School is always more difficult for rural high school pupils and their parents, often demanding an extra half an hour or more of travel, both morning and evening, and limiting access to after-school activities.
It was, therefore, heartening to read about Mr Redmayne of Rothbury, who has sought to overcome the geographical disadvantage faced by his children by organising after-school fencing lessons for his own sons and others around Cambo, paying the cost of the venue out of his own pocket and making the 25-mile round trip to collect his sons afterwards, (Northumberland Gazette, December 28).
The quashing of this commendable initiative by the school transport department is shameful.
The fact that the Redmayne boys occupy spare seats from Morpeth on the Cambo school bus instead of returning to Rothbury on one night per week is easily recorded and costs nothing.
In an age when initiative, enterprise and exercise are demanded of our young people, the fact that our county council is demanding that the Redmaynes should pay for travelling on the ‘wrong’ school bus suggests a mix of obsessive bureaucracy, cynicism and opportunism. Are these really the values that it wants to instil in the youngsters of Northumberland?