Bradford Council has traditionally provided more generous support for home to school travel than many other councils, but the scale of the cuts means the Council cannot continue providing all the services it currently offers.
The Council has to find at least £115 million in cuts and increased income over the next three years to balance its budget. £115 million is around 25% of the current net budget and is in addition to the £100 million cuts already made in the last three years.
If the proposals set out in the report to the Executive go ahead, children and young people currently in receipt of transport assistance will not be affected.
The policy was last revised in 2013 following an 11-week consultation. The Council is now considering a further review of the policy and sought the views of a wide range of people in January and February this year.
People were asked if they agreed with the removal of assistance from a number of key areas of the policy. For example, removing assistance for children aged between 2 and 5 undergoing an assessment for a statement of special educational needs; on faith grounds;
where parents move house, where children attend a pupil referral unit or where a pupil attends a school which is beyond the statutory walking distance from their home.
A report has been prepared for the Executive which is due to meet on Tuesday, 8 April 2014. It includes a summary of the results and the comments received as part of the consultation. A petition objecting to proposed changes to the faith grounds recommendations,
which was received by the Full Council on Tuesday 25 March 2014, was referred to the Executive.
We will be basing what will potentially be a very difficult decision on the need to make budget reductions while taking seriously the results of the consultation and the petition which will be presented to the meeting. We have managed to protect a number
of priority areas in Children’s Services from budget cuts, including child safeguarding, protection and assessment, adoption, leaving care services, Youth Offending Team, School Governors’ Service, Bradford Achievement Service – supporting school improvement,
and school crossing patrols.
For further information please contact Paul Parker, Communications and Media Manager, Education on 01274 385905.