Local authorities (LAs) have a duty under the Education Act 1996 to publish a transport policy statement each year that sets out the travel arrangements they consider necessary to enable young people of sixth form age, and learners aged 19-25 with learning difficulties and/or disabilities to access education and training to attend post 16 education or training. Those arrangements could include providing transport to and from college, or financial support to help with transport costs.
LAs are expected to work with local partners, e.g. schools, further education colleges and other LAs that may be appropriate in preparing their transport policies. Working with partners will help identify the transport needs of students and identify how best to support these students to ensure that transport in not a barrier to them accessing education and training.
The Department for Education is considering changes to future guidance in the context of the Government’s wish to reduce the bureaucratic burden on local authorities, allowing them to have more control about how they determine and respond to local needs – which means being less prescriptive from the centre. Local authorities should continue to develop their transport policies with regard to the existing 2010 Post -16 Transport Guidance as this is still relevant, including the need to publish a Transport Policy statement by the end of May each year (and provide a link to Directgov). Alongside their existing responsibilities under the 1996 Education Act, LAs should take into the account the new requirements introduced through the Apprenticeships, Skills, Children and Learning Act 2009, which are summarised on Pages 3 and 4 of the guidance.
Policy Guidance 2010/11
Amendments made to the 1996 Education Act by the Apprenticeships, Skills, Children and Learning Act (ASCL) 2009 returned responsibility for issuing guidance and monitoring how local authorities meet the transport duty to the Secretary of State from April 2010.
The Department for Education and YPLA Guidance comprises two parts:
Good Practice Guide
The following 2009 Good Practice Guide is provided purely for reference and is intended to illustrate how local authorities have implemented effective approaches in meeting the post-16 transport duty. It provides good practice case studies and examples, however, we would also recommend referring to current Transport Statements produced by local authorities for more up-to-date good practice.