Proposed changes to School Transport
The Parish Council, like many local residents, has been made aware of the proposed changes to the funding of school transport that could well mean that pupils going to Tarporley High School would no longer be eligible for free school transport.
The strength of feeling was made clear by a member of the public at Monday's meeting, and a report by Councillor Jones, who has young children at Tarvin Primary, indicated the complexity of the issue.
For many years a large proportion of the pupils from Tarvin have gone to Tarporley for their secondary education, a change made easier by the strong links between the two schools and the excellent programme of support and mentoring offered to pupils making the move. The suggestion to restrict free transport to the NEAREST school only, puts Christleton High School, Upton High School and Bishop's Blue Coat School closer than Tarporley.
Current pupils will not be affected and the proposed change is due to come into effect from September 2015.
The Parish Council is concerned that, despite some public consultation, there is still a lack of definitive information in the public domain to help parents reach sensible decisions about their children's futures. Given that the period of consultation does not close until January 24th 2014, the Council decided to seek more information and discuss the issue again in the December meeting. Anyone who wishes to raise this issue, and to keep the Parish Council abreast of public opinion, is urged to either speak to a Councillor or attend the Open Forum of the next Council meeting on 16th December
The Parish Council is very aware of the financial constraints facing CW&C but feels that this is an ill-thought out and unnecessary way to save money. All children in Tarvin Parish have to travel to secondary school and they are concerned that the choice of school may now be dominated by cost issues rather than by the educational needs of individual children and families. They are also concerned that the changes would create far more car journeys and have a detrimental effect on the attractiveness of Tarvin as a place for young families to live.
The Parish Council is aware that the NUMBER of responses received by CWaC in public consultations can be vital in the decision making process. A petition is no more effective than one individual comment. It therefore urges everyone who feels strongly about this issue to contact CW&C INDIVIDUALLY to let them know their views.
By email to – firstname.lastname@example.org
By mail to – School Transport Consultation, Children and Young People's Services, 3rd Floor HQ,58 Nicholas Street, CHESTER CH1 2NP