Thursday, May 30, 2024

Families To Pay More Transport For Special Needs Kids

Parents of teenagers with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) are to be told to pay more for transport to college or sixth form.

Birmingham City Council has confirmed cuts to its special needs transport budget, with taxis and minibuses no longer set to be routinely offered to those aged 16 to 18 from September.

The council-funded services, mainly used to transport pupils to special needs schools miles away from their homes, will remain for younger children.

Read Also: School Transport: Children Let Down By Dropped Changes

In an email to families, the local authority acknowledged the changes would be difficult for some families and said it had given as much notice as possible.

The cash-strapped council declared itself effectively bankrupt last September by issuing a section 114 notice, before signing off on a wave of devastating cuts to address a £300m budget deficit.

The cuts, which have attracted protests, include slashed funding for some of the city’s libraries.

And the Children’s Young People and Families department needs to find £51.5m savings in the next financial year.

Under the transport changes, support for 16 to 18-year-old’s will be provided through a personal transport budget (PTB) or a pass for use on public transport.

But families will be told to pay more, with their contribution deducted from the budget, increasing from £780 to £1,028 per academic year.

Low-income families will still pay £390 a year towards their travel arrangements.

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