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CONSULTATION

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CONSULTATION Powered By Docstoc
					                            Consultation on the
                       Home to School Transport Policy
             The City Council is consulting on changing its
                   Home to School Transport Policy

The City Council is consulting on a new Home to School Transport Policy that will take effect in
September 2011 for the Academic Year 2011/12. The Council’s resources have been
significantly reduced and the Council is under acute financial pressure. As a result it is currently
looking at every aspect of its work and how this can be delivered more efficiently and effectively.

The City Council is not legally obliged to provide the level of free home to school travel
support that it currently provides so it is reviewing its home to school transport arrangements.


                   Proposed Change 1 – Compulsory School Aged Pupils

Under the proposed Home to School Transport Policy pupils will only be eligible for a travel
pass if they attend their ‘nearest suitable qualifying school’ with places available.

For the purposes of travel pass eligibility, the City Council will determine the ‘nearest suitable
qualifying school’ as:

         the nearest school to the pupil’s home, with places available, that provides
         education appropriate to the age, ability and aptitude of the child and falls
         within the same category of school as the one at which the pupil has been
         offered and accepted a place.

This could mean that a child who might qualify for a travel pass on distance criteria to a
particular school will not be entitled to a pass because the City Council has determined that
there is a suitable qualifying school with places available closer to the child’s home.

       Qualifying schools have been categorised as follows:
            a) Non-faith
            b) Catholic and Joint-faith
            c) Church of England
            d) Jewish

A list showing the categories of schools and academies in Liverpool is attached at Annex A
of the proposed policy.

In determining the nearest suitable qualifying school as outlined above, the City Council is
exercising its discretionary powers to have regard to the wishes of a parent for their child to
be provided with education at a particular school on the grounds of a parent’s religious or
cultural beliefs in accordance with the provisions of the Equality Act 2006.

Where a child requires education at a single sex school as an essential requirement of their
culture, and he or she meets the distance criteria for a travel pass, then provided there are

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no places available at a similar suitable qualifying school closer to the child’s home, the child
will be eligible for a travel pass. Parents/carers must submit a letter from a person of
standing in their community e.g. religious leader supporting the application.

Parental preference for a school

Whilst parents/carers have the right to express a preference for which school they wish their
child to attend, a pupil who attends a school which is further away than the nearest suitable
qualifying school with places available will not be eligible for transport support, even if the
distance from home to the school they attend is more than the qualifying walking distance.

Any travelling arrangements or expenses will be the responsibility of parents if there is a
nearer suitable qualifying school. It is the parents’ or carers’ responsibility to ensure that
their child gets to school safely and they should consider the practicalities of choosing a
school that is not within the qualifying walking distance.

Please note: If this policy change is approved following the consultation then the change will
take effect from the start of the 2011/12 academic year. All new applications will be assessed
under the new policy but pupils who are currently receiving travel passes will continue to
receive a pass unless their circumstances change.



                            Proposed Change 2 - Post 16 students

The City Council will not provide travel support for students attending post 16 provision, with the
exception of some students with Special Educational Needs.

Please note: If this policy change is approved following the consultation then the change will take
effect from the start of the 2011/12 academic year and no renewals or new applications for Post
16 travel support will be approved except for some students with Special Educational Needs.


Further Information

You can download a copy of the proposed policy and a set of frequently asked questions at
www.liverpool.gov.uk/freetravelpass

Alternatively you can obtain a hard copy by ringing 0151 - 233 8700.

If you require this information in another language or format please call 0151 233-8700.

The consultation runs from Thursday 17th March to Wednesday 13th April 2011 and the
Council is keen to hear views during this time.

All responses will be made available to the City Council’s Cabinet when it makes the final
decision on the new policy.

Please note since the draft policy is currently only being consulted upon, officers will
be unable to deal with individual travel pass eligibility enquiries until the City Council
actually determines its policy for the 2011/12 academic year.




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How to respond
You are invited to respond either in writing or via email to the addresses below:

   School Organisation Team,
   Home to School Transport Consultation,
   Children & Young People’s Service,
   Municipal Buildings,
   Dale Street,
   Liverpool
   L2 2DH

or e-mail hometoschooltransport@liverpool.gov.uk

by Wednesday 13th April 2011



   What happens next?                                   Any comments received, by letter or e-
                                                        mail, will be reported to the City Council
   A post consultation report will be                   when it comes to take a decision on the
   considered by the City Council Cabinet in            proposals.
   May 2011.                                            City Council papers are public
                                                        documents and are posted on the City
   If approved the new policy will be                   Council website.
   implemented for all new applications for             Any comments you make, therefore, will
   September 2011                                       be made public, but the papers will be
                                                        edited before publication, as appropriate,
                                                        to preserve anonymity in compliance
                                                        with the Data Protection Act 1998 and to
                                                        prevent copying of signatures.




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