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 Post subject: Transport proposals
PostPosted: Thu Mar 03, 2011 8:59 am 
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Joined: Tue Aug 17, 2010 11:05 pm
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Has anyone any views on the proposals to introduce payment for travel if you don't go to your nearest catchment school?

My daughters nearest grammar is Aylesbury High School but she wanted to go to Henry Floyd as it is a co ed school, its about a mile further from home, so it looks like we will have to pay. Incidentally, pupils that attend all three Aylesbury grammars travel on the same bus from our village.

I don't recall any mention of this when applications were made, and knowing whether you had to pay for transport or not, could have been a factor for some people.


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 Post subject: Re: Transport proposals
PostPosted: Thu Mar 03, 2011 9:13 am 
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Joined: Wed Sep 22, 2010 5:36 pm
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I think that we should have had warning of this proposal before having to make school selections.

We live halfway between 2 Grammar schools, about 0.2 miles difference, and my son chose the one slightly further away (that he cannot walk to due to it being up a fast country road with no footpath).

I was therefore shocked to find out yesterday that because the other school was closer he would not automatically get a bus to school (even though to walk on a safe, paved route would be over 5 miles) and also I can only find out if I can buy him a seat on the bus in Jul/August. If we had known this he probably would have chosen the other school which at least has footpaths he can walk on. I do not object to paying for the bus so much as the lack of a guarantee of a place until so close to the start of the term, which is a big worry.


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 Post subject: Re: Transport proposals
PostPosted: Thu Mar 03, 2011 10:00 am 
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Joined: Mon Jul 06, 2009 1:22 pm
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The Transport policy has always been full of quirks as well as consuming an ever larger budget.

If you live in e.g. Burnham there is no free transport provided to BHS although it is in catchment, becuase BGS is nearer.


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 Post subject: Re: Transport proposals
PostPosted: Thu Mar 03, 2011 10:28 am 
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Joined: Wed Jan 11, 2006 7:10 pm
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Location: Buckinghamshire
I find this all rather odd. I know of plenty of children who have chosen not to attend their nearest catchment GS, but instead travel to a catchment GS further away. They all receive free transport until the age of 16.

The rules are set out in full in the Secondary Admissions Guide, but this is a distilled version, from the Transport page of the BCC website:

Quote:
Qualifying for free home to school transport
If you live in Buckinghamshire we will provide free transport if your child is aged between ‘rising 5’ and 16 years and meets one of these conditions:

1.Attends the school normally regarded as serving your area (usually your catchment area school) or the nearest appropriate school and the distance from your home to the school is more than the statutory walking distance.

If BCC are applying the rules inconsistently it would be open to challenge. If they proposed a major change to the rules on free transport it would need to be subject to a full consultation process.

I stand to be both corrected and enlightened!

S-A


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 Post subject: Re: Transport proposals
PostPosted: Thu Mar 03, 2011 10:44 am 
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Joined: Sat Sep 11, 2010 5:57 pm
Posts: 36
S-A

I believe that they have started a consultation process which has been outlined in this year's offer letters. Personally I agree with the proposal as we should all strive towards "localism" but I agree that it would have been good if parents were made aware of this when choosing their preferences.

Under the current system we could have chosen BHS in preference to WHS solely to get DDs transport paid for which I do not believe is rational.


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 Post subject: Re: Transport proposals
PostPosted: Thu Mar 03, 2011 11:11 am 
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Location: Buckinghamshire
bucksdaddy wrote:
I believe that they have started a consultation process which has been outlined in this year's offer letters. Personally I agree with the proposal as we should all strive towards "localism" but I agree that it would have been good if parents were made aware of this when choosing their preferences.

Hmmm ... There is no reference to it on the BCC website as far as I can see, and no mention of it in the current 2012 Admissions Consultation. Is there a link of any sort in the letter?

I would have thought that BCC would be on a slightly sticky wicket if they make retrospective changes to the home-school transport arrangements that applied at the time parents expressed their preferences. There has also been no mention of this to current GS parents either (unless I have missed something crucial).

Once again, I stand to be enlightened!

S-A


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 Post subject: Re: Transport proposals
PostPosted: Thu Mar 03, 2011 11:41 am 
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Joined: Sat Feb 25, 2006 1:21 am
Posts: 2125
Sally-Anne wrote:
I would have thought that BCC would be on a slightly sticky wicket if they make retrospective changes to the home-school transport arrangements that applied at the time parents expressed their preferences. There has also been no mention of this to current GS parents either (unless I have missed something crucial).



This wouldn't be the first time retrospective changes have caused massive inconvenience! :wink:

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Marylou


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 Post subject: Re: Transport proposals
PostPosted: Thu Mar 03, 2011 12:31 pm 
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Joined: Sat Sep 11, 2010 5:57 pm
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S-A

Please see link:
http://www.buckscc.gov.uk/bcc/news/scho ... nsult.page

Buckinghamshire County Council to consult on the future of home to school transport
Date: 18-02-2011

A consultation on the future of home to school transport in Buckinghamshire has been announced by Buckinghamshire County Council today (Friday 18 February).

The proposals in the consultation are that from September 2011, free travel entitlement for statutory age pupils is restricted to the nearest catchment grammar school or nearest catchment upper school where the journey is longer than the minimum travel distance; and that for pupils over 16 the currently subsidised travel will end. Students from low income families and with special educational needs will be unaffected by the review and will continue with their current statutory entitlements. In most cases travel will be available as now, but there will be a fee.

Steven Adams, Cabinet Member for Education, said: “For many years, the County Council has gone above and beyond its legal duty with some of the school transport it provides. However, we simply cannot continue to fund everything as we have previously done, in the face of such severe financial restraints.

“When the Council held the Bucks Debate a few months ago, one of the main areas in which the public felt we could save money was in home to school transport so it is right that we review this now.

“The consultation will clearly lay out our proposals and will provide an opportunity for the public to tell us what they think, so I hope people will take the time to comment. All responses will be carefully considered before any decisions are taken.”

The public consultation will be open from 1 March to 8 April 2011. The consultation will be available on our website at www.buckscc.gov.uk/haveyoursay and paper copies can be requested by calling 0845 370 8090.

Also remember that it will probably affect existing pupils as well.


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 Post subject: Re: Transport proposals
PostPosted: Thu Mar 03, 2011 1:25 pm 
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Joined: Wed Jan 11, 2006 7:10 pm
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Location: Buckinghamshire
I can find only one public reference to this, apart from on the Bucks CC website itself and on this forum. The Bucks Free Press seems to have picked up on it, but unfortunately I can't see to what extent because its website keeps attempting to download something nasty onto my PC.

I think it needs to be publicised rather more widely than that!

Has anyone been notified by their child's present school about this change, regardless of whether the child currently receives free transport?


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 Post subject: Re: Transport proposals
PostPosted: Thu Mar 03, 2011 3:34 pm 
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Joined: Tue Aug 17, 2010 11:05 pm
Posts: 3
In our daughters offer letter the transport form was not the usual transport form but a new form stating that the school offered was not the closest catchment school so we would not be entitled to free home to school transport, but may be entitled to discressionary fare place which means we will then be asked to pay. When we applied we were of the understanding that she would be entitled to transport whichever of the two schools she chose

According to the FAQs here
https://schoolsweb.buckscc.gov.uk/schoo ... t_faqs.pdf

We would pay between £608.95 and £823.65 a year based on our home being between 7 and 10 miles from our home.

It looks like they could apply this to all current students as well.

I think this could also affect children attending either of the single sex Aylesbury grammars if the Floyd school is nearer to their homes, the opposite to our situation.

There is brief mention of this in the document-

https://schoolsweb.buckscc.gov.uk/schoo ... cument.pdf

Section C Part 2, which asks if there should be an exception to areas such as Aylesbury when all three grammar schools are so close. This could affect an awful lot of families.

My fear is that only parents affected of children moving up this September will be aware of it. I don't know if families of pupils already at these schools that may be affected will be made aware of these proposals and have a chance to have their say by the April deadline.

If we had known of these proposals before putting down our daughters choice we could have taken this into consideration. At the time the only considerations we had to take into account were the merits of the two grammars available to her and whether she wanted to go to an all girls or mixed school. Not that we would have to pay for her to go to one but not the other.


Last edited by joh on Thu Mar 03, 2011 4:05 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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