Fight is lost for free transport at Bradford faith schools

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: A school service bus in Bradford A school service bus in Bradford

CAMPAIGNERS battling to save free transport for pupils at faith schools lost their fight today.

But the chairman of a Catholic school trust blasted the Council for never properly listening to their objections, calling the consultation process "an expensive fait accompli".

The decision to push ahead with the cut was made at a meeting of the Council's executive.

The executive first agreed to the changes in April, but this decision was later examined by a scrutiny committee, which urged senior councillors to reconsider.

But the executive stuck to its original decision, with executive member for children's services, Councillor Ralph Berry, saying budget cuts had left them with little choice.

Parents wanting to send their children to a faith school, or those who live nearest a faith school but want to send their children somewhere else, will now face a £370-a-year bill. Pupils who already receive free transport will not be affected.

Speaking out against the plan was Caroline Hyde, chairman of the Bishop Wheeler Catholic Academy Trust - a group of Catholic schools in the Wharfe Valley which include St Mary’s, Menston, and Sacred Heart Primary, Ilkley.

She said the impression it had all along was that the Council had made its decision ahead of the public consultation.

She said: "I am left greatly disillusioned by the so-called democratic process."

Mrs Hyde said as a volunteer governor, she had been very disappointed to see her objection comments "pulled apart line-by-line by council officers, paid for by my council tax".

And she said she would have far preferred "a co-operative approach", with an open and honest discussion between the local authority and the faith schools about the budget pressures and how they might be tackled.

Councillor Anne Hawkesworth (Ind, Ilkley) told the executive she was not convinced the plan would save money.

She said: "You could actually be shooting yourselves in the foot."

But Cllr Berry said they had to make difficult decisions about whether to fund the discretionary transport service, or education social workers or special needs workers instead.

He said: "It's not something that anybody would have chosen to do, but faced with the priorities we have at the moment, I believe this is the most equitable way forward, bearing in mind the demands that we have on our services."

Cllr Berry said to his knowledge, no other local authority continued to pay for transport for pupils at faith schools.

Comments (19)

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3:03pm Tue 24 Jun 14

gouldengirl says...

Here we have Cllr Berry doing his usual best improve people's access to education.
Here we have Cllr Berry doing his usual best improve people's access to education. gouldengirl
  • Score: 3

3:10pm Tue 24 Jun 14

izzystillbreathing says...

Bradford Council never pays any attention to public consultations. They're only held to tick a legal requirement box. The Council just does what it wants and rides roughshod over its citizens. This is a classic example.
Bradford Council never pays any attention to public consultations. They're only held to tick a legal requirement box. The Council just does what it wants and rides roughshod over its citizens. This is a classic example. izzystillbreathing
  • Score: 4

3:12pm Tue 24 Jun 14

pcmanners says...

This has only become necessary because, like all socialist Councils, Bradford is wasteful and inefficient.
This has only become necessary because, like all socialist Councils, Bradford is wasteful and inefficient. pcmanners
  • Score: 8

3:14pm Tue 24 Jun 14

Unc says...

I live in Bradford and my son goes to a Grammar school in Halifax. We're not well off, not by any means, but I'm willing and (just about) able to pay the approximately £50 per month private bus fare to give him the best start in life.

Why should those of limited logical powers get it for free ? Just because they believe in a big beardy man in the sky doesn't mean they shouldn't pay.

Why not start a mass prayer meeting and pray for divine intervention ? Until then, pay your way !
I live in Bradford and my son goes to a Grammar school in Halifax. We're not well off, not by any means, but I'm willing and (just about) able to pay the approximately £50 per month private bus fare to give him the best start in life. Why should those of limited logical powers get it for free ? Just because they believe in a big beardy man in the sky doesn't mean they shouldn't pay. Why not start a mass prayer meeting and pray for divine intervention ? Until then, pay your way ! Unc
  • Score: 38

4:15pm Tue 24 Jun 14

Bone_idle18 says...

I, for one, don't want my council tax wasted on shipping kids far and wide to get their daily dose of brainwashing.

If parents want the brainwashing to continue, then they can fund the extra transport themselves.

This should never have been an issue.
I, for one, don't want my council tax wasted on shipping kids far and wide to get their daily dose of brainwashing. If parents want the brainwashing to continue, then they can fund the extra transport themselves. This should never have been an issue. Bone_idle18
  • Score: 34

5:12pm Tue 24 Jun 14

micela22 says...

i chose which school i wanted my kids to go to and paid their fares, it never entered my head that council tax payers should subsidise my choice
i chose which school i wanted my kids to go to and paid their fares, it never entered my head that council tax payers should subsidise my choice micela22
  • Score: 26

5:18pm Tue 24 Jun 14

Joseph 1968 says...

Religious people should dip into their own pockets if they are so concerned. The almighty will provide, according to them, surely?

Good decision BDMC.
Religious people should dip into their own pockets if they are so concerned. The almighty will provide, according to them, surely? Good decision BDMC. Joseph 1968
  • Score: 25

5:21pm Tue 24 Jun 14

Joedavid says...

micela22 wrote:
i chose which school i wanted my kids to go to and paid their fares, it never entered my head that council tax payers should subsidise my choice
Have you not noticed the dozens of school buses daily all around Bradford.
[quote][p][bold]micela22[/bold] wrote: i chose which school i wanted my kids to go to and paid their fares, it never entered my head that council tax payers should subsidise my choice[/p][/quote]Have you not noticed the dozens of school buses daily all around Bradford. Joedavid
  • Score: -4

5:21pm Tue 24 Jun 14

Joedavid says...

micela22 wrote:
i chose which school i wanted my kids to go to and paid their fares, it never entered my head that council tax payers should subsidise my choice
Have you not noticed the dozens of school buses daily all around Bradford.
[quote][p][bold]micela22[/bold] wrote: i chose which school i wanted my kids to go to and paid their fares, it never entered my head that council tax payers should subsidise my choice[/p][/quote]Have you not noticed the dozens of school buses daily all around Bradford. Joedavid
  • Score: -2

5:21pm Tue 24 Jun 14

Joedavid says...

micela22 wrote:
i chose which school i wanted my kids to go to and paid their fares, it never entered my head that council tax payers should subsidise my choice
Have you not noticed the dozens of school buses daily all around Bradford.
[quote][p][bold]micela22[/bold] wrote: i chose which school i wanted my kids to go to and paid their fares, it never entered my head that council tax payers should subsidise my choice[/p][/quote]Have you not noticed the dozens of school buses daily all around Bradford. Joedavid
  • Score: -2

5:51pm Tue 24 Jun 14

Bantambhoy says...

Joedavid wrote:
micela22 wrote:
i chose which school i wanted my kids to go to and paid their fares, it never entered my head that council tax payers should subsidise my choice
Have you not noticed the dozens of school buses daily all around Bradford.
Do you not know that the majority of kids on those buses pay? Also most service bus drivers refuse to pick up kids from schools.
[quote][p][bold]Joedavid[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]micela22[/bold] wrote: i chose which school i wanted my kids to go to and paid their fares, it never entered my head that council tax payers should subsidise my choice[/p][/quote]Have you not noticed the dozens of school buses daily all around Bradford.[/p][/quote]Do you not know that the majority of kids on those buses pay? Also most service bus drivers refuse to pick up kids from schools. Bantambhoy
  • Score: 12

6:50pm Tue 24 Jun 14

Cooperlane2 says...

Let them go to the nearest state run school - problem solved. If they want a greater personal choice, then they pay. As we will when our kids attend a school further away due to our own personal choices.
Let them go to the nearest state run school - problem solved. If they want a greater personal choice, then they pay. As we will when our kids attend a school further away due to our own personal choices. Cooperlane2
  • Score: 16

6:59pm Tue 24 Jun 14

Roadkilluk says...

I've been paying for what now?!
I've been paying for what now?! Roadkilluk
  • Score: 8

8:27pm Tue 24 Jun 14

tallulah48 says...

Is it just faith schools that have had their buses funded? or are the children whom attend secular schools provided with free transport also and if this is the case is it just the faith schools being affected.
Is it just faith schools that have had their buses funded? or are the children whom attend secular schools provided with free transport also and if this is the case is it just the faith schools being affected. tallulah48
  • Score: 1

9:26pm Tue 24 Jun 14

Colin Allcars says...

Unc wrote:
I live in Bradford and my son goes to a Grammar school in Halifax. We're not well off, not by any means, but I'm willing and (just about) able to pay the approximately £50 per month private bus fare to give him the best start in life.

Why should those of limited logical powers get it for free ? Just because they believe in a big beardy man in the sky doesn't mean they shouldn't pay.

Why not start a mass prayer meeting and pray for divine intervention ? Until then, pay your way !
And if we all decided to send our son to a school in another town, then your son wouldn't get in, because the brighter kids, or the richer families would take his place.
[quote][p][bold]Unc[/bold] wrote: I live in Bradford and my son goes to a Grammar school in Halifax. We're not well off, not by any means, but I'm willing and (just about) able to pay the approximately £50 per month private bus fare to give him the best start in life. Why should those of limited logical powers get it for free ? Just because they believe in a big beardy man in the sky doesn't mean they shouldn't pay. Why not start a mass prayer meeting and pray for divine intervention ? Until then, pay your way ![/p][/quote]And if we all decided to send our son to a school in another town, then your son wouldn't get in, because the brighter kids, or the richer families would take his place. Colin Allcars
  • Score: -3

9:35pm Tue 24 Jun 14

Colin Allcars says...

You do have to wonder if this is an attack on the 2 remaining Catholic high schools in Bradford, seeing as their aim to get only Catholics at their schools means that the idiot council will now have to find more places for non-Catholics in Manningham/Heaton.
I imagine that school buses will still run to the schools, which means they are still a potential target for racists
You do have to wonder if this is an attack on the 2 remaining Catholic high schools in Bradford, seeing as their aim to get only Catholics at their schools means that the idiot council will now have to find more places for non-Catholics in Manningham/Heaton. I imagine that school buses will still run to the schools, which means they are still a potential target for racists Colin Allcars
  • Score: -10

7:10am Wed 25 Jun 14

Big Bad Honey Badger says...

Cycle to school scheme?
Walk to school scheme?
Stop carting fat lazy kids around on buses scheme?
Cycle to school scheme? Walk to school scheme? Stop carting fat lazy kids around on buses scheme? Big Bad Honey Badger
  • Score: 9

8:06am Wed 25 Jun 14

Joedavid says...

I do not think the council tax payers know what is going on with all these school buses that go all over the place and who is paying and who is not.
I do not think the council tax payers know what is going on with all these school buses that go all over the place and who is paying and who is not. Joedavid
  • Score: 2

12:35pm Wed 25 Jun 14

Bone_idle18 says...

I think free transport only for poorer kids who can't get into a local school, even though it was a higher choice on their selections.

no free transport for anyone who puts a distant school as a high preference, whether it's a god-bothering one, or secular!
I think free transport only for poorer kids who can't get into a local school, even though it was a higher choice on their selections. no free transport for anyone who puts a distant school as a high preference, whether it's a god-bothering one, or secular! Bone_idle18
  • Score: 3
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