Transport assistance to continue for eligible children and young people
Shropshire Council will continue to ensure statutory duties are fulfilled where transport assistance is provided to children and young people eligible under the statutory guidance for local authorities – which includes those with special educational needs and/or disabilities and those who remain living in their family home.
Eligibility for this assistance will continue to be considered on an individual basis to identify the particular transport requirements for each child or young person, as outlined in the statutory guidance. This will follow the special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) and alternative provision (AP) transformational reform programme announced by the Government on 2 March.
Kirstie Hurst-Knight, Cabinet member for children and education, said:
We are encouraged by the SEND and AP transformational reform programme, as this aligns with the work already underway in Shropshire to enable, and invest in, the right support at the right place locally and at the earliest opportunity to prevent challenges or concerns escalating.
The medium-term financial savings proposals published in December 2022 identified that the council would review the transport arrangements for education placements to ensure efficient use of resources, and work is underway to explore what those options are.
Whatever options are identified, these options will not reduce or remove any of the transport assistance services that Shropshire Council has a statutory duty to fulfil for children with special educational needs and/or disabilities and those who remain living in their family home.
A report will come to Shropshire Council’s Cabinet this summer to start a public consultation on options to revise the contribution scheme for post-16 applicants with SEND from April 2024, allowing time for views and feedback from the consultation to be considered, options developed and presented for consideration by councillors. This will ensure that we are able to prioritise our resources to the people, including children and young people, who require our support the most.