Help with home to school transport

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Calderdale Council is proposing updates to its policy on free travel between home and school for eligible children and young people.

The Council offers free home to school transport as part of its legal duty and its priority to reduce inequalities, supporting families who need it most.

Some children and young people need extra help to get to school, for example if they have special educational needs or a disability, or if they are from a low-income family. The Council helps by offering a variety of free home to school travel options, such as on a school or public bus or on Council-run transport.

It has reviewed and updated its Home to School Transport Policy based on the Department for Education’s new statutory guidance. 

The Council asked Calderdale people for their feedback on the proposed updated policy in December 2023 and January 2024. Cabinet Members will consider the public consultation responses at their meeting on Monday 11 March 2024, and will confirm whether the proposed policy can be presented to Full Council for final approval.

Cllr Jenny Lynn, Calderdale Council’s Cabinet Member for Public Services and Communities, said:

“We want all Calderdale children and young people to have a good education and a strong start in life so they can thrive and achieve their best.

“We understand that some need a helping hand to get to and from school, and we do everything we can to support local families.

“More and more people are needing free home to school transport, and our budgets are under growing pressure. The proposed updated policy aims to help people in the most cost-effective way, by providing transport to the nearest school that can meet the child’s specific needs, and which has an available place. This supports our work to provide more special school places within Calderdale, and therefore reduce the distance pupils travel and the impact on the environment through reduced emissions.”

The Council’s innovative Independent Travel Training programme is also supporting local pupils to get to and from school. Trainers work with schools across Calderdale to teach children how to use public transport independently – an important life skill and a step towards independent living. Many pupils who have worked with the Independent Travel Trainers have gone on to full-time employment, which has helped them to live a larger life in line with the Vision 2024 for Calderdale.

If approved by Cabinet and Full Council, the updated Home to School Transport Policy will take effect from the academic year 2025/26.

Calderdale Council’s Cabinet meeting will be held on Monday 11 March at Halifax Town Hall from 3pm. The meeting can also be viewed online at link)

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