Dear Parents

Please follow the link to learn about the proposed changes:

https://consultation.gateshead.gov.uk/kms/dmart.aspx?noip=1&strTab=PublicDMart#819

(You will need to scroll down the page to find the relevant consultation).

Please take time to take part in the survey as it may affect your entitlement if your child transfers to Cardinal Hume.

 

What is this consultation about?
The Council is consulting on a proposal to change the current arrangements for free home to school transport where this is provided to pupils on the grounds of faith or religion.

The current arrangements
Currently, where a pupil attends a faith school on faith grounds, the council provides free home to school travel if the safe walking distance exceeds three miles for secondary school pupils (up to the age of 16) or two miles for primary school pupils from their appropriate neighbourhood faith school. This is over and above the council’s statutory requirement to provide free home to school transport on low income grounds or statutory distance rules, for those pupils attending faith schools.

What are the proposed changes?
The Council is proposing to either withdraw completely OR phase out over a number of years, the current entitlement of free home to school transport where this is provided to pupils on the grounds of faith or religion, over and above the statutory requirement. If this were to be phased out, for example, existing arrangements would be honoured, but no new applications would be accepted from September 2014.

Pupils who qualify for statutory entitlement to free home to school transport on low household income grounds or statutory distance rules would continue to receive free home to school transport.

Who will be affected?
There are currently around 580 pupils who receive free transport passes from the Council because they live more than the statutory walking distance from their nearest faith school. These families would initially be the ones affected by this change. All future applicants to faith schools would also be affected.

When might these changes happen?
If the proposals go ahead, free entitlement to home to school transport on the basis of faith or religion would either be withdrawn altogether OR be phased out from September 2014.

Who is being consulted?
The Council would like to hear the views of young people, parents and carers, parent’s groups, schools, academies and members of faith and religious organisations and groups.

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