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transport costs 16 plus in buckinghamshire £964 a year as no local school.....

(34 Posts)
t1zzy Tue 07-Aug-12 21:18:35

Having to fork out £946 a year for my son to get to school as it is so far away and is not funded post 16..... he wants to continue going to the school he knows and loves but it is seriously expensive and i am afraid many families will not be able to pay and so children will lose out if they live in Our area.. So unfair I am soooo angry a Facebook group has been set up and O&S consulted I hope we have a good outcome to this unfair situation. "16 plus school transport group" Buckinghamshire (Iver Area)

directoroflegacy Tue 07-Aug-12 21:48:14

why does he go to a school so far away?

t1zzy Tue 07-Aug-12 21:56:35

Because the local school was closed and all children are bused out to this school as its in the county nearer ones are out of area.

t1zzy Tue 07-Aug-12 22:02:11

They were going to charge for under 16's but this has just been stopped and now charges for 16 plus have gone up....the school is 20 mins away but is catchment area secondary school which all children go to if they fail 11 plus. There are other options post 16 but many want to stay on ....

directoroflegacy Tue 07-Aug-12 22:30:12

I see why it is unfair now!

t1zzy Wed 08-Aug-12 09:17:28

yes and very expensive!

OddBoots Wed 08-Aug-12 09:24:56

An absolute disgrace that the EMA was scrapped with nothing to replace it.

I known it won't help you but I wonder if when school leaving age is 18 if they will have to cover transport costs.

FoxtrotFoxtrotSierra Wed 08-Aug-12 09:33:23

This has long been the case in Buckinghamshire - it certainly was when I was in 6th form many years ago. Sadly, though it's unfair, I doubt anything will change as it has been challenged on many occasions.

Could you arrange to lift share for your DS and his friends? It might work out cheaper. Certainly my friends and I all used to drive once we were able but would pick up others on the way in, thus saving our parents a fortune.

t1zzy Wed 08-Aug-12 09:33:53

yes we are wondering that to I hope so for everyone in the future ( a school in walking distance as there used to be would be even better!

t1zzy Wed 08-Aug-12 09:35:11

Yes Foxtrot my son has my old car ready and waiting for him to pass his test! then its just the insurance ( im sure he will be a taxi service! )

t1zzy Wed 08-Aug-12 09:37:00

I knew we would have to pay but the amount was a BIG surprise!

t1zzy Wed 08-Aug-12 09:39:04

It is a county wide issue not just Iver Village Buckinghamshire ( though thats where i live!) anyone interested should join the group 16 plus school transport on facebook...

t1zzy Wed 08-Aug-12 09:40:29

Never mind selling off school playing fields we just want to get our teens to school!

t1zzy Wed 08-Aug-12 09:45:17

When you consider that 16+ attending school or college in London get FREE transport with Oyster cards, then the question of equality really begins to bite !

poopoopoo Wed 08-Aug-12 09:59:05

They need to start up the secondary school in Iver again; it should be put back where it was (now the Evreham Centre- for adult education). If they educated children properly in the first place they would not need the adult education centre! The children in Iver are disadvantaged by having to travel, it all impacts on achievement. Getting up earlier and catching a bus and travel time home- this all impacts on when they eat, time for home work, revision and family time. Why should parents have to pay for this!!!! Give back our school.

JustGettingByMum Wed 08-Aug-12 10:36:10

Its not unique to Bucks, Wiltshire is the same.

Kez100 Wed 08-Aug-12 12:36:22

Ours is similar but then it is subsidised down to £350 by the county council so long as you go to the nearest school/college offering you your course or subsidised to free if incomes are low. The council keep ramming it down our throats that they don't have to do this but do because they are wonderful. I thought it was just hot air but now I believe them and am very grateful. That is so expensive!

bruffin Wed 08-Aug-12 12:43:59

My DCs get the train to school. The school is my choice and there are a lot closer so I have never minded paying the fares.
However when a child goes into 6th form they get a 1/3 off their train fares in Hertfordshire.I have two September babies who turn 16 at the beginning of year 11 and have to pay full adult fare. I can delay it a little by paying for a 4 month season ticket the day before their 16th, but after that we have to pay full fare even though they are in compulsory education, but if they were in 6th form they get a discount, which doesn't make sense.
I have complained to the council and asked them to enable the discount from their 16th birthday and not just 6th form but they say they can't do it.

prh47bridge Wed 08-Aug-12 18:29:00

An absolute disgrace that the EMA was scrapped with nothing to replace it.

The EMA was replaced by the 16 to 19 Bursary Fund which is intended to give 12,000 of the most vulnerable students £1,200 per year. This came into operation last September. One can argue about whether or not the new scheme is adequate and how well it is working, but it is wrong to say the government hasn't put in place a replacement for the EMA. Of course, unless the OP's child was eligible for EMA this is entirely irrelevant.

Free transport is available to children of compulsory school age. So when the school leaving age goes up to 18 the OP's child may be entitled to free transport, not that this is of any help right now.

misstrunchball Wed 08-Aug-12 22:56:05

Free transport in Bucks for children of compulsory school age is now only available if they go to their 'nearest' school. This is completely different to their catchment school and the council don't tell you where their nearest school is on their website. My DD1 (going into Y11) has to pay an admin fee of £76 for her bus pass and me DD2 (starting Y7) has to pay £380 for the same bus from the same stop.....

I have heard of people getting quotes of up to £800 to send their children on the same bus sitting in the same seat just because they are now 6th form. The school is 3.8 miles away.

I don't blame the schools changing to academies but feel this is the reason now why the council are charging for the buses as they no longer get a cut of the funding received from the government.

My two will get the bus this year (thanks to generous grandparents) but I will probably end up taking them from next year especially if my DD1 goes into sixth form. I am one of the lucky ones that I work not far from the school (makes it a hell of a circular trip) so can manage to do it but do feel for parents who work in completely the opposite direction or who have jobs that make this impossible.

I did take this issue to our local paper but all the council have said is 'You should have applied to your nearest school'. I would have done if I knew where her nearest school was (I always thought it would be the catchment one but how wrong was I). She wouldn't have been accepted as it's not catchment so would have got transport to her second choice (which would have been my first choice iyswim)

I don't think it's going to get any better as they will probably put the prices up every year and then complain that there is gridlock outside every school smile

prh47bridge Wed 08-Aug-12 23:24:33

I don't blame the schools changing to academies but feel this is the reason now why the council are charging for the buses as they no longer get a cut of the funding received from the government.

The LA continues to receive all funding for school transport. None of this money is diverted to academies.

misstrunchball Thu 09-Aug-12 21:55:37

I didn't know that - I got the impression from the council that they no longer got their 5% cut of the schools money so one of the first things to go was school transport as it cost them too much.

I might do a bit more digging smile though I do feel that to charge children from 16 is a bit steep, considering they are still in full time education and are still entitled to free prescriptions and dental care. My DD1 is the first year that have to stay on for a year and my DD2 will have to do two so am interested to see what they will do next year when this kicks in.

goingmadinthecountry Wed 15-Aug-12 21:52:11

My dcs have to pay about £1600 for the school bus in 6th form. Plus I have to drive them 1.5 miles to the bus. We can afford it (just) but there are many families who just can't afford school transport. And this is to the nearest available school.

Driving lessons start exactly on 17th birthday round here and unsurprisingly, most children are keen to learn! My dds are 10 miles from their school, but it's deemed their nearest appropriate school. It's appalling.

prh47bridge Wed 15-Aug-12 23:38:17

To answer misstrunchball (not sure why I didn't do so last week), the council's funding is reduced overall to provide funding for academies in their area. However, that part of the funding that is supposed to be used for school transport is unaffected. Of course, the funding is only supposed to cover the transport the council is legally required to provide. Transport they choose to provide (e.g. to sixth formers) has to be funded separately.

As I said previously, the law is that free transport must be provided to children of compulsory school age if they are entitled. Sixth formers will be entitled to free school transport once the school leaving age is raised. I'm sure some LAs will get this wrong and will try to save money by convincing parents of sixth formers living over 3 miles from school that they are not entitled to free transport.

t1zzy Sat 01-Sep-12 10:41:45

Please join 16-plus school transport group on Facebook
I am being charged over £50 more for spreading the cost as i can't afford to pay £964 in one go! This is Discraceful!!!!

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