Suffolk County Council is implementing changes to its School Travel Policy taking effect from September 2019. We have written to all schools with information about the policy change and how it will affect them. For your reference please see below the detail of the policy change and how it may affect schools in your area.
Statutory School Age School Travel Policy:
Children living in Suffolk who will be starting at a new school in September 2019 will be eligible for SCC funded school travel when they are over 2 miles (under 8 years old) or 3 miles (over 8) walking distance from their nearest suitable school that would have had a place available for them. This would be whether or not an application was made for a place at that school. Full details about SCC funded school travel, including additional arrangements for low income families and those with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND), can be found at www.suffolkonboard.com/schooltravel.
The new policy is being phased in. This means that children who receive Suffolk County Council (SCC) funded school travel in the 2018/2019 school year will continue to receive this whilst they continue to attend the same school unless they turn 8 years of age and live between 2 and 3 miles from their current school, or move house at which time eligibility would be reassessed.
In the first year of change to the new school travel policy this will impact on those starting or moving school with effect from September 2019. We are unable to be specific about the impact, until we complete the normal admissions rounds for September 2019. The national offer days for school places are 1 March 2019 for secondary/upper allocations and 16 April 2019 for Primary/middle allocations.
For those starting at secondary/upper schools in September 2019, parents will be informed if their child is eligible for SCC funded travel by 30 April 2019. Information about those who are eligible to SCC funded travel will be provided to the child’s receiving school. If parents do not hear from us by this date and believe their child is eligible for funded school travel, they should contact the Customer Service Team on 0345 606 6173 or email them at firstname.lastname@example.org. For primary/middle schools for school year 2019/2020, parents will be informed by 14 May 2019 and need to contact us as soon as possible after this date if they think they might be eligible. Again, information about those who are eligible to SCC funded travel will be provided to the child’s receiving school.
Beyond September 2019, changes will continue to be implemented as each year group starts a new school or a family move to a new house.
For transport in September 2019 and all future years families whose child/ren are eligible for SCC funded school travel will need to opt in to receive their transport.
This important change means that all parents will have to opt-in by 31 May each year for school travel to be provided in the following school year as this will no longer be provided automatically.
1. Those currently eligible and who have SCC funded travel under the old policy arrangements because they will be in Year 1 to Year 6, or Year 8 to Year 11 in September 2019 (and have not moved address) or
2. are eligible under the new travel policy.
Recent research has shown that some families, although eligible to SCC funded school travel, do not use their seat(s). Suffolk County Council consequently is funding seats which are unused and therefore, we are asking families to opt in.