Suffolk school buses policy passed by county council

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Home-to-school transport plans covering Suffolk's free schools have been approved by the county council.

Free transport will be based on primary school catchment areas or whether a school is nearest to a child's home.

Some parents were concerned that the council would not fund transport to a local authority-run school if it was further away than a free school.

In some areas, including Leiston and Saxmundham, parents will be offered free transport to a choice of schools.

The council is required to provide free transport for 5-16 year olds to their nearest school, subject to criteria.

Clare's Stour Valley Community School was the first free school to open in Suffolk.

In September, free schools in Beccles, Brandon (Breckland school) and Saxmundham will welcome their first batch of pupils.

In the Haverhill, Clare and Sudbury area the council has redrawn the Transport Priority Areas (TPA) for Stour Valley Community School, Samuel Ward Academy in Haverhill and Sudbury Upper School.

Children living in the boundary will be offered free transport to the relevant school.

In Beccles, children will be offered free transport to either Sir John Leman High School or the new free school, as long as they meet the eligibility criteria.

In Mildenhall and Brandon, TPAs for Mildenhall College of Technology and Breckland free school will follow primary school catchment boundaries. Qualifying children will be offered free transport to the other school if it is closest to their home.

Pupils in Leiston and Saxmundham will have a choice between free transport to either Leiston High School or the new Saxmundham free school.

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