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Called for action on access to school buses following news that some families cannot afford to send their children to school

Welsh Conservatives have called for action on access to school buses following news that some families cannot afford to send their children to school as the cost-of-living rises.

A survey issued by a secondary school in north Cardiff has found that some children are missing days of school because their families are unable to afford the bus journeys. Only pupils who live three or more miles from their school get free transport.

Welsh Conservative Shadow Minister for Education, Laura Anne Jones MS, said:

“It is deeply concerning that children are missing school for financial reasons.

“It is essential that children are in the classroom where they belong – especially as Welsh pupils have missed an average of 66 school days due to lockdowns, more than any other UK nation.

“It’s no good ministers just sitting on their hands – the Labour Government need to take urgent action and make sure that financial issues aren’t a barrier to accessing transport, for example by considering changing the distance requirement for free school transport.”

Welsh Conservative Shadow Minister for Local Government, Sam Rowlands MS, said:

“This situation is frankly unacceptable. This example is in Cardiff, but there will be similar problems across the country.

“Local authorities have a part to play in alleviating this crisis, including looking at measures like temporarily reducing the distance required for free transport.

“Not only will this take pressure off parents, it would lead to less congestion as buses rather than cars take kids to school, and children won’t have to spend long walks on unsafe routes.”

 

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