Over 16s in education to lose free transport

October 21, 2018

Conwy Council's cabinet have decided learners aged 16 and over should make a contribution towards their transport to school or college.

The Council has been providing free transport for learners over 16 years old who attend schools or designated colleges.  This service costs Conwy £420,000 per annum and increases each year with inflation. As it’s not a statutory requirement, and Welsh Government provides no money to fund it, it means that money has to be found from somewhere else in the education budget.

Earlier this month members discussed options that would enable the service to continue more sustainably.

Cllr Garffild Lewis is Conwy’s Cabinet Member for Education and Skills, he said: “We didn’t want to just stop providing the transport - it’s an essential service, especially for learners living in the rural areas, but we can’t take funding from another area of education to pay for it. Asking students to make a contribution is the fairest way to keep the service running.”

The cabinet voted to introduce a charge for the service, but asked officers to look at EMA payments and eligibility for free school meals to ensure there is a ‘safety net’.

The change will not come into force until September 2020.