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Free transport to be slashed
12:00pm Thursday 19th September 2013 in News
THOUSANDS of pupils across Essex could have their free bus passes taken away by Essex County Council.
County Hall bosses are proposing major changes to the way it funds transport for children from home to school, which is costing it £25million a year.
Among the proposals is to scrap any free transport for families earning over £42,457 and means testing disabled children who rely on taxis to take them to school.
Low income families will also only be allowed transport to their local school while pupils hoping to go to grammer school won’t get funding to the school of their choice.
Announcing a six-week consultation on the plans, Ray Gooding, county councillor responsible for education and lifelong learning, said: “Quite simply we need to save money right across the board and this means a review of the discretionary elements of our Home to School Transport policy."
The council is also reviewing the help it gives to families of children aged over 16 and plans to cut the funding for low income families by 50 per cent, regardless of whether they still qualify for transport or not.
Families of statemented special educational needs (SEN) pupils will also be charged for transport on a sliding scale.
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