Foreword from Liz Mills
During Autumn 2019, Surrey County Council consulted widely on our home to school/college travel arrangements. This is something all councils are required to do periodically and, in doing this, we were seeking opportunities to improve outcomes for children and young people in Surrey, including promoting independence.
We heard from many parents and carers, young people, head teachers and SENCOs about key features of the policy that were important to them. I would particularly like to thank Family Voice Surrey for their contribution and feedback and the Special School Heads for their participation in a focus group during the consultation.
We carefully considered this feedback and agreed to take some actions to ensure we built families’ trust and confidence in our travel assistance policy and their experiences of home to school transport are improved. These actions include:
- Ensuring our applications process is clear and efficient, and this and our new policy are communicated effectively with parent, carers, schools and colleges.
- Extending 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.
- Strengthening how our Transport Operation and Travel Assistance teams work together to provide a seamless and good quality service consistently to families.
- Ensuring the process of applying for transport on an exceptional basis is clear, transparent and fair.
The new policy was adopted on 31 January 2020 and published this week, with changes implemented for September 2020.