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Free school transport from Perton (South Staffordshire)

Volume 543: debated on Monday 30 April 2012

The Petition of residents of the South Staffordshire constituency, and others,

Declares that the route to school for children walking from Perton to Codsall High School is dangerous as it involves a walk along an A-Road and that this needs to be addressed so that the children can get to school safely.

The Petitioners therefore request that the House of Commons urges the Government to ask Staffordshire County Council to take all possible steps to ensure that free home to school transport is provided for all children from Perton attending Codsall High School.

And the Petitioners remain, etc.—[Presented by Gavin Williamson, Official Report, 1 March 2012; Vol. 541, c. 535.]

[P001010]

Observations from the Secretary of State for Education, received 27April 2012:

Local authorities have to make difficult decisions to ensure that we address the economic challenges facing the country, but those decisions must not be at the expense of the safety of children.

I note that the provision of free transport from Perton village to Codsall High School has been raised with the local authority on many occasions particularly since the village has developed and expanded. The part of the walking route that has been queried was last assessed in 2008. The decision was reviewed in the autumn of that year with the local authority satisfied that the route was available to walk.

I am working with local authorities, schools, young people and the transport sector to ensure that we have a transport system that provides parents with the confidence that their children can get to school or college in a safe, affordable and sustainable manner. This is a complex area and I will make more details available in due course.

On securing a place at a school, admission authorities must explain clearly whether or not school transport will be available and, if so, to which schools and at what cost (if any). Information about school travel and transport options available to parents must be made available by the local authority.