To receive a report from the Cabinet Member for Education and Health Reform and the Corporate Director of Education and Young People’s Services and to note the proposed Post 16 Transport Policy, which is currently out to consultation and remains unchanged from 2014/15, and endorse its future implementation and determination by the Cabinet Member, pending any feedback from the formal consultation currently underway.
(1) Scott Bagshaw (Head of Fair Access) introduced the report which asked the cabinet committee to note the proposed Post 16 Transport Policy which was out to consultation and remained unchanged from 2014/15. Mr Bagshaw said that, although no changes were proposed, there was a statutory requirement to consult on and publish a policy statement annually. He also said that learning providers could provide further subsidies with discretionary bursaries and previous consultations had shown that parents and students would like rail travel to be included but rail operators were unwilling to be involved.
(2) Views were expressed that the 16+ Travel Card was good value for money and it was not generally understood that it exceeded statutory requirements.
(3) In response to questions, Mr Bagshaw said that additional support for children in care was provided through bursaries where appropriate. Need for further support would be considered on a case by case basis but there was no evidence of an increase in such requests; the number of cards had increased from 4,000 to about 6,500 following the reduction in cost from £520 to £400 and had cost the authority about £340,000 in 2014-15. He also undertook to provide further information about the numbers of children in care in receipt of the 16+ Travel Card.
(Post meeting note: Mr Bagshaw has since confirmed that because the passes are ordered by the education providers, KCC does not currently capture the status of children in receipt of the 16+ Travel Card. He also wished to remind Members that the Young Persons’ Travel Pass had been extended to aged 18 for children in care and those fostered from care and provided free. At present 469 children over 16 receive these free travel passes under the YPTP scheme)
(4) Resolved that the proposed Post 16+ Transport Policy which was out to consultation and remained unchanged from 2014/15 be endorsed subject to any feedback from the consultation.