Parents will have to find an extra £95 a year to send their child to a faith school by bus, it’s been confirmed.
Annual travel fees of £380 for pupils starting at faith schools, where there is a nearer school, will be hiked by 25 per cent from September to £475. County Councillor Matthew Tomlinson, cabinet member for schools, blamed government cuts to transport budgets.
He said: “For many years we have provided transport support which is well over and above what the law demands. With the savings we are being forced to make, the time has come when we have no choice but to make some very difficult decisions about what we can afford.”
Richard Jones, headteacher at St Christopher’s CE School, said he did not want to see parents who choose to send their children to faith schools ‘penalised’.
He said: “We as a school are sympathetic to the challenge that the local authority faces in terms of funding, but they have to also be aware that the Church of England has played a key role in the provision of education in Lancashire.”
Lancashire County Council (LCC) has also proposed slashing budgets for the borough’s lollipop men and women. There are currently 17 active school crossing patrols in Hyndburn. Under the proposed scheme, schools would be asked to pay around £2,000 a year for the service.
However, LCC has withdrawn controversial proposals to slash subsidies for evening and weekend bus services.