Home to school transport including children and young people with SEND

A consultation on changes to our policy for home to school transport, specifically for those with special educational needs or disabilities.

We have a statutory responsibility to provide travel assistance, from home to school, for eligible children and we are proposing to consult on the discretionary areas of our current transport policy, and how we provide travel assistance.

Recent increases in both the numbers of SEND pupils requiring transport and increases in the distances that they travel, have led to a rise in costs. Based on current trends, this will reach an annual cost of £30m by 2025. The budget for providing home to school transport for pupils with special educational needs or disability is £5m.

Information on transport for SEND children and young people, including our current policy, is available here.

Consultation documents

You can request this information in another language or format here.

Give us your views

You can give us feedback on the consultation through our online survey:

Give us your views

Deadline for comments

You should give us your views on these proposals by 2 April 2018.

Frequently raised questions and answers

We have compiled the following feedback on frequently raised questions we have received:

Are all of the proposals going to be considered or are we to pick one option out of the three?

All three proposals are open for consultation as individual options, and views will be considered on all of them. This means the final recommendation and the updated policy which is implemented may be a combination of the proposals. This could be one of the three, a combination of two, or all three proposals. 

In relation to proposal one, what options are there for families on low income?

The current option currently offered within mainstream provision is to award a 50 per cent reduction to the contribution cost for low income families. This will continue regardless of the outcome. We also would like to raise the awareness of the 16 to 19 bursary available to some of our most vulnerable young people which will assist with education costs, including transport, and may cover the contribution rate if the proposal is approved. Further guidance is available here.

I can’t get my child to school due to work commitments, what am I expected to do?

The mileage rate is completely voluntary and we will work with families on an individual basis to see if this option is possible for them. If not we will continue to provide transport assistance.

What is happening about independent travel training?

We are very keen to enhance independent travel training with schools, parents and carers and recognise the benefit of this training in helping prepare a child for more independence as appropriate. We are particularly keen on working with parent and carer groups. Development of this will continue regardless of the outcome of this consultation as it is part of the normal procedure for transport support. 

Can the costs of transport be means tested for families who earn more money?

The eligibility criteria for home to school transport is set by the government and the guidance is clear in that that transport for eligible children between the ages five and 16 should be provided free of charge regardless of how much parents earn and therefore cannot be means tested. 

Could the money for transport services be found anywhere else?

Since 2010 we have saved £152m of which only 25 per cent has had an impact on front line services to communities. The vast majority of savings have come from back office and administration, staff and management posts, procurement changes and other general efficiencies.

We face the prospect of having to save a further £43m from our revenue budget by 2019-20.This represents a reduction of 34 per cent in the council’s spending power at a time when demand for services is growing.

This means if we don’t address the budget pressure in transport, we will face hard decisions in terms of achieving the savings from other areas which may include front line services.

In relation to proposal two, if we have access to a mobility car for my 21 year old son (for example) would I be expected to take him to college? 

Following an assessment of need, if it is felt that a young adult has a form of transport provision and support already available to them, then we will not provide additional transport support. This is because the young adult has already been provided with the means to support transport needs.

Consultation events

We are holding the following consultation events where you can find out more about the proposals and provide feedback:

Date Time Venue
8 March 2pm to 4pm and 5pm to 7pm Forest and Vale, Pickering
13 March 2pm to 4pm and 5pm to 7pm Herriott's Hotel, Skipton BD23 1RT
16 March 2pm to 4pm and 5pm to 7pm Richmond Town Hall, Market Place, Richmond DL10 4QL
23 March 2pm to 4pm and 5pm to 7pm Selby District Council, Civic Centre, Doncaster Road, Selby YO8 9FT

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