Bill Wiggin MP this month questioned the Government on changes to school transport funding following Herefordshire Council’s controversial consultation.
When North Herefordshire MP Bill Wiggin learnt of Herefordshire Council’s consultation he publicly supported the idea of delegating transport funding to individual schools so they could design their own arrangements.
Mr Wiggin has since put his proposal to the Department for Education, and has now received a response.
Bill Wiggin MP: “To ask the Secretary of State for Education if he will make it his policy to allow local authorities to delegate school transport funding to individual schools so that they may design their own arrangements for their pupils. ”
Rt Hon Mr David Laws, Minister of State at the Department for Education: “Currently, the responsibility for school transport, as well as the funding, rests with local authorities and there are no plans to alter legislation to delegate this responsibility formally, or the funding, to individual schools.
We expect local authorities to work in partnership with schools, local transport providers and neighbouring authorities to identify needs and to source the most appropriate provision and secure value for money. In planning and commissioning area-wide transport provision to meet the needs of the whole community, they are best placed to enter into contractual arrangements on behalf of schools and other services.
If, however, an individual school wanted to manage its own provision, then it is open to the school to discuss with the local authority how the transport funding and responsibility could be devolved.”
Bill Wiggin MP said: “I welcome the Ministers’ response to my question. This is an important issue in North Herefordshire causing a great deal of concern to many parents and families, all of whom are still waiting to find out the results of the Council’s consultation.
“Whilst we all wait on those results I am pleased the Minister has shed some light on whether schools could take over their own transport arrangements as I would like to see.
“Once the results of the consultation are made known it will then be open to individual schools and Herefordshire Council to discuss how to take this matter forward.”