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Council explains school transport policy

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By Fiona Reid
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Council explains school transport policy

DUMFRIES and Galloway Council have responded to concerns raised about school transport in rural parts of the region.

Setting out their school transport policy, a spokesperson said: “Free school transport is awarded from the pick-up point for onward transportation: to pupils under eight years old who live more than two miles from their catchment school by the shortest walking route; To pupils who are eight years old and over who live more than three miles from their catchment school by the shortest walking route; pupils who are baptised Roman Catholic, live over two or three miles (dependent upon age, see previous two points) from their nearest Roman Catholic school provision.

“The first two miles of travel (if the pupil is under eight), or three miles (if eight or over) is the parents’ responsibility and they should ensure that their child reaches and returns from the designated pick-up and drop off point safely.

“All routes are assessed on the assumption that the child is accompanied by a responsible person.”

However, when a pupil does not fit the eligibility criteria, their parents or carers, or the young person themselves, can request a review of decisions made, except in cases where the pupil is attending a school as a result of a placing request.

The spokesperson added: “Any request to review on the grounds of road safety on a council adopted public road will consider the suitability of the route and road environment, as well as the specified pick-up/drop-off points, on the assumption the child is accompanied by a responsible person.

“This will generally apply to all pupils using that route and will be carried out by the roads service’s network strategy and road safety team.

“Any right to review will only apply to those pupils who do not qualify for statutory home to school transport and does not extend to those pupils who do qualify for statutory home to school transport.”

A further appeal can be made after that review to the head of education and the council’s transportation manager.

But the guidance states: “The decision will be final within the council, unless there is a material change in the nature of the route or other circumstances after the decision has been made.”

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