Home to School/College Transport Policy

Closes 27 Jul 2020

Opened 15 Jun 2020

Overview

The Learner Travel (Wales) Measure 2008 states that all local authorities have a duty to transport learners to their nearest suitable school if they meet the qualifying distance criteria. The Council’s current Home to School Transport Policy was approved in 2018, however since its implementation in September 2019, it has become apparent that there is a need to further review the policy to reduce ambiguity in order to ensure that the policy can be applied consistently.

The revised policy has been streamlined in terms of its content and presentation, but the new substantive changes are:

Proposed change

Reason for change

Clarity about the duty to promote Welsh medium provision.

According to the Learner Wales Travel Measure 2008, each local authority ‘must promote access to education and training through the medium of the Welsh language when exercising functions under this Measure’.

This would also mean that, if a learner’s nearest catchment school is a Welsh-medium school, then transport would only be provided to that school – the current policy states that transport is provided to the nearest suitable school in the language of choice.

To comply with the Learner Travel Wales Measure 2008 and the recommendations contained in the Estyn Report of 2019.

Removal of the practice of reimbursing 16 – 19 aged learners who travel out of county to study.

 

 

The authority is currently spending approximately £75,000 on travel assistance for learners to travel out of Powys.

Removal of the practice of providing transport following a change of ordinary place of residence for learners in years 10,11,12 and 13.

It is a parental/guardian’s choice to change the ordinary place of residence of a learner. The parent/guardian must apply for school transport based on the new place of residence, and the normal eligibility criteria will apply.

Clarified the appeal process to make it clearer. 

Clarified that it is the Corporate Transport Unit’s responsibility to decide on eligibility for transport in the first instance and not the Principal Officer Admissions and Transport.
 

If an appeal goes to a second stage, then the final operational decision will be made by the Head of Highways, Transport and Recycling.

Since 2019, budget responsibility for home to school transport has moved from the Schools Service to the Highways, Transport and Recycling Service to improve the operational management. 

To ensure that appeals are not at risk of challenge because of political differences. Individual cases are a matter for operational decision making.

On the 9th June 2020, the Council’s Cabinet approved carrying out consultation on the draft policy. The consultation will end on 27th July 2020.

You can view the draft policy below:

Following the consultation, a Consultation Report will be prepared summarising the issues raised during the consultation period and the Policy will be updated as needed. The Consultation Report and the post-consultation version of the policy will be considered by the Cabinet in September 2020. 

It is intended that the updated policy will be implemented from September 2021.  

If you require a printed copy of this document, or a copy in a different format, please contact the School Transformation Team on 01597 826277, or e-mail school.organisation@powys.gov.uk.

 

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