Thanks to Chris for this update in relation to the home to school transport policy. Ed
Speaking yesterday to a meeting of the committee of the Campaign for Sixth Form and Faith School Travel, held at his home, St Winifred’s in Totland, campaign organiser, Chris Whitehouse said, “85% of the responses that the Isle of Wight Council received to its initial consultation exercise completely opposed the removal of concessionary free bus travel from faith school pupils.
“The Leader of the Council had claimed that the overwhelming majority of parents would support his divisive plans: clearly he was wrong! Will the Council not now heed the clear view of the people of the Island and abandon the plans which will in any event deliver only minimal savings?”
Christian families bear the burden of council cuts
Chris Whitehouse welcomed as “a great success of the campaign so far”, the abandonment of the Council’s plans to remove concessionary travel from all the Islands’ sixth formers but warned that “Nearly half (around 45%) of Christ the King pupils who previously received concessionary free bus travel would not do so under the proposed new rules. This puts onto Christian families a disproportionately large share of the cost savings the Council wishes to find.
“If Christ the King College suffers a significant reduction in student numbers as a result of these proposals its income would also significantly reduce. The future sustainability of Christian education on the Island hangs in the balance.”
Will be an issue at the 2013 local elections
He went on to say, “The proposal is that the change commences in September 2012. It is unclear whether that is for students already at the College, or only for new students in the future. Any change should be introduced only for new students, not those already in the College. Clearly this will be a priority issue in the run-up to the next local elections (May 2013) for many in the Island’s Christian community.
“The savings to the Council would be minimal, but the cost to Christian education substantial.
“These divisive and discriminatory proposals should be rejected entirely.”