I want to reassure parents and carers at St Leonard’s School that I am working tirelessly alongside both the School and Trust to find practical solutions that will reduce cost of school transport for affected families.
Please rest assured that all parties involved remain in constant contact and are working together constructively for a positive outcome.
In recent years transport costs have been rising, all the while school budgets have been squeezed by the Conservatives. No school should have to choose between employing teachers or supporting its poorest pupils, but unfortunately this is the position schools face after a decade of austerity.
I am very conscious of the financial pressure increased transport costs are placing on many families, particularly as the cost of living continues to rise this winter.
Additionally, I am also concerned at the travel disruption experienced by many pupils, as families seek alternative cheaper but less convenient arrangements.
It is clear that Home- to- school transport is an issue that extends far beyond St Leonard’s School as parents across the constituency and County have contacted me regarding the consequences of rising transport costs, and long, disrupted journeys to school.
Consequently, I will be increasing my campaigning on this issue both nationally and locally, because without affordable and reliable transport to and from school, young people in Durham will simply be priced out of educational opportunities.
I will endeavour to keep parents updated in the coming weeks and months.