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(UK) Hampshire: Disabled children denied costly school transport; $1.2M saved

July 8, 2022, Portsmouth News: Disabled Hampshire children might not be picked up from home for school as county council cuts transport budget

S. central England

ALMOST a million pounds are set to be cut from the budget that gets disabled youngsters to and from school.

Following a public consultation, Hampshire County Council is looking to slash the home-to-school transport budget by £986,000 [$1.2M].
The service currently takes 12,000 children to and from school each day, with special educational needs and disabilities.

However, the county council now plans to use more dedicated pick-up and drop-off points, rather than going directly to children's homes.

Multiple children could also be taken on single journeys, the county council has suggested. Director of children's services, Steve Crocker, said: 'These proposed changes would allow for route planning and vehicle use to utilise the efficiencies provided by increased use of collective pick-up points and multiple destinations.

'There is no statutory requirement for home to school transport to be a door-to-door service or to provide for individual establishments.

'Parents can be asked to accompany their child to and from a collection point.'

Parents of these children have already voiced their opposition to these proposals….

Parents cited concerns with stress and anxiety, particularly with how the children deal with changes to their routines, and the potential exposure to busy roads and bad weather.

Mr Crocker said: 'The country council is committed to promoting inclusivity and access for all for pupils to a range of appropriate transport services….

'The implementation of a strengths-based approach will help prepare children for adulthood….


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