Consultation still open for parents to have their say on proposed school transport changes

Parents are being reminded that they still have time to take part in a consultation on proposed changes to free home to school transport.

Swindon Borough Council, like all local authorities, is required to provide free home to school transport to pupils of compulsory age (between the ages of five and 16) in specific circumstances, but there is no automatic entitlement to free home to school transport over the age of 16.

With the Council continuing to face large increases in demand for children’s and adults’ services, it must find savings or reduce the rising cost and demand of future services by up to £80m over the next few years.

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The Council is committed to ensuring that an appropriate level of assistance is provided for those who need it most and is seeking people’s views on proposed changes to how pupils are supported in accessing mainstream post-16 education.

Changes are also being proposed to the way young people with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND), receive transport assistance for post-16 education.

From September 2018 the Council proposes to:

  • Remove automatic discretionary subsidised support for pupils accessing mainstream Post 16 education and;
  • Introduce a Personal Travel Budget (PTB), a bus pass or a parental contribution to the transport required for Special Educational Need and Disability (SEND) 16 years to 25 years travel.

Under the proposals, families with a young person over the age of 16 would be responsible for arranging their own transport to and from their child’s place of education. This would be instead of a bus provided by the Council or, for example, a vehicle coming to collect them each day.

A drop-in event was held at Uplands Special School yesterday (13 June), but the Council would still like to hear people’s views on the proposed changes.

Feedback can be provided via an online survey, while a downloadable summary of the proposed new policy is also available to view at – www.swindon.gov.uk/educationtransportconsultation

Any responses to the consultation must be provided by Wednesday, 28 June.

Parents who would like to speak to someone about the proposals can call Gareth Cheal on 01793 465802 or email: [email protected]