Post-16 Education Transport
Conwy’s Cabinet have decided learners aged 16 and over should make a contribution towards their transport to school or college.
The Council has been providing free transport for many years for learners over 16 years old who attend schools or designated colleges. This discretionary service costs Conwy £420,000 per annum and increases each year with inflation. As it’s not a statutory requirement, and Welsh Government provides no money to fund it, it means that money has to be found from somewhere else in the education budget.
Last week (09/10/18), Cabinet Members discussed options that would enable the service to continue more sustainably.
Cllr Garffild Lewis is Conwy’s Cabinet Member for Education and Skills, he said: “We didn’t want to just stop providing the transport - it’s an essential service, especially for learners living in the rural areas, but we can’t take funding from another area of education to pay for it. Asking students to make a contribution is the fairest way to keep the service running.”
Cabinet voted to introduce a charge for the service, but asked officers to look at EMA payments and eligibility for free school meals to ensure there is a ‘safety net’.
Cllr Garffild Lewis added, “We’d like to thank everyone who took the time to get involved with the consultation. The feedback has been valuable and has helped us make an informed decision as to how we can make Post-16 Education Transport more sustainable.”
The change will not come into force until September 2020.
Posted on 18/10/2018