The Cabinet Member is asked to agree to amend the Post 16 Transport Policy Statement for 2022/23 in light of the recent closure of the Kent Wheels 2 Work scheme.
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.
Local Authorities are required to consult on a Post 16 Transport Policy Statement each year by the 31 May, which explains how they intend to support Post 16 learners in the forthcoming academic year. The Children’s, Young People and Education Cabinet Committee discussed the 2022-23 Policy Statement on 1 March 2022 and the policy was determined by the Cabinet Member for Education and Skills shortly thereafter.
Following the conclusion of these activities, Officers were informed that the Wheels 2 Work scheme, which is managed externally to the team and which is referenced within the policy, will cease to be offered from the end of the 2021/22 academic year as a result of lack of use.
It is therefore necessary to remove references to the Wheels 2 Work scheme from the Post 16 Transport Policy Statement for 2022-23. All remaining transport support options are unchanged.
Decision type: Key
Reason Key: Affects more than two Electoral Divisions;
Decision status: Recommendations Approved
Notice of proposed decision first published: 22/06/2022
Decision due: 20 Jul 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.
The final decision will be presented to the CYPE Cabinet Committee prior to the decision being taken by the Cabinet Member for Education and Skills.
Financial implications: The scheme is uncapped and costs will vary depending on take up levels and journeys undertaken by cardholders, it is therefore difficult to predict overall costs for 2022-23. The current cost of the post 16+ KTS is around £2.9m of which £2.0m is funded from the recharge of the pass. The remaining subsidy of £0.9m is met from the revenue budget. The 2022-23 MTFP includes a saving of £0.350m from increasing the KTS 16+ pass cost from September 2022 to £500. In addition, the Home to school transport revenue budget also subsidises the Post 16 SEN Transport offer. This numbers fluctuate from year to year, but the total subsidy remains between £4-5 million per annum. Kent Wheels to Work was not funded from these budgets and so will have no immediate impact. The decision is limited to the need to ensure that the Policy Statement remains accurate for the forthcoming academic year.
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. Local authorities must ensure that information present within this Policy Statement is accurate, so references to Wheels 2 Work must now be removed following the cessation of the scheme.
Equalities implications: Post 16 Transport Policy has an overall positive impact for learners with protected characteristics, with little to no negative effects. The document and consultation information can be found via the previous Transport Policy Statement PROD.