Hampshire faith school pupils see discounted travel cut

Forest School Leaders Dawn White and Sue Evans with their pupils outside the school

Picture: Habibur Rahman (180146-338)

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YOUNGSTERS attending Hampshire faith schools will no longer receive discounted travel from their homes to schools.

Hampshire County Council has decided to withdraw the scheme for all new entrants to schools from September.

It’s hoped the measure could save up to £500,000 per year.

At present, 800 pupils at the county’s two Catholic secondary schools and 14 Catholic primaries use the service, compared to 15,000 youngsters with special educational needs, or who qualify for free school meals, who also use it.

The service costs Hampshire County Council £25.5m each year in total.

The county consulted on the proposals, and of 199 online respondents, 157 opposed the removal of transport for faith school attendees.

Twenty-five out of 30 letters sent on the proposal also opposed the proposal.

But the council’s leader for children’s services, Councillor Roy Perry, said: ‘We do appreciate the work that faith schools do across the county, but we have to make budget savings in many areas and this is just one of those.’