To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what recent discussions he has had with the Treasury on providing support for low-income families in (a) England and (b) Coventry who incur additional extra travel costs due to their children not being allocated a place at one of their top three choices of school.
Local authorities have a statutory duty under section 508B of the Education Act 1996 to make travel arrangements to enable all eligible children of compulsory school age to attend their nearest suitable school. Suitable in this context means the nearest school, with places available, that provides education appropriate to the age and ability of the child.
There are additional rights to free home to school transport for children who are entitled to Free School Meals or whose parents are in receipt of the maximum Working Tax Credit. This is known as Extended Rights.
For these pupils, local authorities have a statutory duty to provide free transport where the nearest suitable school is:
On 26 January 2018, the Department announced a total amount of £19,023,900 in local authorities’ revenue allocations, for the financial year 2018-19, to support them in their duties under Extended Rights. Coventry City Council was allocated £48,400.