A north Northumberland school has taken the decision to provide free transport for its post-16 students in light of the council cuts.
James Calvert Spence College (JCSC), in Amble, one of the four state schools with a sixth form from Morpeth to Berwick, has said that it will pay for transport for some of its sixth-form pupils.
Not all students will be paid for, as a proportion will still be eligible for free transport under the new county-council scheme and others live nearby and walk to school.
Executive headteacher Christine Graham stressed that while JCSC was in a position to do it – due to having a relatively small sixth form and a number of pupils who fall into the protected categories, it may not be possible for other schools.
“This area of north Northumberland is still not really out of recession yet and a lot of our parent work hard, often at a number of jobs to support their children and we don’t want children not to attend because of finance,” she said.
“I think everyone feels like that, but we are in a position do it. I understand that councils have to make cuts and it’s very unfortunate. In order to have schools in rural areas, there are added-on costs.
“We did have to think long and hard about it.”
The current scheme will be retained for students who continue their studies in September. Students such as those with special educational needs or those from low-income backgrounds who attend their nearest appropriate school or college will be exempt.