Consultation on proposed changes to post-16 transport

We are planning to make some changes to the way eligible post-16 young people with additional needs are helped to access their place of education.

The changes will relate only to young people of sixth form age who are eligible for travel assistance – and your views will help to shape the way forward.

All councils have to produce a ‘Transport Statement’ setting out the arrangements for enabling eligible post-16 pupils to access education. It is to support eligible post-16 pupils with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities but also supports pupils who, due to exceptional circumstances, need transport assistance.

Other local authorities have already changed their Transport Statement in order to make savings whilst still supporting young people and their families to access education.

Currently, we provide taxis and minibuses to transport around 300 eligible young people to their education setting each day. In 2022/23, this cost £2.6million – an average cost of over £8,600 per pupil on transport.

The costs are rising quickly and, in light of the financial challenges facing the council, this will not be sustainable in the future.

We are therefore planning to change this approach and provide each eligible pupil with a Post 16 Personal Travel Payment, based on the distance the young person travels to access education – the further they travel, the higher their payment will be.

Families could spend their budget in whichever way is best for them, giving them flexibility to tailor their travel arrangements based on individual needs.

However, the council understands that a Post 16 Personal Travel Payment may not be appropriate in all circumstances, especially for those pupils with the most complex needs.

The proposed approach allows for council-organised transport to be provided for individual pupils where a Post 16 Personal Travel Payment would not be appropriate.

Cllr Elizabeth Reynolds, Cabinet member for Learning and Aspiration, said:

“Amongst other local authorities, we are in the process of reviewing our transport services in light of climate sustainability, financial effectiveness and in response to the changing needs of our young people.

“We are committed to working with our families in the redesign of the provision, however we do not expect that any changes will involve our young people with the greatest level of need, such as those who require specially adapted vehicles or specialist support.

“We are hopeful that by holding this consultation we will be able to give all families better choice in how any proposals might work in practice.

“Your opinion is important. Please have your say so that we can better understand the needs of our young people, plan for the future and continue to support them in their learning to achieve their very best.”

Have your say

The consultation has now opened and will run until December 31st.

For more information, please visit our consultation web page.