Fears students could give up sixth form in Bridgend because getting there will be too hard

0
9



A Bridgend councillor who represents a valleys community has warned of students no longer attending sixth form or college if proposed sixth form mergers mean they have to take several buses in order to get there.

Bridgend County Borough Council is looking at merging some sixth forms while closing others and creating new ones under a review of post-16 education provision.

At a recent scrutiny meeting, Llangeinor-ward councillor Roz Stirman raised concerns over the potential for students having to travel further to continue their studies.

She told education officers: “If you’re going to amalgamate sixth form centres, you’re effectively saying to people in the valleys, you’re going to have to catch maybe four buses to get to college – they’re not going to do that.

“You’re not going to encourage sixth formers to attend a college which is not either based very close to them or in the town centre.”

In addition to undertaking a review of post-16 education provision, the council is also reviewing its transport for post-16 students and could end up cutting the budget altogether for the service.

John Fabes, a specialist officer in post-16 education, said the council was looking at around 20 minutes for most journeys between sixth form centres in the context of partnerships and collaborations.

He said: “Should the discretionary support for post 16 transport stop, we would need to look at building transport costs into feasibility studies before we go back to cabinet in the spring with our proposals.”

However, he pointed out that many of the county’s young people already travelled quite far to get to college.

He said: “Fifty percent of youngsters in Bridgend do not stay on to sixth forms, they predominantly go onto Bridgend College – and whether you’re in the valleys, in Porthcawl or Pencoed, you have to catch transport to get into that college setting, and youngsters do that.

“It’s actually the youngsters who probably have the greatest educational challenges and the highest level of personal needs that do those journeys.

“The question we often throw back to parents is why would you expect all these other youngsters to keep travelling day in and day out but then suddenly say our bright and capable A-level students are unable to do that? There’s a contradiction.”

Mr Fabes said it would, however, be necessary to ensure transport was efficient, quick and simple.

He said: “Centralising the planning of the transport would be a critical element in any reorganisation, it wouldn’t be up to any individuals to work out their own transport arrangements  – we would have to have a proper infrastructure laid in.”

Education director Lindsay Harvey told councillors at the meeting on October 30, the local authority was also working with transport providers around the possibility of providing a transport pass for students should financial support for post-16 transport be removed.

A consultation on proposals to change the council’s school bus transport policy ends on January 5.

For more details visit  bridgend.gov.uk



Source link

قالب وردپرس

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here