been included in the consultation to provide members with the opportunity to decide whether or not they wish to continue with the Council’s current discretionary policy to provide transport to the nearest or designated school to all primary aged children if it is over two miles.

The removal of free transport for children attending a school preferred on the grounds of religion or belief (this includes children receiving transport to a non-religious school by parental preference, where the nearest or designated school is a faith school) is also proposed.

A proposed increase in the concessionary rider fare (where pupils not eligible for free transport are using spare places on school transport).

A change in policy to allow all children to apply for a concessionary rider place even if there is alternative public transport available.

An enhancement of the policy in relation to transport for children with special educational needs, to ensure that the provision is appropriate and safe.

A tightening up of the policy in terms of when transport will be agreed in exceptional circumstances and what constitutes exceptional circumstances’.

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