About our home to school and college travel assistance policies consultation
Consultation closes: 22 April 2021
Consultation opened: 28 January 2021
Where they meet certain criteria, we currently provide transport assistance to pupils of school age and those attending post-16 education.
Our home to school or college travel assistance policies for Central Bedfordshire are being reviewed. As part of this, we held a number of listening events for parents, carers and professionals, and the feedback highlighted a number of improvements that could be made to ensure they are clearer and fairer.
We've considered the feedback and efforts have been made to create updated draft policies that are consistent and concise, where the eligibility criteria for home to school transport is clear to the reader. In reviewing the policies, we closely followed Department for Education (DfE) guidance and looked at policies from other local authorities.
Reasons for updating the policies
During our engagement sessions, parents told us that:
- the eligibility criteria for school transport is unclear
- policy information is too long and does not have enough emphasis on children’s needs
- for children with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND), the policy focuses too much on their education, health and care plan (EHCP), rather than the individual’s specific needs
- there is no guidance for people over the age of 19 and in education
- if parental mileage is to be considered as an alternative to commissioned transport, there needs to be a simpler process and parents need time to consider their options
- flexibility needs to be considered if a child lives in two homes
We also heard from professionals, who said that the policies were hard to find and that it was difficult to interpret what a child should be entitled to.
In response to the feedback, we're proposing to:
- updating our policy for children under the age of 16, extending the eligibility criteria to cover more groups of children
- update our policy for 16 to 19 year olds so that it is clearer for parents to understand, with the eligibility criteria remaining the same
- create a policy document outlining the eligibility criteria for people over the age of 19
This consultation seeks to understand the public’s views on our review of these policies. Responses to the consultation will help to inform the updated policies, before we adopt them.
The consultation is open from 28 January until 22 April. The consultation feedback will be considered at our Executive Committee meeting on 8 June before finalising the new policy.
Any changes to the policies will come into effect for the September 2022 intake of pupil admissions.
How we're consulting
Anyone can respond to the consultation. Please view or download the consultation document (PDF), which we encourage you to read before responding.
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