Religion-based school transport under microscope

The county council is asking for residents’ views on a proposal to change the way it supports transport to schools provided on the basis of religion or belief.

Currently the council provides free transport to just over 800 pupils for reasons of religion or belief at a cost of almost £870,000 a year.

If the council decides to make a change, it will be introduced from September 2015, and only for pupils starting in a new school from that date.

The council is considering changing its Home to School Transport Policy so that transport on the basis of religion or belief will be provided to new applicants on payment of an annual charge.

In practice, the main effect of this change would be that children who on grounds of religion or belief choose to go to a particular school which is not their catchment or closest school would be asked to pay a charge, potentially hundreds of pounds.

To register your views on the options set out in the document, complete the online questionnaire at

All comments should be received before Tuesday, June 10.