City of York Council leaders urged to phase cuts to bus transport for faith school pupils

Coun Janet Looker

Coun Janet Looker

First published in News York Press: Photograph of the Author by , Political Reporter

CITY leaders have been urged to stick to their original timetable for cuts to York school bus services after a decision was postponed.

Plans to withdraw free school transport from 123 faith school pupils were deferred by City of York Council’s cabinet member for education, Coun Janet Looker, this week after parents said it could risk their children’s safety. The authority will now examine the proposals again.

Coun Jenny Brooks, Conservative education spokeswoman, said she was “delighted” at the postponement, but the council should stick to its original timetable for a phased withdrawal of free home-to-school transport for all faith school pupils, apart from those from low-income families, by 2019.

Under the new plans it would be withdrawn in September.

“While we understand the need to further reduce costs, this proposal could impact seriously on many children’s education, and if it went ahead some pupils might have to change schools in the middle of their GCSEs,” she said.

“Year 9 students will have very little time after the results of a three-month consultation are known to find a catchment school which has a place for them, let alone their desired GCSE options. In the meantime, the uncertainty will be very unsettling.

“Parents have relied on the council’s original timetable and it must honour the commitment it has made.”

Comments (3)

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5:12pm Sat 18 Jan 14

Sillybillies says...

wilson usain wrote:
Come May when there is a new council following the wipe out of Alexander. Then a decision should be taken.
May 2015 you mean.
[quote][p][bold]wilson usain[/bold] wrote: Come May when there is a new council following the wipe out of Alexander. Then a decision should be taken.[/p][/quote]May 2015 you mean. Sillybillies
  • Score: -1

12:21pm Sun 19 Jan 14

Daisy75 says...

Surely the parents could contribute to the bus costs? If you choose to send your child to a school out of your catchment area you are responsible for the bus fare. Most people in our increasingly secular society are choosing to send their kid to these faith schools for their perceived educational not religious benefits, and hence are no different.
Surely the parents could contribute to the bus costs? If you choose to send your child to a school out of your catchment area you are responsible for the bus fare. Most people in our increasingly secular society are choosing to send their kid to these faith schools for their perceived educational not religious benefits, and hence are no different. Daisy75
  • Score: 2

12:26pm Mon 20 Jan 14

Stevie D says...

Daisy75 wrote:
Surely the parents could contribute to the bus costs? If you choose to send your child to a school out of your catchment area you are responsible for the bus fare. Most people in our increasingly secular society are choosing to send their kid to these faith schools for their perceived educational not religious benefits, and hence are no different.
While that's true, and I completely support the withdrawal of free school transport on the basis of faith, it does seem harsh to change the rules of the game half-way through. Parents whose kids already go to these schools signed up for them on the understanding that free travel would be provided. Withdrawing that at such short notice could put some of these families in a very difficult position, and doesn't leave a lot of time to make other arrangements, eg moving school or sorting out parent-funded transport. Sticking to the originally agreed timetable seems like a more sensible way of implementing the cuts.
[quote][p][bold]Daisy75[/bold] wrote: Surely the parents could contribute to the bus costs? If you choose to send your child to a school out of your catchment area you are responsible for the bus fare. Most people in our increasingly secular society are choosing to send their kid to these faith schools for their perceived educational not religious benefits, and hence are no different.[/p][/quote]While that's true, and I completely support the withdrawal of free school transport on the basis of faith, it does seem harsh to change the rules of the game half-way through. Parents whose kids already go to these schools signed up for them on the understanding that free travel would be provided. Withdrawing that at such short notice could put some of these families in a very difficult position, and doesn't leave a lot of time to make other arrangements, eg moving school or sorting out parent-funded transport. Sticking to the originally agreed timetable seems like a more sensible way of implementing the cuts. Stevie D
  • Score: 0

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