Decision Maker: Cabinet Member for Education and Skills
Decision status: Recommendations Approved
Is Key decision?: Yes
Is subject to call in?: Yes
The Cabinet Member is asked to agree the Post 16 Transport Policy Statement for 2023/24
There is a legal requirement for post 16 learners to stay in education, training or work-based learning until they reach 18 years of age, and as young adults there is an expectation they will contribute to the cost of their travel in most circumstances. Whilst there is no statutory duty to provide transport for Post 16 Learners there is a duty to consider applications for assistance with transport and to enable access to education. There are no planned changes to the Post 16 Transport Policy Statement or this commitment for the 2023/24 academic year.
KCC consulted with current and future service users between 25 January and 21 March 2023 on a Post 16 Transport Policy Statement for 2023/24 in spite of the offer remaining unchanged, as there is a legal requirement to do so annually. It should be noted that this consultation also included proposals for changes to the Post 16 Transport Policy Statement for 2024/25 and a formalisation of Kent’s 4 – 16 Free School Transport Policy for 2024/25. Analysis of responses to these elements of the consultation are currently underway and a separate paper will be presented to CYPE Cabinet Committee in July to determine those proposals. However, it was necessary to consider the Post 16 Transport Policy Statement for 2023 earlier to fulfil our statutory responsibilities for annual review.
KCCs primary method of meeting its obligation in regard to Post 16 Transport will be through the continued offer of the Kent 16+ Travel Saver pass. Where learners can demonstrate that the KCC 16+ Travel Saver pass does not enable access to education, learners can appeal to the Local Authority with a view to accessing alternative assistance.
We also offer a number of Active Travel schemes to allow pupils to make the most of opportunities to walk or cycle to their place of learning, which are especially important this year to help reduce the number of students using the public transport network www.kentconnected.org.
Kent County Council will also aim to improve the independence of learners with a Learning Difficulty Assessment, by providing travel training to students who will then be able to access public transport with the use of the KCC 16+ Travel Saver pass.
The post 16 Transport policy for Kent County Council enables access to education for Kent Learners. To assist Kent’s young adults in accessing their education in schools, colleges and through apprenticeships or work-based training provision.
Kent County Council has provided students with the opportunity to apply for a Kent 16+ Travel Saver pass which is subsidised by the Authority and can be purchased online through Kent County Council’s website. The 16+ Travel Saver pass gives unlimited access to the public bus network and learning providers can choose to further subsidise this charge to their students or trainees if they wish in cases of financial hardship.
With the participation age of 18 years, the 16+ Travel Saver pass will widen the opportunity for Kent’s young adults to access the education provision of their choice at a subsidised cost. This may be at schools, academies, colleges or in the workplace though an apprenticeship or other work-based training provision. Support for accessing education is not prescribed and Kent use the 16+ Travel Saver pass to meet its duty to enable users access to education.
As Cabinet Member for Education and Skills, I agree tothe Kent Post-16 Transport Policy Statement.
Publication date: 06/06/2023
Date of decision: 06/06/2023
Effective from: 14/06/2023