Issue - meetings
Meeting: 30/03/2021 - Cabinet (Item 7)
- Appendix 1 - Consultation Evaluation Report, item 7 PDF 1 MB
- Appendix 1A - Consultation questionnaire, item 7 PDF 193 KB
- Appendix 1B - Communications plan, item 7 PDF 353 KB
- Appendix 1C - Social media delivery plan, item 7 PDF 717 KB
- Appendix 1D - Free text comments, item 7 PDF 457 KB
- Appendix 2 - Revised Home to School Transport Policy, item 7 PDF 535 KB
- Appendix 3 - Revised Post-16 Transport Policy Statement 2021-22, item 7 PDF 651 KB
- Appendix 4 - Equality Impact Assessment, item 7 PDF 656 KB
- Appendix 5 - Legislation for home to school transport, item 7 PDF 389 KB
- Webcast for Home to School Transport Policy including the associated Post-16 Transport Policy Statement Review and Consultation - Outcome
Cabinet received a report that sought approval for the updated Home to School Transport Policy and associated Post-16 Transport Policy Statement, which incorporated a recommended option for payment and arrangement of transport for students aged 16-19 with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND).
1. That the content of the Consultation Evaluation Report, draft Home to School Transport Policy and associated draft Post-16 Transport Policy Statement be agreed.
Note: In particular, this includes the recommendation for Option 2 – Choice of a Personal Transport Budget or Council organised transport as the proposed option for how transport for 16-19 year olds with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) is arranged and paid for.
2. That the recommended annual fee for the Council organised transport element of Option 2 for post-16 SEND students be set at £900 for the 2021-22 academic year, and the reduced fee for demonstrated financial hardship be set at £600 for the 2021-22 academic year; both to be applied on a pro-rata basis according to the number of days travelled.
Anita Cranmer, Cabinet Member for Education and Skills, and David Martin, Cabinet Member for Logistics, introduced the report and informed Members that the Council was required to have a published Home to School Transport Policy and an associated Post-16 Transport Policy Statement.
The Home to School Transport Policy set out the Council’s approach to providing transport to educational settings for 0 – 19 year olds (and up to 25 years for those with SEND). The Policy aimed to ensure that pupils arrived at their education setting ready to learn. The Post-16 Transport Policy Statement specified the arrangements for transport that the Council considered were necessary to facilitate the attendance of sixth form students receiving education or training. The Statement was published in line with the statutory duties under the Education Act 1996.
The Policy and the Statement had both been reviewed and consulted on in 2018/2019. Changes had included the introduction of charging for transport for 16-18 year olds with SEND. This took effect in the academic year 2019/20. Charges had been paused for the academic year 2020/21 due to the impact of Coronavirus, but under the current policy were set to continue from academic year 2021/22. The Council had a statutory duty to consult annually on the Statement and publish it by 31 May each year.
A Policy Review had been initiated in Summer 2020 with the aim of improving information for parents and carers, taking into account feedback from families received over the last 12 months; and to seek views on options for transport arrangements for students aged 16-19 with SEND who were eligible for transport assistance.
A formal public consultation had been undertaken over eight weeks (12 October – 7 December 2020), using a best practice approach and methods. The communications plan which supported the consultation had been extensive, robust and effective at raising awareness. Having listened to feedback from families, the approach to how transport for 16-19 year olds with SEND was arranged and paid for was a key element of the consultation.
3 potential options had been set out in full in the consultation, and that would impact on approximately 250 young people in the 16 – 19 age group:
- Option 1: Distance banded charging model (Current Model).
- Option 2: Choice of a Personal Transport Budget or Council organised transport for an annual fee.
- Option 3: Personal Transport Budgets only (Council organised transport by exception). Council organised transport for an annual fee only available by exception.
Cabinet was informed of the key themes arising from the consultation responses:
- A clear preference had been expressed for Option 2, and by the majority of overall respondents.
- Overall, the majority of respondents expressed that the proposed Home to School Transport Policy and proposed Post-16 Transport Policy Statement were felt to be partly or fully clear and easy to understand.
- Some sections of the proposed Policy and Statement were felt to be less clear and as a result, those highlighted ... view the full minutes text for item 7