Issue - meetings
Discretionary Transport Policy Review - Outcome of Consultation
- Appendix 1 - Current Home to School Transport Policy, item 5 PDF 72 KB
- Appendix 2 - Consultation Responses, item 5 PDF 86 KB
That the Committee recommend the following to Cabinet:-
- That the Committee support Option 3, as outlined within the report;
- That free Post 16 transport to those entitled to benefits be retained; and
That Cabinet consider concessions for sibling groups in Post 16 education.
The Chair welcomed Mrs. Jane Cooper, Mr. Steve Jackson and Mr. Alex Thomas to the meeting.
The Chief Officer (Education and Youth) introduced a report to provide feedback on the outcome of the consultation on the review of discretionary school and college transport policy and to consider the options available. She invited the School Manager – Planning and Provision to present the report.
The School Manager advised that Cabinet had agreed a range of options for formal consultation on the discretionary school and college transport policy areas of post 16 provision and benefits entitlement. Consultation was carried out between 18 February and 5 April 2019. The report summarised the outcome of the consultation. The School Manager reported on the key considerations, as detailed in the report, and explained that the options included in the consultation, as agreed by Cabinet on 18 December 2018, were attached in full in appendix 2 to the report with a summary of the responses received.
In conclusion, the School Manager advised that if any new options were agreed by the Committee at the meeting a new period of consultation would be required to consider the proposals put forward.
The Chair invited Mrs. Cooper, Mr. Jackson and Mr. Thomas to address the Committee to outline their views on the outcome of the consultation, as set out within the report.
Mrs. Cooper, speaking on behalf of the Secondary Headteachers Association, thanked the Committee for the opportunity to put forward the views of Secondary Headteachers in response to the review of discretionary school and college transport policy and the options available. She said the Secondary Headteachers Association understood the cost pressures around school transport and the need to close the Council’s funding ‘gap’, but it was important that all learners over 16 were encouraged to continue with their education and were supported to do so by accessing an education setting of their choice i.e. Post 16 education in schools or college. She continued that whilst it was important that learners had free transport to their post 16 setting it was of greater need that transport was made available across Flintshire, even at a small cost to parents, to enable students to continue in their post 16 education and make a choice about where they attended. The Secondary Headteachers Association supported the options where there was a charge to parents which was kept at a low level but retained the provision of transport for students.
Mrs. Cooper expressed the concerns raised by the Secondary Headteachers Association that withdrawing the transport would have a number of consequences including increasing traffic congestion around schools. She said it was important that students were encouraged to continue to use public transport to travel to and from school. In summary Mrs. Cooper said that whilst the Secondary Headteachers Association wished to remain status quo the need to review transport provision due to funding pressures was acknowledged and therefore the continuation of transport provision for students even at a small charge was considered to ... view the full minutes text for item 5