Thank you for your survey in Autumn 2019 that asked parent and carers to share their experiences of home to school transport. I would like to recognise the time and effort that analysing and summarising the responses would have taken, and the skill in translating this into practical and evidenced reports.
While not all of the feedback in the survey was negative, it is clear from many responses that there are improvements we need to make, particularly with our communication with families. I was concerned at the examples of poor communication that created uncertainties which led to unnecessary distress and worry to families.
During the Autumn, we consulted widely on our School Travel Assistance policy, and heard from many parents and carers, young people, Headteachers and SENCos about key features of the policy that were important to them. I would like to thank Family Voice for their contribution and feedback during the consultation including these reports.
We carefully considered this feedback and agreed to take some actions to ensure we built families’ trust and confidence in our School Travel Assistance policy and their experiences of home to school transport are improved.
Ensure our applications process is clear, efficient and this and our new policy is communicated effectively with parent and carers and families.
Strengthen how our Transport Operation and Travel Assistance teams work together to provide a seamless and good quality service consistently to families.
Ensure the process of applying for transport on an exceptional basis is clear. We will be working with Family Voice to ensure that there is thorough oversight of this process and that it is transparent and fair.
Extend our current offer of independent travel training for young people, to help them to develop their independence confidently and safely and prepare them for adult life.
The new policy was adopted last week on 31 January 2020, and it will be published later this month. We look forward to communicating with you about the changes outlined above that we are making, and listening to your feedback on your experiences of home to school transport.
Mary Burguieres - Assistant Director, Education, Lifelong Learning and Culture, Surrey County Council.