Laura Sharman 04 November 2019

Councils warn about spiralling cost of free school transport

Councils warn about spiralling cost of free school transport image

Councils will be spending £1.2bn on providing free school transport by 2024, new research has found.

The new report, published by the Local Government Association and County Councils Network, found that despite the number of children receiving free home-to-school transport reducing by more than 10,000 in five years, the cost has increased by £66m over four years.

The research shows that around 550,000 young people receive free home-to-school transport each year. Of these, 145,000 are pupils with special educational needs and disability (SEND) accounting for 69% of the cost.

The LGA warns more children with SEND are being sent to specialist schools further away from home, which is the most significant driver in the cost increase.

Cllr Judith Blake, chair of the LGA’s Children and Young People Board, said: 'Free school transport is a lifeline for many pupils and their families but it must be adequately funded if councils are to meet their legal duties to all children and young people.

She added: 'While a special school may be the right setting for a particular child, it is also vital that mainstream schools are incentivised and rewarded for offering a high quality and suitable education for children with special needs.'

The report also found four in five councils overspent on home-to-school transport budgets last year.

Participatory budgeting image

Participatory budgeting

Evgeny Barkov explains what participatory budgeting means and how it can reveal what citizens need.
SIGN UP
For your free daily news bulletin
Highways jobs

Qualified Social Workers within Adult Services

Essex County Council
£30906 - £42254 per annum
Essex County Council ( ECC) can offer a wide range of opportunities within Adult Social Care for Qualified Social Workers across a variety of teams an England, Essex, Colchester
Recuriter: Essex County Council

Building Surveyor

Essex County Council
£38001.0 - £43299.0 per annum
Discover the perfect work/life balance - then combine it with genuine job satisfaction. At Essex County Council, we are proud to support a highly skil England, Essex, Chelmsford
Recuriter: Essex County Council

Social Care Manager - Preparing for Adulthood Team

City of York Council
£30,500 - £34,797 per annum
We are looking for someone who will... York, North Yorkshire
Recuriter: City of York Council

Control Practitioner - Nights

City of York Council
£21,400 to £23,793 per annum) reduced pro-rata
Be Independent are a City of York council service focused on assisting customers to live independently in their own homes. York, North Yorkshire
Recuriter: City of York Council

Arts Officer Projects and Commissioning

London Borough of Richmond upon Thames and London Borough of Wandsworth
£29,738 - £36,036 depending on skills, knowledge and experience
Are you looking to join an innovative, dynamic and forward-thinking team? London (Greater)
Recuriter: London Borough of Richmond upon Thames and London Borough of Wandsworth

Public Property

Latest issue - Public Property News

This issue of Public Property examines how how flexible workspaces can lead the way in regeneration for local authorities, Why local authority intervention is key to successful urban regeneration schemes and if the Government’s challenge of embracing beauty is an opportunity for communities.

The March issue also takes a closer look at Blackburn with Darwen Council's first digital health hub to help people gain control over health and care services.

Register for your free digital issue