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Mum’s anger after council refuses to pay college bus fare
A MOTHER has hit out after council bosses refused to pay her son’s £36 weekly bus fare to travel to York College.
Jackie Duncan, of Tollerton, near Easingwold, said her son Reuben, 16, wanted to study for A-levels at the college because he felt it would give him his best chance of getting a job at 18.
However, she claimed North Yorkshire County Council had said he should go to Easingwold as the A-levels available there would be sufficient for him to go to university.
But she said the council’s own Post 16 Transport Policy stated that transport assistance would continue for students provided they made a contribution of £360 towards their travel costs each year, the school or college attended was more than three miles from their home and it was the nearest establishment offering a course that the council considered suitable to their career choice, or was a pre-requisite for entry into higher education.
She believed the authority had broken its own rules and said she had gone to appeal, telling the panel her son might not want to go to university but instead get a job at 18.
“His subjects were chosen carefully in order to advance his learning and experience the most in order to seek employment at 18,” she said.
She also told the appeal that an IT consultant had stated that he believed that Reuben would benefit from studying A-level computing rather than any non-computing course and that computing would give him a good foundation and a basis to start his IT/computing career.
However, she had lost the appeal and was now facing a £7.20 daily cost for him to get a bus to the college.
A council spokeswoman said it carefully looked at each such application for help with transport costs but could not provide assistance to everyone as its funding was limited, particularly as it was currently having to find savings of over £150 million. She said: “All students are offered a right of appeal and an appeals panel will consider all the arguments before making a judgement.”
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