People are being encouraged to share their views on proposed changes to the council’s Home to School Transport services for Post 16 students across West Northamptonshire.
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.
Today (1 February), a 9-week consultation has launched inviting residents to share their views on the proposed changes to this service, with any changes coming into effect from September 2024. The consultation runs until midnight on Monday 1 April, with residents encouraged to take part via the council’s consultation hub.
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.
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: “Similarly to other local authorities, we are in the process of reviewing our transport services to ensure they respond to the needs of our young people, parents and carers and are both financially effective and environmentally sustainable.
“We recognise circumstances for each young adult and family are often different, therefore we want to know how each of our proposals may affect them. We will also be seeking views from schools and colleges and welcome feedback from West Northamptonshire residents and other interested stakeholders.
“By holding this consultation, we are hopeful that we will be able to give all families a better choice in how any proposals might work and I strongly encourage anyone with an interest to take part in the survey and get involved.”
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.
The consultation will last nine weeks and residents can take part 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.
West Northamptonshire Council Communications Team