Lee Waters AM, Deputy Minister for Economy and Transport,
Kirsty Williams AM, Minister for Education,
Eluned Morgan AM, Minister for International Relations and Welsh Language,
Julie James AM, Minister for Housing and Local Government
We are issuing this statement jointly to reflect the cross departmental issues raised by the Children’s Commissioner, the Welsh Language Commissioner and our colleagues in the National Assembly for Wales, concerning transport arrangements for post 16 learners.
We agree that the current legislation that places duties on local authorities to make transport arrangements for learners of statutory school age based on distance, aptitude and safety are generally working well. However, we are aware of increasing concerns for post 16 learners where local authorities have discretion over travel arrangements.
We know that local authorities are facing tough financial decisions and as a result discretionary travel arrangements are being affected in some local authorities. This has implications for all post 16 learners.
We have therefore agreed to take forward a review to identify all the issues involved and how to resolve them in a cost effective and sustainable way. It does not follow that it will be for Welsh Government to resolve all the issues identified.
We are aware that a commitment has been given to review and consult on the learner travel guidance this year but this will be delayed until the findings of the review are clear.
We will provide further updates as the review progresses.