The Cabinet Member is asked to agree the Post 16 Transport Policy Statement for 2022/223
Reason for decision:
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 2022/23 academic year. KCCs primary method of meeting its obligation in regard to Post 16 Transport will be through the continued offer of the 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.
Furthermore, in our efforts to ensure learners can access their courses or training providers of choice, we offer discounted access moped loans for young adults in rural areas unable to access a public bus network through the Wheels to Work scheme. www.w2wkent.co.uk/.
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 raised to 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.
Decision type: Key
Reason Key: Affects more than two Electoral Divisions;
Decision status: Recommendations Approved
Division affected: (All Division);
Notice of proposed decision first published: 25/01/2022
Decision due: Not before 23rd Feb 2022 by Cabinet Member for Education and Skills
Lead director: Christine McInnes
Department: Education & Young People's Services
Contact: Craig Chapman, Head of Fair Access Email: email@example.com.
Financial implications: Whilst KCC is not directly funded to support any transport requirements for learners over the age of 16, KCC has made significant financial commitments to Post 16 Transport. The LA commits in excess of £7 million on Post 16 Transport and draws an income of around £2.3 million. Numbers fluctuate from year to year, but the total subsidy remains between £4-5 million per annum.
Legal implications: Local authorities have a duty to prepare and publish by 31 May each year an annual transport policy statement specifying the arrangements for the provision of transport, or otherwise that the authority considers necessary, to make to facilitate the attendance of all persons of sixth form age receiving education or training.
Equalities implications: Post 16 Transport Policy has an overall positive impact for learners with protected characteristics, with little to no negative effects.