Why produce new home to school / college travel assistance policies?
This consultation closed at 5pm on Monday, 18 September 2017
Like every other local authority in the UK, we have experienced reduced levels of government funding in recent years. Our grant from national government for this year is half the amount of money we received last year, and by 2019/20 this funding will disappear altogether.
Meanwhile, we are facing increasing demands on our services as a result of changes to our growing population.
Because of this, we agreed a budget plan which is designed to maximise cost effectiveness so that we can deliver the best possible services within the resources that we have.
The review of our home to school/college travel assistance policy contributes to our wider budget strategy.
We currently provide more transport than is required by legislation: we transport over 5,000 children / students from home to school each year.
In 2016/17 this cost us over £8.4 million, a rise of over £1.1 million from the previous year. Having reviewed the legislation, we are currently offering services over and above the recognised statutory minimum.
Our policies have been reviewed to ensure that the new home to school / college travel assistance policies meet the statutory requirements, whilst making the most efficient use of resources. This means we are reviewing our policies to be in line with legislative requirements, and to see if the travel assistance could be provided in a more cost-effective way.
The draft policy document (link opens in new window) explains the types of things we are considering introducing that will meet our statutory requirement to provide travel and transport for entitled pupils, while providing an affordable and cost-effective approach. We will continue to ensure that we adopt a fair, equitable and transparent policy to support eligible pupils and their families.