Wokingham Borough Council is reviewing and consulting on its home to school transport and travel assistance policies with the aim of improving services for children and young people, particularly those with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND).
The consultation will be open until 6 November and is available on the council’s consultation webpage at www.wokingham.gov.uk by clicking on the home to school transport survey.
Cllr UllaKarin Clark, the council’s executive member for children’s services said: “We know how important this is for many families in the borough. We are doing our best to maintain and even improve our home to school and travel assistance services for eligible children and young people while ensuring the service is cost effective and sustainable into the future.
“If you have a child or young person who is eligible for home to school transport, particularly for children with special educational needs and disabilities, this is the time for you to give us your views on our proposals – these are our initial proposals and we are seeking your views to help us produce the final policies.”
The council has a statutory responsibility to meet the travel needs of children and young people who live more than two or three miles from the nearest suitable school, depending on the child’s age. Without this service, some of the borough’s children and young people would be unable to get to their school or college, especially those who have significant additional needs or are extremely vulnerable.
The costs to the council of providing home to school transport and travel assistance are high and have increased significantly in recent years. Much of this cost is met by the council’s core budget, which affects its ability to provide high quality services to all Wokingham residents.
The council is seeking views on two draft policies designed to improve home to school/college travel arrangements for children and young people in the borough, in a financially sustainable way.
For more information or to take part in the consultation, visit the council’s consultation webpage.
Following the consultation, all responses will be reviewed and taken into consideration. A final version of the policies will then go to the council’s executive committee for approval.
The current policy arrangements for home to school transport will remain in place for those choosing their school preferences for entrance in September 2021.