Proposals for a new Home to School travel policy for children and young people in Hackney
A new Home to School travel policy for children and young people in Hackney, including those with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND), will be opened to consultation later this school term.
The new policy will better organise the Council’s current home to school travel arrangements that support children and young people of different ages and with different needs. This follows guidance issued last summer by the Department for Education, which detailed the duties of local authorities, the responsibilities of parents and the role of schools in home to school travel arrangements.
The proposals are looking to balance the duty to provide quality, inclusive and equitable arrangements to support Hackney’s children and young people, and in particular those with SEND, with the efficient use of public resources.
Hackney’s new policy will, where possible, help pupils gain greater independence, with proposals including the development of independent travel training, more pick up points rather than door to door collections and the use of passenger assistants where necessary. The proposals will not change or remove travel assistance in the discretionary areas previously supported by the Council.
As part of the new policy, the Council will be focusing on promoting where appropriate the supporting of independent travel for students with SEND aged 16 or more, through a series of measures such as introducing an independent travel training scheme, travel budgets, cash payments and reimbursements. Young people with significant special needs and disabilities or with mobility problems will continue to be able to access organised transport.
The proposals aim to support Hackney’s SEND Strategy for 2022-2025, which sets out the Council’s vision to provide quality, inclusive services for all Hackney children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND).
Every child is entitled to an education and no child should be prevented from accessing education because they cannot get to school. We want all our children and young people to have access to the right support at the right time and to be able to travel easily to a great inclusive local school which meets their specific needs.
We want to make sure that our home to school travel policy is clear and effective, and that it promotes sustainable and independent forms of travel. I would like to encourage everyone to share their views on the current home to school travel and transport service in Hackney, and what changes they would like to see.
The consultation will begin later this school term. Its findings will help shape the final policy that will be approved by the Cabinet later this year.
Once adopted, the home to school travel policy will be reviewed regularly to make sure it continues to meet local needs and that it complies with statutory requirements.