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PostPosted: Fri Feb 14, 2014 11:10 pm 
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http://www.buckscc.gov.uk/education/sch ... transport/
Home to school transport consultation 2014

We would like to hear your views about home to school transport services.

To date, we have been able to subsidise the cost of school transport for many children – going above and beyond what many other councils do to meet their legal requirements – but we can no longer afford to do so at the same level.

We are therefore considering a package of measures to reduce costs, but cannot avoid proposing to increase fares.

We want to hear from parents/carers and young people who are likely to be affected by these changes. This includes users of home to school transport of all ages, under and over 16 year olds.


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 15, 2014 10:14 am 
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I think this was inevitable. Quite often Governments and Councils introduce a cost at a nominal level in order to get customers (parents in this case) used to the idea of being charged for something new/different, whilst at the same time Councils can get their charging/administrative processes in place. Then come the price hikes.

What is significant here is the amount being proposed . If I'm reading the proposal correctly, it looks like an increase from £390, up to between £570 and £760. That's a huge increase, especially for those with more than one child!

I currently pay for one child and admit that it's a good service. However, if I were to be charged over £1000 per year once my second child starts Secondary School, I will need to think about alternatives, including using a car for the drop off and collections.

Call me a cynic, but I don't believe these consultations really change anything significant. It might smooth over a few edges, but the 'crane ball' stays the same size and weight!


Last edited by SingleDad on Sat Feb 15, 2014 10:21 am, edited 2 times in total.

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PostPosted: Sat Feb 15, 2014 10:18 am 
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CONsultation or NONsultation? :roll:

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PostPosted: Sat Feb 15, 2014 10:33 am 
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Quite wrong to not differentiate between nearest grammar and nearest upper. Your child is automatically entered for selection yet by adding a charge of say £760 if you live in the risboroughs and travel to your catchment grammar in aylesbury, there is an automatic barrier for the less wealthy to accept the place that is rightfully theirs. Personally think they should just scrap the lot, rather than the silly rules..ds gets a free bus to gs, his friend in the village has to pay to go to upper, as his catchment school is not his closest school! Yes we would take a kick in the wallet, but even we can see it is an unfair system now.

The public buses thankfully provide slightly cheaper services, the kids will just gave to walk a bit more.

Six kids in a people carrier would be cheaper than the coach, but parents would have to be very organised.

They could always cycle to Aylesbury I suppose as my father in law did many moons ago, but the authorities would have to work harder on safe cycle routes.

This is one consultation that I am sure already has its outcome confirmed though.

Real costs of loss of income from bus drivers and bus companies, added traffic congestion due to parents driving, added pollution, children not being as safe before and after school,
Etc etc..Will simply be glanced over.


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 15, 2014 12:22 pm 
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SB3 have you been reading my response to the consultation? I think it's very unfair to penalise those at their nearest GS (ie my 3). My slim 17 year old also has to pay double because she is over 16. I wonder if they will abolish that once school is compulsory for them up to 18? :lol: :lol:

And we don't have any public buses here so that's not an option :(


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 15, 2014 1:07 pm 
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The whole thing is unfair, what is most unfair is the ability for those people that are system savvy to play the game and save literally thousands over the course of their children's education, compared to those who are not as clued up, who get stung for transport to their catchment school when it is 4 miles away.
Simply by putting the closest school, 3.5 miles away first on the caf, having this rejected (not catchment and always over subscribed) then a free bus will be provided to their second on the list and allocated catchment school at 4miles away!
So basically writing six words on a form in a different order to what you would be expected to do, will save you £570 per year for 5 years...£2850 in total :shock: and that is assuming you don't make the same mistake with subsequent children.

The same people will be taking free school bus places, that hunt out policy glitches and tax avoidance in every element of their life.


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 17, 2014 10:03 am 
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Aaarrrggghh haven't read the document but can imagine what it says! We live in a small village with no public transport. My children go to their catchment primary on the school bus. My ds will (fingers crossed for 3rd march) go to our catchment grammar, had he not qualified he would have gone to our catchment upper - both gave busses which run through our village and pick up pretty much from our door - my dd will do the same when she goes to secondary school.

The council (in their wisdom) have decided that a non catchment, grossly under subscribed and deemed as needs improvement upper, which doesn't even gave a proper 6th form (only does btec childcare) is 200m closer to my house then our catchment grammar so we don't get free home school transport! It's just another way of discriminating against rural communities - we are hardest hit by distance rule (as schools aren't in villages), we pay rip off rates for our gas as we're not on mains (and can't shop around for cheapest cos of the way contracts go), have no mains drainage so pay £££££££ for that, can't walk to school (also have no footpaths etc etc). Additionally if my children don't go on the school busses I would have to leave my job (in an Oxfordshire school working with SEN children) as I wouldn't be able to get to work on time and I can't afford childcare as it would cost more then I earn!

I just feel that Buckinghamshire cares not one jot about its rural communities and if they don't address this soon then our villages will effectively die and turn into a collection of over priced holiday homes for rich Londoners!

I have spoken to the council many times and spoken to Mike Appleyard directly about the matter and feel no one cares! Sorry for the rant :D


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 17, 2014 10:21 am 
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Kittymum, if you look at this exchange: http://www.buckscc.public-i.tv/core/por ... ive/119243
14:40 Cllr Robin Stuchbury and 17:10 Mike Appleyard - MA completely skirts around the issue here and waffles on about everyone receiving the funding they need if they choose their nearest school. It's clear from the brief exchange that follows that RS isn't happy with the response and that MA has ignored the elephant in the room. The fact is that children living in Winslow can no longer get transport funding to the GS in Buckingham because of the new academy in Winslow, which is of course now their "nearest school", so even if they qualify for the GS their choice will inevitably be affected by financial concerns. This is similar to your situation with the upper school being closer. I really think Bucks council has rather shot itself in the foot here - you can't have a much-vaunted selective system and then fail to support that system through other parts of the educational infrastructure such as school transport. It simply doesn't make sense.

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 17, 2014 11:21 am 
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Marylou wrote:
Kittymum, if you look at this exchange: http://www.buckscc.public-i.tv/core/por ... ive/119243
14:40 Cllr Robin Stuchbury and 17:10 Mike Appleyard - MA completely skirts around the issue here and waffles on about everyone receiving the funding they need if they choose their nearest school. It's clear from the brief exchange that follows that RS isn't happy with the response and that MA has ignored the elephant in the room. The fact is that children living in Winslow can no longer get transport funding to the GS in Buckingham because of the new academy in Winslow, which is of course now their "nearest school", so even if they qualify for the GS their choice will inevitably be affected by financial concerns. This is similar to your situation with the upper school being closer. I really think Bucks council has rather shot itself in the foot here - you can't have a much-vaunted selective system and then fail to support that system through other parts of the educational infrastructure such as school transport. It simply doesn't make sense.


I think in most places, the upper schools are nearer, Marylou, simply because there are more of them. It's certainly the case here. We live half a mile closer to the US than the GS, which costs me dearly every year.


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 17, 2014 11:52 am 
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scary mum wrote:
I think in most places, the upper schools are nearer, Marylou, simply because there are more of them. It's certainly the case here. We live half a mile closer to the US than the GS, which costs me dearly every year.


Yes, I think there's another exchange somewhere in some other meeting that refers more specifically to the upper schools being closer and Mr Stuchbury, whilst (I suspect) not necessarily being a supporter of the selective system, has been quite vocal in championing those whose school choices have effectively been reduced because of the change in policy, and drawing attention to the flawed logic. The point is that you can't have a system that sets great store by selecting children for the "most appropriate school" and then claims that their educational needs will be adequately met by an upper school (or indeed a new academy) when they've qualified for a grammar. After all, that's the justification behind the "nearest school" rule. It just doesn't make sense. You must be :evil: about it all.

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