Agenda and minutes

Venue: County Hall, Preston

Contact: Iris Winn  Tel: (01772) 537986, Email:  appeals@lancashire.gov.uk

Items
No. Item

1.

Apologies

None

Minutes:

CC J Cooney

2.

Disclosure of Pecuniary and Non-Pecuniary Interests

Members are asked to consider any Pecuniary and Non-Pecuniary Interests they may have to disclose to the meeting in relation to matters under consideration on the Agenda.

Minutes:

None were declared.

 

3.

Minutes of the meeting held on 8th April 2019

Minutes:

Resolved: That; the Minutes of the meeting held on the08th April 2019 were confirmed as an accurate record and were signed by the Chair.

 

 

4.

Urgent Business

An item of urgent business may only be considered under this heading where, by reason of special circumstances to be recorded in the Minutes, the Chair of the meeting is of the opinion that the item should be considered at the meeting as a matter of urgency. Wherever possible, the Chief Executive should be given advance warning of any Member's intention to raise a matter under this heading.

Minutes:

None.

5.

Date of the Next Meeting

The next scheduled meeting of the Committee will be held at 10.00am on the 01st July 2019in the County Secretary and Solicitors Group Training and Meeting Room in the Office of the Chief Executive, Christ Church Precinct (1st Floor) at County Hall, Preston.

Minutes:

It was noted that the next meeting of the Committee would be held at 10.00am on Monday 01st July 2019, County Hall, Preston.

 

6.

Exclusion of the Press and Public

The Committee is asked to consider whether, under Section 100A(4) of the Local Government Act 1972, it considers that the public should be excluded from the meeting during consideration of the following item of business on the grounds that there would be a likely disclosure of exempt information as defined in the appropriate paragraph of Part 1 of Schedule 12A to the Local Government Act, 1972 as indicated against the heading of the item and that in all the circumstances of the case the public interest in maintaining the exemption outweighs the public interest in disclosing the information.

Minutes:

Resolved: That the press and public be excluded from the meeting under Section 100A (4) of the Local Government Act, 1972, during consideration of the following item of business as there would be a likely disclosure of exempt information as defined in the appropriate paragraph of Part 1 of Schedule 12A to the Local Government Act, 1972, as indicated against the heading of the item.

 

7.

Student Support Appeals

(Not for Publication – Exempt information as defined in Paragraphs 1 and 3 of Part 1 of Schedule 12A to the Local Government Act, 1972.  It is considered that in all the circumstances of the case the public interest in maintaining the exemption outweighs the public interests in disclosing the information).

 

Please note that due to the confidential nature of the information included in this report it will not be published on the website.

Minutes:

Note: Reason for exclusion – exempt information as defined in Paragraphs 1 and 3 of Part 1 of Schedule 12A to the Local Government Act, 1972. It was considered that in all the circumstances of the case the public interest in maintaining the exemption outweighs the public interest in disclosing the information).

 

In considering each appeal the Committee examined all of the information presented and also had regard to the relevant policies, including the Home to Mainstream School Transport Policy for 2018/19, and the Policy in relation to the transport of pupils with Special Educational Needs for 2013/14.

 

4552

 

It was reported that a request for transport assistance had initially been refused as the pupil would not be attending their nearest suitable school, which was 2.99 miles from the home address, and within the statutory walking distance of under 3 miles and instead would attend a school which was 5.25 miles away. The pupil was therefore not entitled to free transport in accordance with the Council's policy or the law.

 

The Committee noted the appellant explained that the school attended by the pupil was chosen on faith ground and a place was offered on this basis.  It was acknowledged that there were nearer schools to the family home, however, they were not of the faith school the appellant wanted for the pupil.  Also, the appellant added that failing to allow travel on the appropriate transport appeared to discriminate against this religious choice. 

 

It was noted by the Committee the appellant stated that they felt that the alternative were inappropriate and offered an example of the difficulties travelling to nonfaith school on a daily basis, adding that in distance, it was further than the school attended by the pupil.

 

The appellant stated, as noted by the Committee, there were difficulties travelling to the nearest suitable school, but in addition, there were Health and Safety issues to consider.  School bus travel to the school attended by the pupil provided a safe and convenient journey.

 

The Committee noted the Officer's comments which stated it is parental preference for schools and academies and the application of admission arrangements linked to these which informs and drives the subsequent application of the Local Authority's home to school transport policy.  The Council has no statutory duty to provide transport assistance in circumstances where pupils do not attend their nearest school or academy.

 

It was brought to the Committee's attention that eligibility to receive transport assistance is assessed by determining the distance between a child's home and the nearest school they could attend.  This measurement is taken from the nearest boundary entrance of the pupil's home to the nearest entrance to the school.  Admission information is available to all parents at the time of applying for school places.  A summary transport policy is made available to all, which parents and carers are advised to check carefully, if getting their child from home to school and back is a consideration.  Parents are directed to a full copy of the  ...  view the full minutes text for item 7.