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Please note - this consultation closed on 11 March 2015.

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School transport consultation

We are consulting on proposals to make changes to the home to school and college transport service across North Yorkshire. By 2020, North Yorkshire County Council has to make £325,000 of savings in this budget, on top of savings already made in this area of £3.928m since 2010/11. This is part of a cut of some £168m to the council's overall spending by 2020.

Given the savings we need to make, we have set out how we propose to make these savings in the areas of discretionary provision in the home to school and college transport service. 

Transport for pupils aged 8 to11

We have a duty to provide free transport for children over the age of 8 who live more than three miles from their normal or catchment school. For younger children, we must provide free transport if they live more than two miles from their normal or catchment school. Our current policy is to provide all primary age children with free transport if they live more than two miles from their normal or catchment school.  There are approximately 520 children who live between two and three miles from school who receive discretionary free transport. Most of these pupils travel to school on buses which are provided for entitled pupils but a small number (11 in 2014/15) are provided with taxis because there is no school bus available.

Consultation proposal

We want to consult on changing this policy so that free transport would be provided for those pupils aged 8-11 who live over three miles from their normal or catchment school, (which is the statutory requirement) but not for those who live between two and three miles from that school.

We estimate that we're currently providing a subsidy of approximately £190,000 per annum through the current policy and the proposed changes would reduce the cost of transporting some children and is likely to result in the purchase of school bus passes for most, if parents wish.  We are proposing that these changes are applied to those starting primary school from September 2016 onwards, to ensure any change in policy can be part of a parents' decision when choosing a school for their child.

Transport for pupils at a 'critical stage' of their education

If pupils in Years 10 and 11 move house and their parents want them to remain at the school at which they started their GCSE courses, we provide free transport to enable them to do so. Some pupils in Year 9 may also be eligible for this support if they have commenced GCSE courses which their new school does not offer.  In 2014/15, 191 pupils were provided with transport on these grounds.

Consultation proposal

We want to consult on removing this area of discretionary provision. This would mean that in these cases, parents would be responsible for making transport arrangements for their children and for meeting any associated costs. The current policy would continue to apply to children in the care of the local authority.

We estimate that this would make a saving of £135k per annum from the home to school and college transport budget. The proposal would be phased in from September 2015 so that pupils already supported in this way would not have their current arrangements disturbed.

For avoidance of doubt statutory entitlements will be maintained.

Who are we consulting?

This is an open consultation, but we will ensure that the following groups are contacted directly:

  • parents of pupils in primary schools receiving free transport who live between 2 and 3 miles from school;
  • other local authorities;
  • local members of parliament;
  • County Council members;
  • district and borough council members; and
  • parish councils.

pdf icon A draft equalities impact assessment has been prepared [168kb]. This document will be updated in light of comments received through the consultation process and considered further by executive members before a decision is made.

Consultation

Following the consultation, we will look at the responses and consider them, using them to produce a final report and recommendation to council members on 26 May 2015, who will then make decisions on how best to proceed.

This page was last updated on 1 June 2015