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PostPosted: Wed Jun 08, 2016 10:37 am 
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https://democracy.buckscc.gov.uk/mgCons ... px?ID=2163

"In 2012, we brought our School Transport Policy more in line with statutory guidance and agreed to phase this in over a period of 4 years for secondary school aged children.

At this time we also agreed a child would be eligible for free school transport if they attended their nearest Buckinghamshire school or a school that had a strong pattern of preference from a community. This is over and above what the law says we need to provide and with increasing budget constraints we now need to review this.

This potential change would mean that free school transport would only be provided to the nearest secondary school to your home address. The school could be located in Buckinghamshire or in a neighbouring county and could be an Upper, Grammar (for qualified children only) or Comprehensive."

....


"Currently, we use the Department for Transport guidance for statutory school transport (those eligible for free school transport) for our paid for services. Those guidelines [link] indicate 75 mins as being the maximum each way length of journey for secondary pupils but currently, our school transport uses existing stops which do not account for the changes in demand or new roads and housing developments. As this is a discretionary service, we could consider alternative ways of providing it and this could help us make the required savings.


We are keen to receive views from parents/carers, residents and schools about whether there is still a strong demand to continue with this service but also look at different ways it could be delivered so we do not lose money.

Due to the savings that we have to make, we cannot continue delivering this discretionary service in the same way. We have to make some difficult choices and decisions in the coming months but we want your views on how to achieve this so it meets the needs of local communities, families and schools but within our available resource.

Let us know your views

To tell us what you think on this subject, please follow this link to an online survey. This consultation runs until Friday 15th July 2016."

I found this by chance ...


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 09, 2016 6:35 pm 
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Thanks for this Guest - both my children use home school transport (one free one paid) - we (and all users) are normally sent any consultations so not sure why we didn't get this one.

So am I right that the only proposed change is they will only provide free to your closest school even if your closest is in a different county? Won't affect me but I know a number of people who are at their closest Bucks school but have a closer school over the border.


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 09, 2016 7:40 pm 
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This was an article in the local rag (BFP). I have completed the consultation and, from the questions, it appears that one of the options they are considering is to change the route (one of the questions is whether you would be willing to walk further to a bus stop). In my area I can see how that would reduce the number of buses required.

Though I am confused, as I thought they already only provided free transport to the nearest upper school (even if you have passed 11+ and it is your nearest GS that doesn't count).


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 09, 2016 8:35 pm 
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They provide to your nearest school - my closest catchment school is our grammar but an out of catchment upper is closer so we don't qualify at secondary (unless we went to ooc upper). If your closest school is a grammar and you haven't qualified then you get transport to the closest non grammar.

I get that they need to save money but it grates that a totally selective county can ignore this when it suits them.


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 09, 2016 9:44 pm 
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kittymum wrote:
They provide to your nearest school - my closest catchment school is our grammar but an out of catchment upper is closer so we don't qualify at secondary (unless we went to ooc upper). If your closest school is a grammar and you haven't qualified then you get transport to the closest non grammar.

I get that they need to save money but it grates that a totally selective county can ignore this when it suits them.

So if you don't qualify and your nearest school is a grammar, you get free transport to nearest secondary school... but if you qualify and your nearest school is a secondary you don't get free transport to the nearest grammar? How is that fair in a selective county, as you say?

As I say, the survey implies they are cutting down on buses to save money. Choices seem to be between letting your child walk longer to a bus stop or making the bus journey longer (i.e. fewer buses covering more stops); both of which imply that they will be reducing the number of buses. Our bus leaves 1hr 20m before school so increasing that seems scary, especially as a lot of people on here are against long journeys (for good reason).


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 09, 2016 9:56 pm 
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As I say it grates on me - my closest catchment school is SWBGS, my children are qualified (one there the other will go in Sept) but I do not qualify for free transport as Cressex (non catchment non grammar) is 38 meters closer to my house. So I pay for them to go on the school bus. Were I to send them to Cressex there is no school bus there from where I live (as we are out of catchment) so the council would lay on a free taxi to transport my children there. This is what the council told me - madness!! I get that they need to save money but for those of us who live in a part of Bucks with no public transport, no street lights, no pavements and very badly maintained roads they leave us with no choices!


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 09, 2016 10:16 pm 
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Ahh, sorry; I misunderstood. So it is still only free transport to nearest school. When my car started being unreliable I asked a neighbour (who is a taxi driver) for advice and they told me that I wouldn't find any taxis as they are all employed for the school run. Maybe that is where they can make their savings rather than cutting buses. A friend 200 yards further away from the local school was offered (and is using) a taxi but we were offered the bus.


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 10, 2016 6:10 am 
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BucksBornNBred wrote:
Ahh, sorry; I misunderstood. So it is still only free transport to nearest school. When my car started being unreliable I asked a neighbour (who is a taxi driver) for advice and they told me that I wouldn't find any taxis as they are all employed for the school run. Maybe that is where they can make their savings rather than cutting buses. A friend 200 yards further away from the local school was offered (and is using) a taxi but we were offered the bus.


No it's free transport to the nearest school unless that's a grammar and you haven't qualified.


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 10, 2016 6:20 am 
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kittymum wrote:
BucksBornNBred wrote:
Ahh, sorry; I misunderstood. So it is still only free transport to nearest school. When my car started being unreliable I asked a neighbour (who is a taxi driver) for advice and they told me that I wouldn't find any taxis as they are all employed for the school run. Maybe that is where they can make their savings rather than cutting buses. A friend 200 yards further away from the local school was offered (and is using) a taxi but we were offered the bus.


No it's free transport to the nearest school unless that's a grammar and you haven't qualified.

Yes, and I think the suggestion is now that it will be your nearest school even if it is out of county. That will affect quite a few people in places like South Bucks who are on the edge of the county.


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 10, 2016 8:03 am 
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scary mum wrote:
kittymum wrote:
BucksBornNBred wrote:
Ahh, sorry; I misunderstood. So it is still only free transport to nearest school. When my car started being unreliable I asked a neighbour (who is a taxi driver) for advice and they told me that I wouldn't find any taxis as they are all employed for the school run. Maybe that is where they can make their savings rather than cutting buses. A friend 200 yards further away from the local school was offered (and is using) a taxi but we were offered the bus.


No it's free transport to the nearest school unless that's a grammar and you haven't qualified.

Yes, and I think the suggestion is now that it will be your nearest school even if it is out of county. That will affect quite a few people in places like South Bucks who are on the edge of the county.


Yes I know quite a few people who would lose their free transport under this proposal. I imagine though that they would do the same as they have before and leave the free transport with those who already have it (maybe adding an admin fee as they did last time) and imposing the new regulations for those starting from September 2017?


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