A recent Freedom of Information request has revealed that Herefordshire Council spent £4.1 million in a recent financial year providing taxis to school for children.

A Freedom of Information Request submitted in October 2023 received the following response:

Herefordshire Council’s total expenditure for the last financial year for the provision of taxi services to take pupils to school?

Response from Herefordshire Council: 4.1m

Parents and carers have a legal responsibility to ensure that their children attend school regularly.

This includes arranging travel to and from school, meeting the costs of this and accompanying their child as necessary.

It is the responsibility of the parent or carer to accompany a child (or arrange suitable supervision) as necessary when walking to and from school, including to and from a provided transport pick-up and set-down point, unless such arrangements form part of the provision arranged by the local authority. 

Passenger assistants will only be supplied on provided transport arrangements where they are necessary to meet a child’s individual needs.

In some cases, the Council has a legal obligation to provide suitable free school transport.

This will be provided in the most cost-effective and appropriate way for children’s needs. 

This policy sets out the categories of eligible children, the provision offered, circumstances when assistance is not provided and how to appeal against a decision.

Full details – https://herefordshire.disclosurelog.co.uk/case/download/34ef4b61-f6c0-49de-998f-a0b62fb3fa7a