Newport free pupil pass rules may change
3:50pm Tuesday 19th March 2013 in News
YOUNGSTERS who will be starting at Newport secondary schools next year may only be entitled to free school transport if they live more than three miles away from the school.
Currently, pupils living more than two miles away from their school can apply for free transport.
But the council is currently consulting on plans to make changes from September 2014 that will change the limit to the statutory three miles for all new applications. Those already benefiting from the scheme will be unaffected.
Newport City Council’s cabinet member for education and young people, Councillor Bob Poole, said the council had to make tough decisions when it comes to next year’s budget, and it could no longer afford to be so generous with free transport to schools.
He said: “By law, we only have to provide free transport to pupils living more than three miles from their school, apart from exceptional circumstances.
“On the other hand, I know that many families are also finding household budgets are squeezed in the current economic climate.
“I believe that by introducing the changed policy in 2014, and not withdrawing free transport fromthose who already benefit from the scheme because they live between two and three miles away, is a reasonable compromise.
“However, I would like to have the view of parents and other members of the public before making a final decision.”
Have your say online at www.newport.gov.uk/haveyoursay or write to Home to School Transport Consultation, Education Planning Team, Room 425W, Civic Centre, Newport, NP20 4UR. Responses must be received by noon on April 26.