Travel assistance policy - for children and young people with an EHCP or a SSEN

Closed 28 Mar 2016

Opened 4 Jan 2016

Overview

Surrey County Council is currently updating its travel assistance policy for children and young people with an education, health and care plan (EHCP) or an existing statement of special educational needs (SSEN).

Because of the differences in the way education is provided between the 0-16 and 16 – 25 age groups, it is proposed that there are separate policy documents for each group. Both of these documents are currently in draft and, following the feedback received in this consultation, will be updated.

We would like to be informed by as wide a range of views and evidence as possible: by hearing from all children, young people, parents and carers, representative bodies, and others.

To respond to this consultation, you will need to read and refer to the draft policy documents -

Draft Pre 16 Travel assistance
Draft 16-25 Travel assistance

Please note:

If changes are made to the council’s current policies, the council does not intend to implement these changes before the school year that starts in September 2016.
 

 

Why We Are Consulting

As part of the government’s aim to reduce public spending, Surrey County Council will need to make significant savings across all areas, including Children’s Services. This consultation sets out how we propose to make savings in the area of discretionary provision of home to school and college travel support.

Changes have been made in accordance with the requirments set out in the below statutory guidance:

Post-16 transport to education and training, February 2014
Home to school travel and tranport guidance, July 2014
Particpation of young people in education, employment, or training, September 2014

Travel allowance system

We are consulting on the introduction of a ‘travel allowance’. This would replace the current system of ‘parental mileage’.

The current parental mileage rate is paid for each journey to and from the educational establishment, up to four journeys a day. The current rate is 22.5 pence per mile, rising to 40 pence per mile for journeys over 10 miles so long as the child is in the car.  Payment is made termly in arrears, within 30 days of receipt of a correct travel claim.

Our aim is to allow greater flexibility to parents and carers, and to provide a better transport option for the child / young person. Like the current system of 'parental mileage', the proposed travel allowance would be calculated according to distance between home and educational establishment.  But, rather than payments being made each term in arrears, an annual sum would be agreed in September of each year, and this would be paid in instalments over the academic year.

We have also produced a short briefing document which aims to help consultation respondents understand how the introduction of a travel allowance system would affect families in practice.

Pre 16 policy

Surrey County Council accepts its responsibility for home to school transport between the child or young person’s main residence and school / college when they are in receipt of an EHCP or a SEN statement. 

The council is not proposing to change the policy for this age group. However the council would also like to give stakeholders the opportunity to provide feedback.

Though the draft policy document restates current policy, we have tried to make the policy document more accessible to parents and carers with regard to writing style and language adopted. In addition, the draft policy tries to clarify elements that were less clear in previous versions. We are consulting on these aspects of the draft policy.

16 – 25 policy

The existing SEN policy facilitates travel assistance to all 16 – 25 students of sixth form age who stay on at their school. Those 16 - 25 students of sixth form age who progress to a general further education college or 6th form college are currently asked to make a contribution. This contribution is a fixed proportion of the total cost of transport provision for these students.

As things stand, there is an inequity between those young people continuing at school who do not have to make any contribution and those progressing to college who are asked to contribute. Statutory guidance for post 16 transport to education and training stipulates that the local authority should not differentiate between providers or institutions in the support they offer for learners of sixth form age.

The council seeks to redress this inequity and bring Surrey County Council in to line with the statutory guidance. We are proposing to ask for a contribution from the families of those young people who have an EHCP or a SEN statement going to both colleges and schools.

This is proposed in the new draft 16 – 25 travel assistance policy document and we are seeking views to determine a fair level of contribution from all 16 - 25 students.

 

 

Areas

  • All Areas

Audiences

  • Young people
  • Children in care
  • Parents
  • Teachers
  • Social workers
  • Youth workers
  • Health professionals working with children
  • Councillors, MPs
  • Children with disabilities
  • CSF staff
  • Carers
  • Headteachers
  • Health providers
  • Clinical commissioning groups
  • Children's Centres
  • Employers
  • Care Leavers
  • SCC staff
  • District and borough council staff
  • All Surrey residents

Interests

  • Schools
  • 6-11 year olds
  • 12-19 year olds
  • 20-25 year olds
  • Special Educational Needs
  • Disabilities
  • Parents and families
  • Staff
  • Policy