Home to School Transport Policy and Post-16 Transport Statement 2021/22 Consultation

Closed 7 Dec 2020

Opened 12 Oct 2020

Results updated 12 Apr 2021

We would like to thank everyone who got involved with this consultation.

Promotion and publicity

We used a range of methods to raise awareness of the consultation, including:

  • Press release
  • Extensive social media campaign
  • Newsletter emails to parents and carers of mainstream and SEND transport users
  • Two online engagement sessions for students with SEND
  • Promotion to schools, further education providers and other education settings
  • Promotion via the Council website and Local Offer webpages

Responses

We received 78 responses to the consultation in total:

  • 74 responses through the online form
  • 3 email responses
  • 1 response from a local organisation

Almost three-quarters of respondents were parents or carers with children currently in education. We received 5 responses from students.

Findings

We set out three transport arrangement options for 16 - 19-year old students with SEND. We asked respondents to express a preference for one of these options. We also asked how clear the Policy and Policy Statement were to understand.

  • Most respondents expressed a clear preference for Option 2: Choice of a Personal Transport Budget or Council-organised transport for an annual fee
  • Most respondents stated that the proposed Policy and Policy Statement were either partly or fully clear and easy to understand
  • Parents and carers indicated they wanted more choice and freedom to organise their own transport
  • Some respondents commented that certain sections of the proposed Policy and Statement were less clear than others - as a result,  we reviewed those sections and amended the content to improve clarity

Decision

We produced a consultation outcome report and final drafts of the Home to School Transport Policy and Post-16 Transport Policy Statement 2021/22. Council Cabinet  considered these documents and on 30 March 2021 agreed adoption of the proposed policies.

Implementation

The policies apply to school transport from September 2021 and include students using existing transport arrangements.

We are communicating with all key stakeholders to inform them about the new Home to School Transport Policy and Post-16 Transport Policy Statement 2021/22.

Overview

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Background

We are currently reviewing our Home to School Transport Policy and associated Post-16 Transport Policy Statement. As part of the review we are considering changes to the Policy and Statement.

We plan to publish any changes we make as a result of this consultation in April 2021, for the academic year 2021/22. The new Policy and associated Statement will apply to all pupils and students, including those with existing transport arrangements.

We have looked at feedback we’ve received over the past year from parents and schools. This has been about the current policy content as well as how it works in practice. We have also spoken with some parents about the specific changes they might like to see from the review.

Home to School Transport Policy

Our Home to School Transport Policy sets out how the Council provides student transport to schools and other education settings. The policy applies to students up to the age of 19, and for those with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) it applies to students up to the age of 25.

The proposed changes focus on updating the content by providing clarification and more detail to some parts of the Policy to make the Policy easier to understand. These changes are set out in the Draft Home to School Transport Policy attached below.

Post-16 Transport Policy Statement

Our Post-16 Transport Policy Statement sets out transport arrangements for students aged 16 and over. The Statement specifies the arrangements for transport that the Council considers it necessary to make in order to facilitate the attendance of sixth form students receiving education or training.

Proposed changes to the Statement include updating the content to help provide clear information for young people and parents/carers.

Contribution charges for post-16 educational transport will resume from September 2021. We are asking for views on 3 potential options for how Post 16 SEND student transport will be arranged and paid for. The options are:

  • Council-organised transport using the current distance-banded charging model
  • A choice of either a Personal Transport Budget for families to choose and arrange their own transport; or Council organised transport using an annual fee
  • A Personal Transport Budget as the default, with Council organised transport organised ‘by exception’ only

We have also created a video to explain the options described above.

Register for our online consultation event

UPDATED 18/11/20: Due to very low registration numbers this event has been cancelled. Anyone who has already registered, will be contacted and offered an individual meeting to get their views and answer any questions.

We will be holding an online consultation event on 19 November - please see below for full details. This is an opportunity to hear from us in more detail about the possible changes and ask us questions. If you are interested in taking part, please phone us on 01296 382891 or email us on H2STpolicyconsultation@buckinghamshire.gov.uk.

Let us have your views

In this consultation, we would like to hear your views on the proposed changes, and on the options for arranging and paying for transport for Post-16 students with SEND. Please read the documents attached below and let us know what you think by completing the short online survey below.

Privacy

We will use the information you provide here only for the purpose of this consultation. We will store the information securely in line with data protection laws and will not share or publish any personal information. Please visit the Privacy page to read our full privacy notice.

What happens next

During December 2020 we will review all the consultation feedback and in January 2021 we will use the findings to prepare a report and the final drafts of the Home to School Transport Policy and Post-16 Transport Policy Statement for 2021/22.

In March 2021 the Council’s Cabinet will consider the report and the draft documents before deciding on the proposed changes. We will publish the new Policy and Transport Statement in April 2021 and it will apply to school transport from September 2021.

We will contact key stakeholders to inform them about the decision and we will publish details on this webpage.

Events

  • CANCELLED: Online consultation event

    From 19 Nov 2020 at 10:30 to 19 Nov 2020 at 11:30

    UPDATED 18/11/20: Due to low registration numbers this event has been cancelled. Anyone who has already registered will be contacted individually so they can ask questions and give their views.

    Hear from us in more detail about the possible changes and ask us questions. To book a place please email us on H2STpolicyconsultation@buckinghamshire.gov.uk or phone us on 01296 382891.

Interests

  • Transport
  • Schools & education
  • Children & young people