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Special needs school transport in Bucks set to be axed  

 Published on: 9th March 2019   |   By: News Bulletin   |   Category: Uncategorized

Free transport for schoolchildren with special needs in the Chalfonts will be scrapped as council chiefs look to save money. 

Buckinghamshire County Council (BCC) approved the plans on March 4 after a 10-week consultation earlier this year as they asked residents and organisations for views on how home to school transport services are delivered in Buckinghamshire.  

Following that consultation, BCC revealed their plans which includes cutting free travel arrangements for pupils with special educational needs (SEND) between the ages of 16 to 18. 

Other cost-cutting measures include phasing out arrangements including to Chalfont Community College from Iver meaning parents who choose a school which is not the nearest appropriate one for their child, would be required to pay for transport.  

Another proposal is to reduce the number of school and bus routes; particularly those that may have duplications or be similar to existing routes.  

Some of these changes will take effect at the start of the next academic year, in September 2019, while others are expected to be phased in over the next few years. 

Mike Appleyard, cabinet member for education and skills, said: “These changes have been very carefully considered and mean transport charges will be applied in a fair and consistent way to families across the county. 

“Most people will be unaffected by the changes but we want to ensure anyone who is will be managed in as fair and considerate a way as possible. 

 “We would, of course, prefer not to cause any inconvenience to families currently using home to school transport services. However, our costs have been rising with increased demand. If we are to continue to offer a high quality service which is safe and sustainable for our children to use in the future, we need to change the way we do things.” 

BCC currently spends £15.1million a year on getting 9,900 pupils to school – £12.7million of which goes towards statutory requirements set by government. 

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