12:00PM, Thursday 06 July 2017
Parents are facing bills of £800 a year following changes to school transport rules.
New rules mean children who live in Holyport will not be entitled to free transport to Cox Green School.
This is because Holyport College is seen as the ‘nearest appropriate school’ – but it only accepts 26 day pupils.
Only one ‘non priority’ child has been given a place at the school from this September. Priority includes special needs children and those with siblings at the school.
Holyport resident Helen Duncan’s oldest daughter Caitlyn, 11, is due to start at Cox Green in September and she will have to either pay £800 a year for her transport or drive her the four-mile trip to school.
She said: “I don’t think they can say Holyport College is an appropriate alternative until it expands.”
She added it was not safe for children to walk or cycle to Cox Green School from Holyport and more cars would add to existing congestion problems.
“There is only a small amount of people that this won’t be an issue for,” she said.
Council leader Simon Dudley (Con, Riverside) – a founder of Holyport College – said he has received complaints from a number of parents and is hoping the issue will be addressed at the next cabinet meeting on Thursday, July 27.
“Holyport College has got such a small number of places so for some people it is just not a real option,” he said.
“So I think it is then very hard to ask local parents to have to pay for transport.
“Frankly I think it is ridiculous and we need to do something about it.”
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