Cash–strapped council considers school transport axe

Free transport for faith schools faces being axed as council chiefs desperately look for ways of saving cash.

Derbyshire County Council has launched talks on proposals to scrap funding for transport to religious schools. Local schools which would be affected by the cut would be All Saints Primary School, Bakewell, Pilsley Primary School, Bakewell, and St Joseph’s Catholic Primary School, Matlock.

If the plans are approved, pupils who currently attend a faith school would have to organise their own transport – saving the authority £1million a year.

The council, which must make cuts of £157million in the next five years, admitted the proposals were ‘disappointing’.

Kevin Gillott, cabinet member for children and younger adults, said: “We are extremely disappointed to have to consider ending subsidised transport to faith schools.

“It currently costs us £1million a year to provide transport for 1,680 pupils whose parents or carers have chosen to send them to a faith school.”

The consultation is due to run until December 2.