another bizarre decision on school transport

Wycombe Labour called on Bucks County Council today to sort out its school transport policy
and help parents get their children to school. 

Yet another parent has had to spend time and effort to get BCC to provide school transport,
and then only with a Labour Councillor’s help.

The pupil in this case applied to her nearest secondary school, sat the examination and was
unsuccessful. She appealed.

In March, she was offered a place at another school, 4 miles away. Her father refused the
place, pending the outcome of the appeal. In June, she was again offered a place at the
same school 4 miles away and this time her father accepted as the appeal had been turned

He then applied for help with his daughter’s transport costs but was turned down because
the school his daughter is going to is “not one of three nearest schools”.

He then sought the help of Councillor Bates, Leader of WDC’s Labour Group. BCC reversed
its decision and will now pay the school transport costs.

A BCC official explained that, when the father accepted the school 4 miles away, it was taken
“as a new parental preference school” but “in hindsight it remained the nearest school with
a place to offer”.

Councillor Bates said, “BCC’s bizarre and uncaring attitude has caused enormous stress to
this family. The father is out of work. It would cost him £25 a week to get his daughter to
school - a lot of money which the family can’t afford.

It’s bad enough that his daughter can’t go to her local school and has to travel 4 miles. It’s a
double whammy if BCC then refuse to pay her transport because it’s not her nearest school.

What BCC says makes no sense. BCC offered a place at only one school. She and her
parents had no choice. There was no suggestion in any of the forms that BCC might not
provide school transport if a place was turned down while waiting for an appeal.

I just wonder how many other parents are having the same problems with BCC.

BCC promised parents that if their children took up a place at the nearest offered secondary
school and it was more than 3 miles away, that transport would be provided. They should
deliver on their promises without people having to go to the lengths of getting their
councillor involved. ”

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