St aidans harrogate

North Yorkshire County Council comment on home-to-school transport issues in Harrogate

26 September 2016

North Yorkshire County Council have released a statement following a school bus operator ceasing trading.

Both St Aidan’s and Saint John Fisher are Academy Schools and no longer come under North Yorkshire County Council.

North Yorkshire County Council said:

North Yorkshire County Council understands the difficulties faced by students and their families today as a result of Tower Travel (Harrogate Schools), ceasing to trade without notice.

The Council will provide advice to the schools concerned, St Aidan’s CE High School and St John Fisher Catholic High School, about operator contact details in order for them to secure an alternative service.

In the case of Tower Travel (Harrogate Schools), this was an arrangement between families, the contractor and the schools.

The Council cannot meet the costs of home-to-school transport in this case because these students are not entitled to support under its home to school transport policy. The County Council’s denominational transport network was withdrawn at the end of last term for secondary school students. Students aged 11-16 continue to be supported with transport but only to their catchment school or a nearer school.

In compliance with extended rights eligibility, free transport will continue to be provided if the school attended is between 2 and 15 miles from the pupil’s home and is the nearest school preferred on the grounds of religion or belief where pupils (aged 11-16) are entitled to free school meals or their parents are in receipt of the maximum amount of working tax credit.

All parents have a right to express a preference for their child to be educated at a school of their choice and many parents express a preference for their child to attend a school other than the ‘normal’ school. In these cases, however, parents are responsible for transport arrangements and costs.

We do understand that for this to happen at any stage would be difficult – and perhaps even more so at this critical point in the new term. We will do all we can to support the families and the schools to find alternative contractors that can meet the needs of the students.

See School Bus Company Ceases Trading Affecting Harrogate Students

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