Public consultation is now under way on a proposed new council policy on “home to school” transport for children in Central Beds.
Central Beds Council says the policy applies to all children aged four to 16 who live in the area – regardless of where they go to school.
It covers pupils at all educational establishments, including council-run schools, academies and free schools.
The council provides transport for more than 6,000 pupils on more than 350 routes daily. Guides to the new policy are being made available to parents and carers and via the council’s website.
Proposed changes include:
> Increasing support for four-year-olds. Currently, four-year-olds starting school aren’t eligible for home to school transport. The plan is to apply the same eligibility criteria to them as for five-year-olds starting school.
> Improving the application/reviews process and the appeals system.
> Introducing an improved code of conduct, clarifying what is expected of pupils provided with transport.
Councillor Mark Versallion, executive member for children’s services, said: “We know that home to school transport is something that really matters to local families – so it’s important that parents, carers and others have their say.
“Our main aim here is to develop a policy which is simple, easy to understand and works for local families.”
Consultation started on October 4 and runs through to November 22. and is open to all Central Beds residents.
Comment online via www.centralbedfordshire.gov.uk/consultations.
Printed copies are available at council offices. Or request a paper copy by calling 0300 300 8000.
After the consultation and consideration of the feedback, a final decision will be taken on the shape of the new policy.
The idea is that it will come into force in time for the new school year in September, 2014.