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Student told she must pay for 'free' bus travel to school
10:00am Thursday 12th September 2013 in News
A STUDENT from Little Clacton has been forced to fork out more than £500 by education bosses after being told she can no longer get a free bus to school.
Chloe Jacobs, a student at Frinton’s Tendring Technology College, is amongst the first wave of pupils who must legally remain in education until the age of 17.
The 16-year-old has decided to continue studying A-Levels at the college’s sixth form.
Chloe received free travel last year because she lives within the catchment area, but more than three miles away from the school.
She applied for a ticket for free travel which she was given, but she then received a bill for £510 for the school year.
In a letter to Mr Jacobs, Ray Gooding, cabinet member for education, said the council has subsidised travel for 17-year-old students that meet its criteria.
He said: “Essex County Council has a statutory duty to provide free home to school transport to secondary age children that meet the education transport policy until the end of their academic year 11.
“From summer 2013 children will be required to stay in education or training until the academic year in which they turn 17. Despite this there has been no change to the national policy for the provision of home to school transport and as such post 16 transport remains a discretionary award for local authorities.
“Whilst there is no statutory requirement to do so, the council has decided to continue offering its subsidised post 16 transport provision to those that meet the policy.”