Kirklees Council is planning to make some changes to the way eligible post-16 young people with additional needs are helped to access their place of education.
The changes will relate to young people of sixth form age who are eligible for travel assistance - and your views will help to shape the way forward.
All councils have to produce a Transport Statement setting out the arrangements for enabling eligible post-16 pupils to access education. It is to support eligible post-16 pupils with Special Educational Needs (SEND) but also supports those pupils who, due to exceptional circumstances, need transport assistance.
Other local authorities have already changed their Transport Statement in order to make savings whilst still supporting young people and their families to access education.
Currently, Kirklees Council provides taxis and minibuses to transport around 300 eligible young people to their education setting each day. In 2022/23, this is cost £2.6million - an average cost of over £8,600 per pupil on transport.
The costs are rising quickly and, in light of the financial challenges facing the council, this will not be sustainable in the future.
Post-16 Personal Travel Payment
The council is therefore planning to change its approach and provide each eligible pupil with a Post-16 Personal Travel Payment, based on the distance their young person travels to access education - the further they travel, the higher their budget will be.
However, the council understands that a Post-16 Personal Travel Payment may not be appropriate in all circumstances, especially for those pupils with the most complex needs. The proposed approach allows for council-organised transport to be provided to meet the needs of individual pupils where a Post-16 Personal Travel Payment would not be appropriate.
Families could spend the budget in whichever way is best for them, giving them flexibility to tailor their travel arrangements based on individual needs.
Cllr Elizabeth Reynolds, Cabinet member for Learning and Aspiration, said:
"Amongst other local authorities, we are in the process of reviewing our transport services in light of climate sustainability, financial effectiveness and in response to the changing needs of our young people.
"We are committed to working with our families in the redesign of the provision, however we do not expect that any changes will involve our young people with the greatest level of need, such as those who require specially adapted vehicles or specialist support.
"We are hopeful that by holding this consultation we will be able to give all families better choice in how any proposals might work in practice.
"Your opinion is important. Please have your say so that we can better understand the needs of our young people, plan for the future and continue to support them in their learning to achieve their very best."
How to have your say
Fill in our simple online form.
Clock Completing this form takes around 5 minutes.Complete the survey for proposed changes to the post-16 transport statement
After you've filled in the form
The results will be collated and any changes made as a result of the consultation will be presented to elected members in March 2024.
Other ways to take part
You can take part at specially arranged drop-in sessions:
PCAN drop in sessions:
- 7th December: 9:30am to 12:30pm at The Zone, Huddersfield
- 11th December: 6pm to 8pm at Holmfirth Library
- 13th December: 9:30am to 12:30 at Thornhill Community Centre, Dewsbury
More information about Post-16 Personal Travel Payments (PTPs)
- If your child moves home or changes school, you must ensure that you let Kirklees Council know as soon as possible, but no later than 28 days before the change is due to take place. Failure to notify Kirklees Council of such changes under the terms of the agreement would constitute fraud and could lead to legal proceedings at a later date to recover any undue payments.
- On notification of a change in circumstances, your child's eligibility to receive a PTP would then be reassessed. You are not guaranteed to continue to receive a PTP because one was previously provided.
- The PTP assessment will be made on the basis of your child's current circumstances and what alternative transport is available at the time. Any transport arrangements that are required after the change but before your child has been reassessed will be the parent's responsibility to arrange.
- Where payments are made and it is later established that Kirklees Council had not been informed of a change in circumstance, payments will be recovered by Kirklees Council's Debt Recovery Team and where appropriate, through the courts.
Once the payments are made to you, you can use them any way you wish to for your child to get to and from school every day. However, the council retains the right to check payments are being spent correctly and lawfully.
Transport assistance is only provided to one school. If you apply for a PTP, this will only be assessed to the school that your child is on roll at and eligible for transport assistance to.
- The council will not provide any cover transport arrangements and it will be your parental responsibility to ensure your child's attendance at school.
- You are advised to have a contingency plan in place when using your personal transport budget if for any reason you are unable to get your child to school yourself or by your chosen method.
- Once a PTP has been granted, you are not guaranteed to receive it until your child leaves their current school.
- The council will review your child's PTP at least once a year.
- The review will evaluate whether it remains cost effective for the PTP to be provided and new transport options may mean this is no longer the case.
- The review will also check your child's attendance records to ensure your child is regularly accessing school.
- If your child's attendance at school is not sufficient to continue paying you a PTP, or where there is more cost-effective transport in place, the PTP may be withdrawn. If this should happen, you will be given 28 days' notice.
- PTPs are only available to children that are eligible for travel assistance.
- There is no appeal where eligibility is not in dispute, however, you can have the decision reviewed.
- PTPs cannot be provided until we have established whether your child is eligible for transport assistance.
If your child is currently being transported by a specially adapted vehicle, it is expected that this transport will continue to be provided. This will be assessed on an individual basis.
- The Post-16 PTP calculation takes into account the contribution that parents are currently paying, therefore no further payment will be required if you are in receipt of the Post-16 PTP.
- For those pupils who will continue on transport due to their complex needs, a parental contribution will need to be made.
- Currently parents contribute £382.39 to the cost of transport.
- Councillors will decide whether this contribution will increase or remain the same.
- Post-16 parent travel payments will be calculated with regards to the distance that the pupil travels from home to college or school.
- This will be the same for those travelling to out-of-area schools.
- The payments will be made in advance on a monthly basis (11 payments over the year).
- Attendance records will be monitored regularly and payments will be withdrawn if attendance is not sufficient.