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Grammar school bus passes to stay
GRAMMAR school pupils will not lose the right to free school bus passes.
A review by Essex County Council into its home-school transport policy had originally proposed cutting free bus passes for selective school students from low income families.
After a consultation, a revised scheme that protects grammar school pupils has been put forward.
There are 77 grammar school pupils in Essex who receive free school transport.
From September 2015, eligible families will only be offered free transport to their nearest non-faith school with places available.
The revised scheme is intended to be fairer, while also saving the authority an estimated £7.2million over the next three years.
Ken Jenkinson, headteacher at Colchester Royal Grammar School, had raised concerns when the consultation was launched over free bus passes.
He said: “I am delighted Essex County Council has decided to continue to provide free transport for pupils from low income families who have gained entry to a grammar school.”
Other changes proposed include charging post-16 learners for transport, including a £450 annual contribution by students from low-income families, while others will have to pay full cost to travel to college.
The report is set to be debated by senior councillors at a cabinet meeting on Tuesday.
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