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Wrangle over free school transport

 
Created on 22/06/2022 @ 10:56

 

A claim has been made that the current Powys County Council (PCC) policy for free home-to-school transport is preventing some children from being able to travel to the same school as their older brothers or sisters for free.

Montgomeryshire MS Russell George said that parents have contacted him to express concern about the inflexibility of the policy which is blocking younger siblings from being able to travel for free to the same school as their older siblings.

He is now calling on the regional authority to urgently address the situation.

A spokesperson for PCC told us this morning: “The council has received correspondence from Russell George MS which is currently being considered and will be responding in due course.”

Mr George said PCC has a duty to provide pupils with free transport to their nearest suitable school if they live over a certain distance away.

Current policy means that due to marginal distances involved in crossovers of catchment areas, some children are being denied free transport to the same school as their older siblings, leaving parents with a choice of sending their children to separate schools or finding alternative transport for one of their children.

“I have been calling for Powys County Council to implement policy change for some time, having seen an increased number of parents contact me,” said Mr George.

“There are a number of circumstances where I feel the council should be much more flexible in its decision-making process, particularly to ensure that the policy is fair across Powys.

“I have written to Powys County Council, outlining several measures that I think are fair and reasonable.

“The measures I have set out can help solve this issue and provide a fair system for the whole of Powys. Pupils should not have more choice in some parts of the county than others and free home to school transport should still be provided to respect that some communities have long standing links with a particular secondary school, which may not be their closest school.”

 

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