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Bury proposes to end free School Travel for Faith Schools

by timpickstone on 20 August, 2012

We’re being presented with an urgent item for the meeting of the Council’s Cabinet meeting this Wednesday – which is the Labour Council proposing to end the travel costs for children attending faith schools from September 2013.

At present the Council will purchase travel passes for children in low income families who have to travel more than 2 miles to their nearest school (3 miles for secondary school children). It also pays for the travel of children attend a faith school which is not their normal school – and its this extra provision which is proposed to end from September 2013.

The main people affected by the change would be people who attended Jewish, Church of England or Roman Catholic schools – where there is non-faith school which would be nearer.

In 2011/12 the Council spent £337,000 in helping children with travel to school – the estimated saving for ending this for Faith schools is £214,000.

Only two years ago the same proposal was made by the then (minority) Conservative administration in Bury. Labour campaigned loudly against the changes citing it as discrimination and 13 Labour Councillors ‘called in’ the decision at the time and in the end it didn’t happen.

Let me know what you think as I am interested in people’s views.

   3 Comments

3 Responses

  1. Martin says:

    Not extending the free travel provision to low-income families is terribly discriminatory. The idea behind this policy is surely to allow children from low-income families the same choice, freedom and ability to receive the best possible education that more financially able families enjoy. If costs need to be cut, then why not agree a subsidy, to allow the affected parent’s choice to be protected? The discrimination argument is secondary to this point about choice.

  2. JOHN WEBSTER says:

    I live in Radcliffe and due to the very poor performance of the schools in that area have been forced to send my daughter to a catholic school. Whilst I understand there are plenty of people who will critisise what I have done, I would be failing my daughter if I didn’t do everything possible to get the best education I could. If the schools in the area were upto scratch this would be a non-issue and everyone would be able to attend a local school.

  3. B Graham says:

    I dont choose to send my children to a Catholic school because they get a better education, I send them as I want them to grow up in the Catholic faith. We go to Church every week. As a single working mum, who would not be entitled to help with travel costs, getting my children to Prestwich, which involves 2 buses or a tram would prove extremly costly to me. What would happen if we decided that we couldnt afford to do this and wanted our children to go to a high school in Radcliffe…oh wait..there isnt one!! So we will go to the nearest one which is derby. Can Derby provide a place for all the Catholic kids who cant afford to get to a catholic school, the answer is NO. The most alarming thing about all this is that Councillor Cummings who is a goverenor of St Marys Rc Primary voted AGAINST free travel. He his hardly benefiting the children of the school is he? The sad thing is that the losers here are the parents, school and churches, because the parents wont be able to give as much to fundraising efforts as they will be spending it travel. Councillor Cummings should resign as goverenor immediately as he is a disgrace.

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