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.

LGPS: Unlocking infrastructure image

LGPS: Unlocking infrastructure

Pension funds can play an important role backing useful projects such as railway infrastructure, water companies and green energy. Mark Whitehead met a man whose organisation invests local government pensions constructively.
Maximising tech spend image

Maximising tech spend

David Beggs calls on local government to take a much broader view of technology to get the most value from it.
SIGN UP
For your free daily news bulletin
Highways jobs

Part Time Community Rail Partnership Officer

Essex County Council
£24000 - £26275 per annum + Plus Excellent Benefits Package
Please note that this position is being offer on a part time basis, covering 23 hours per week. Working Pattern TBC. England, Essex, Rochford
Recuriter: Essex County Council

Duty Officer

Telford & Wrekin Council
£19,554 - £21,166
The successful candidate will work across a rota pattern that includes regular evening and weekend working and will be responsible for... Telford, Shropshire
Recuriter: Telford & Wrekin Council

Business Support Officer - Learning and Early Support

Kirklees Metropolitan Council
£19,554 - £21,166
Duties will include... Kirklees, West Yorkshire
Recuriter: Kirklees Metropolitan Council

Plant and Motor Vehicle Technician - 3 jobs

Kirklees Metropolitan Council
£24,799 - £26,317
You will carry out vehicle inspections, servicing, maintenance and repairs to vehicles and plants operated by Kirklees Council in... Kirklees, West Yorkshire
Recuriter: Kirklees Metropolitan Council

Early Help Projects' Coordinator

Brent Council
£33,291 - £35,724 p.a. inc.
An exciting opportunity to be an Early Help Projects' Co-ordinator. Brent, London (Greater)
Recuriter: Brent Council

Public Property

Latest issue - Public Property News

This issue of Public Property examines how public sector organisations can unlock the hidden value in their land, and why a new approach to construction could help boost the outcomes of the Government’s One Public Estate programme.

The December issue also considers why learnings from ancient cities could provide the key to promoting wellbeing in the modern built environment. It also contains a case study on how the London Borough of Westminster has provided high quality care for the elderly alongside a block of luxury apartments.

Register for your free digital issue