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School Meals And Transport

Volume 976: debated on Tuesday 18 December 1979

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24.

asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science what indications he has received from local authorities as to how they intend to use their new discretionary powers over school transport arrangements as provided for in the Education (No. 2) Bill.

Local education authorities are still at an early stage in their consideration of this question, but such indications as we have had suggest that some authorities will be contemplating schemes which involve flat rate charges with concessions to large families.

25.

asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science how many letters he has received from people objecting to the changes proposed in the Education (No. 2) Bill in respect of charges for travel to school.

asked the Secretary tary of State for Education and Science whether he will issue a circular to local authorities advising them to take steps to ensure that, under any new school meals arrangements arising from cuts in finance available for education, pupils will not know which of their fellow pupils will be receiving free school meals.

No such circular is envisaged at present, but my right hon. and learned Friend is confident that local education authorities will bear this point in mind in making any new arrangements.

31.

asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science if he will take steps to cushion the cost of school transport in rural areas.

There are many factors to be taken into account and my right hon. and learned Friend considers that it is best to leave it to local education authorities to determine their own policies in the light of the circumstances in their own areas. The provisions for school transport in the Education (No. 2) Bill will enable them to do this.