School transport consultation launched by county council

Bucks Free Press: School transport consultation launched by county council School transport consultation launched by county council

PUBLIC consultations on proposals to reduce the amount of money spent on home-to-school transport have been launched by a council.

Buckinghamshire County Council today launched two consultations about its plans to slash spending on school transport for children.

The authority says it has been going “above and beyond” the legal requirements for school transport and now needs to tighten its belt.

BCC is asking parents and residents to take part in a survey, which runs until March 21. A series of public meetings will also be held around the county over the next few weeks to enable parents to ask questions.

Cllr Mike Appleyard, BCC’s Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Education and Skills, said: "With home to school transport accounting for a significant proportion of young people’s budget, we have had to review the arrangements we have in place in these areas to find a way of providing young people with transport in a way that is fair and affordable within the funding we have.

"We understand parents may have concerns about this consultation, and our greatest desire is always to work together to find a solution that is in the best interests of the child.

“This is why it is important that all parents and carers concerned get involved and give us their views."

To take part in the consultation and to find out more information about the public meetings, visit www.buckscc.gov.uk/haveyoursay

Comments (6)

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11:15pm Fri 14 Feb 14

Studentbob says...

If they want to cut transport costs then surely the best way is to stop the ridiculous practice of kids having to travel ridiculous distances just to get to school.
When we moved to Wycombe the nearest available school for my 11 year old daughter was Wye Valley, about 5.5 miles away as the crow flies. Unfortunately, there was no place for my 14 year old son, so he was offered a place at Beaconsfield, about 5.6 miles away as the crow flies, but in a different direction.
We weren't very happy about splitting them up but after assurances that y daughter would receive transport in the form of a school bus or taxi, we agreed to accept the place.
A few days later they sent us a public transport bus pass and when I phoned up to ask what had happened to the school bus / taxi option, they denied ever offering it.
I wrote to Cllr Appleyard, asking him if he thought it was appropriate for an 11 year old girl to have to catch two buses, alone, in a town she was not familiar with, in the dark of winter, and all this against the backdrop of newspaper headlines telling us all about the grooming gangs - He didn't reply. Neither did Cllr Waste Of Space Ditta.
The County Council should face up to reality; disappointing exam results, questions asked in parliament about under-performance, no vision - not even a strategy for providing future places (maybe they think a couple of dozen "free schools" will miraculously appear and provide extra places), kids being driven half way across the county twice a day, roads constantly clogged up, and a generation of children from poorer families unable to attend after school activities, vitally important for a chiilds development.
It is time we got rid of this archaic multi tiered system of education and got children walking to school again.
And while we're at it, let's get rid of this self serving council and their duplicitous officers. We deserve a council that puts decent public services at the heart of everything they do.
If they want to cut transport costs then surely the best way is to stop the ridiculous practice of kids having to travel ridiculous distances just to get to school. When we moved to Wycombe the nearest available school for my 11 year old daughter was Wye Valley, about 5.5 miles away as the crow flies. Unfortunately, there was no place for my 14 year old son, so he was offered a place at Beaconsfield, about 5.6 miles away as the crow flies, but in a different direction. We weren't very happy about splitting them up but after assurances that y daughter would receive transport in the form of a school bus or taxi, we agreed to accept the place. A few days later they sent us a public transport bus pass and when I phoned up to ask what had happened to the school bus / taxi option, they denied ever offering it. I wrote to Cllr Appleyard, asking him if he thought it was appropriate for an 11 year old girl to have to catch two buses, alone, in a town she was not familiar with, in the dark of winter, and all this against the backdrop of newspaper headlines telling us all about the grooming gangs - He didn't reply. Neither did Cllr Waste Of Space Ditta. The County Council should face up to reality; disappointing exam results, questions asked in parliament about under-performance, no vision - not even a strategy for providing future places (maybe they think a couple of dozen "free schools" will miraculously appear and provide extra places), kids being driven half way across the county twice a day, roads constantly clogged up, and a generation of children from poorer families unable to attend after school activities, vitally important for a chiilds development. It is time we got rid of this archaic multi tiered system of education and got children walking to school again. And while we're at it, let's get rid of this self serving council and their duplicitous officers. We deserve a council that puts decent public services at the heart of everything they do. Studentbob
  • Score: 2

6:34am Sat 15 Feb 14

tigeran says...

The government are not interested in anything other than to build more and more homes with what seems to be absolutely no consideration for schools and in some cases in Wycombe have actually ripped schools down to build more homes on! Absolutely mindless!
The government are not interested in anything other than to build more and more homes with what seems to be absolutely no consideration for schools and in some cases in Wycombe have actually ripped schools down to build more homes on! Absolutely mindless! tigeran
  • Score: 4

6:48pm Sat 15 Feb 14

allrightnow2 says...

Studentbob wrote:
If they want to cut transport costs then surely the best way is to stop the ridiculous practice of kids having to travel ridiculous distances just to get to school.
When we moved to Wycombe the nearest available school for my 11 year old daughter was Wye Valley, about 5.5 miles away as the crow flies. Unfortunately, there was no place for my 14 year old son, so he was offered a place at Beaconsfield, about 5.6 miles away as the crow flies, but in a different direction.
We weren't very happy about splitting them up but after assurances that y daughter would receive transport in the form of a school bus or taxi, we agreed to accept the place.
A few days later they sent us a public transport bus pass and when I phoned up to ask what had happened to the school bus / taxi option, they denied ever offering it.
I wrote to Cllr Appleyard, asking him if he thought it was appropriate for an 11 year old girl to have to catch two buses, alone, in a town she was not familiar with, in the dark of winter, and all this against the backdrop of newspaper headlines telling us all about the grooming gangs - He didn't reply. Neither did Cllr Waste Of Space Ditta.
The County Council should face up to reality; disappointing exam results, questions asked in parliament about under-performance, no vision - not even a strategy for providing future places (maybe they think a couple of dozen "free schools" will miraculously appear and provide extra places), kids being driven half way across the county twice a day, roads constantly clogged up, and a generation of children from poorer families unable to attend after school activities, vitally important for a chiilds development.
It is time we got rid of this archaic multi tiered system of education and got children walking to school again.
And while we're at it, let's get rid of this self serving council and their duplicitous officers. We deserve a council that puts decent public services at the heart of everything they do.
The 11+ system is not to blame. There is a shortage of spaces in all schools primary and secondary due to more people moving into the area (possibly into the country) than out. I think that is a separate issue to school transport although the two are linked. Look up Bucks grammar schools in the league table and then schools in an area where the system does not exist. Who wouldn't jump at the chance of going to grammar school is offered it. The issue is the comprehensives should focus on vocational qualifications - some already do - but this also needs to be recognised in the league tables. As far as school transport goes - it's a shame the council hasn't released the figures because form previous experience i know the cost is absolutely huge, and it is our council tax being spent on that. I personally feel it would be better spent in other areas.
[quote][p][bold]Studentbob[/bold] wrote: If they want to cut transport costs then surely the best way is to stop the ridiculous practice of kids having to travel ridiculous distances just to get to school. When we moved to Wycombe the nearest available school for my 11 year old daughter was Wye Valley, about 5.5 miles away as the crow flies. Unfortunately, there was no place for my 14 year old son, so he was offered a place at Beaconsfield, about 5.6 miles away as the crow flies, but in a different direction. We weren't very happy about splitting them up but after assurances that y daughter would receive transport in the form of a school bus or taxi, we agreed to accept the place. A few days later they sent us a public transport bus pass and when I phoned up to ask what had happened to the school bus / taxi option, they denied ever offering it. I wrote to Cllr Appleyard, asking him if he thought it was appropriate for an 11 year old girl to have to catch two buses, alone, in a town she was not familiar with, in the dark of winter, and all this against the backdrop of newspaper headlines telling us all about the grooming gangs - He didn't reply. Neither did Cllr Waste Of Space Ditta. The County Council should face up to reality; disappointing exam results, questions asked in parliament about under-performance, no vision - not even a strategy for providing future places (maybe they think a couple of dozen "free schools" will miraculously appear and provide extra places), kids being driven half way across the county twice a day, roads constantly clogged up, and a generation of children from poorer families unable to attend after school activities, vitally important for a chiilds development. It is time we got rid of this archaic multi tiered system of education and got children walking to school again. And while we're at it, let's get rid of this self serving council and their duplicitous officers. We deserve a council that puts decent public services at the heart of everything they do.[/p][/quote]The 11+ system is not to blame. There is a shortage of spaces in all schools primary and secondary due to more people moving into the area (possibly into the country) than out. I think that is a separate issue to school transport although the two are linked. Look up Bucks grammar schools in the league table and then schools in an area where the system does not exist. Who wouldn't jump at the chance of going to grammar school is offered it. The issue is the comprehensives should focus on vocational qualifications - some already do - but this also needs to be recognised in the league tables. As far as school transport goes - it's a shame the council hasn't released the figures because form previous experience i know the cost is absolutely huge, and it is our council tax being spent on that. I personally feel it would be better spent in other areas. allrightnow2
  • Score: 1

12:28pm Mon 17 Feb 14

AmyQ says...

Hang on a moment. Two years ago BCC cut the funding of home to school transport for all children who lived less than three miles away from their NEAREST school. That meant that if your child was admitted to a school other than the nearest secondary or grammar school, parents were required to either arrange to take them via car or pay around £50 per month for bus transport if they lived more than 3 miles away.
Are BCC now saying that despite paying my taxes and now paying nearly £600 per year to get my eldest son to a school that it wasn't a success? What are the guarantees that this next money saving idea will reduce the bill?
Hang on a moment. Two years ago BCC cut the funding of home to school transport for all children who lived less than three miles away from their NEAREST school. That meant that if your child was admitted to a school other than the nearest secondary or grammar school, parents were required to either arrange to take them via car or pay around £50 per month for bus transport if they lived more than 3 miles away. Are BCC now saying that despite paying my taxes and now paying nearly £600 per year to get my eldest son to a school that it wasn't a success? What are the guarantees that this next money saving idea will reduce the bill? AmyQ
  • Score: 0

11:17pm Tue 18 Feb 14

Littleskyfall says...

All children should go to their local/nearest school, or if you chose a different school for your child then you should be responsible to get them their because that is 'your choice'. Schools must not be 'allowed' to turn away children who live locally. This would also help reduce the problems at the entrances to every school at 'home time', where cars park in every 'nook & cranny' and causing danger to the children coming out of school. It would also reduce the amount of traffic in morning 'rush hour', you only have to see in school holidays the amount of school run cars there are in term time.
All children should go to their local/nearest school, or if you chose a different school for your child then you should be responsible to get them their because that is 'your choice'. Schools must not be 'allowed' to turn away children who live locally. This would also help reduce the problems at the entrances to every school at 'home time', where cars park in every 'nook & cranny' and causing danger to the children coming out of school. It would also reduce the amount of traffic in morning 'rush hour', you only have to see in school holidays the amount of school run cars there are in term time. Littleskyfall
  • Score: 2

10:55am Mon 24 Feb 14

BucksComment says...

If my son is given a place at the 'local' grammar school but has to drive past a failing 2ndry school to get there, then either:

a) fix the failing school
b) provide free busses to stop the cars on the school run
c) stop the large numbers coming from outside Bucks who attend these schools. Having girls get the train in from London to attend Beaconsfield is ridiculous

Preferably all 3
If my son is given a place at the 'local' grammar school but has to drive past a failing 2ndry school to get there, then either: a) fix the failing school b) provide free busses to stop the cars on the school run c) stop the large numbers coming from outside Bucks who attend these schools. Having girls get the train in from London to attend Beaconsfield is ridiculous Preferably all 3 BucksComment
  • Score: 3

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