Chairman of schools trust speaks out over pupil transport cost-cutting

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Caroline Hyde, chairman of the Bishop Wheeler Catholic Academy Trust Caroline Hyde, chairman of the Bishop Wheeler Catholic Academy Trust

The chairman of a trust that runs Catholic schools in Menston and Ilkley is to tell Bradford Council how plans to stop paying for transport for children in faith schools is causing upset.

Caroline Hyde, chairman of the Bishop Wheeler Catholic Academy Trust, which runs St Mary’s at Menston and Sacred Heart, Ilkley, says ending paying for transport will leave parents from St Mary’s and its feeder primary schools with an unforeseen financial burden.

Mrs Hyde has been in regular correspondence with Bradford Council regarding the plans.

The Catholic communities of Addingham, Burley and Ilkley have since raised a petition showing their opposition to the proposals, which they feel will treat Catholic families differently to those attending other state schools within the area.

Since the petition was presented, Mrs Hyde has been invited to address the full Bradford Council on March 25.

Mrs Hyde said: “I am really grateful the Council have given us the opportunity to raise this with them.

“Parents understand the immense financial pressures on local councils at the moment but this is poorly thought through, with little clarity about how savings will be made.

“Parents who cannot afford nearly £400 a year per child may have to send their children to other already over-full schools, such as Ilkley Grammar. “Other local children will then be sent to schools further away.”

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