Reminder to have your say on post 16 school travel in West Northants

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People are reminded to share their views on proposed changes to the council’s Home to School Transport services for Post 16 students across West Northamptonshire following an extension to the consultation until midnight on Sunday 7 April.

By law, students are required to continue in education or training until the age of 18 years. While local authorities have no statutory duty to provide transport for students over the age of 16 years, they must publish an annual transport policy statement setting out how they will support young adults to access education and training.

West Northamptonshire Council (WNC) has reviewed the current Post 16 Transport Policy Statement and proposed changes which apply to young people of sixth form age and young people with Education, Health and Care plans (EHC) up to age 25. Any changes will come into effect from September 2024.

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The changes are the first proposed in a decade and aim to address the high demand and operating costs of the service while providing greater flexibility for parents and carers, supporting young people’s independence and helping to promote sustainable travel.

Picture: West Northamptonshire CouncilPicture: West Northamptonshire Council
Picture: West Northamptonshire Council

Key proposals to the policy include greater support for young adults undertaking apprenticeships, increased use of Personal Transport Budgets (PTB), providing transport provision only at standard school and college start and finish times, and increasing the parent and carer contribution towards the cost of Post 16 transport.

Cllr Phil Larratt, Cabinet Member for Environment, Transport, Highways and Waste, said: “We want to make sure that we are providing the best and most cost-effective service for residents and one which is fair and efficient for all who use it.

“To achieve this, it is vital that we listen to and carefully consider the views of parents, carers, and young people who may be affected by these proposals so we can ensure the service continues to meet the needs of our community. I strongly encourage everyone to take part in this consultation and get involved.”

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The findings of the consultation will be published and presented to WNC’s Cabinet in May 2024. Feedback will help to inform any decision by the council on the proposed changes to the Home to School Transport policy and how transport assistance is delivered.

Residents can take part in the consultation in the following ways:

  • Complete the online survey here.
  • Email: [email protected]
  • Write to: Home to School Transport Consultation 2023, West Northamptonshire Council, The Guildhall, St Giles' Square, Northampton NN1 1DE

For more information on Home to School Transport please visit the School travel assistance webpage.