Saturday, July 03, 2010

People Power Solves Holme-on-Spalding-Moor to Woldgate College Bus Issue

People Power prevailed in Holme on Spalding Moor this week when the future of the school bus from the village to Pocklington’s Woldgate College was resolved, after a lot of hard work by a group of parents.

The main issue was that Holme on Spalding Moor was outside the school catchment area for Wolgate College, but over 60 pupils from the village had chosen to attend the college.

The pupils have been able to use the East Riding of Yorkshire Council (ERYC) funded bus service this past year, with parents paying a supplement £180 for the year. At the beginning of the present school year the Council gave notice that due to policies extending across the whole of the East Riding the subsidy paid by the Council for the bus could not be continued after the end of the year.

I am led to believe that this would have meant a rise to at least £570 per pupil if the college had passed on the £35,000 annual cost to charter a bus to replace the service.

This has been something on which I have been asking questions since last autumn and have been led through the various policy and cost implications for the Council.

When I looked at the benefits to the college of having an extra 60 pupils on the roll – it is my understanding that the college receives well in excess of £200,000 for taking those pupils. For the college not to contribute to the cost of transporting pupils from outside the normal catchment area was difficult to understand.

I feel it is absolutely paramount that parents and pupils are given choices when it comes to schools, and they should certainly not be unfairly penalised financially for the choices they make.

Well done to Holme on Spalding Moor parents!

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