England

North Tyneside free school bus passes reviewed

Pupils may have to pay more to use school buses as councils look to cut their budgets.

North Tyneside Council is consulting on whether to withdraw free passes to pupils who travel to faith schools rather than their nearest school.

Opponents fear it could put parents off their school of choice. Children on free school meals will continue to travel free.

Durham and Cumbria County Councils are also looking at home to school travel.

The proposal could mean hundreds of pupils at St Thomas More Roman Catholic School, in North Shields, paying more.

North Tyneside Labour councillor Norma Redfearn said she feared the cost of the proposed change will put families off from sending their children to the school of their choice.

She said: "This is the only faith school in this borough and if you have that choice you should be allowed to send your child to that school.

'Feedback considered'

A spokesman for Conservative-led North Tyneside Council said a review into home school transport had been undertaken as part of a review of a number of areas.

He said: "The council's cabinet will now take the consultation feedback into consideration before making any decision on the proposed changes."

Durham County Council and Cumbria County Council are also looking at potential reductions in support for home-school transport.

The Department for Education is currently carrying out a national review into the issue.

There is more on this story on BBC Politics Show North East and Cumbria, BBC1 on Sunday 13 February at midday.

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