PARENTS and carers are being invited to have their say on changes to the Home to School Transport (HTST) policy.

North Somerset Council is consulting with schools, families, and children to ensure travel arrangements promote independence, based on each child's unique needs.

A spokesperson for North Somerset Times said: "The council has launched a consultation and is seeking the views of families and young people within North Somerset who either currently receive Home to School Transport (HTST) or who would like to access it in the near future."

They clarified that the consultation is aimed at making some improvements to provide a better service for the young people now and in the future.

Key changes proposed for the policy include introducing flexible and sustainable travel offers through an Independent Travel Training scheme, offering a cycling allowance for those using this method of transport, and renaming the policy in line with government guidance.

Additional updates include guidance when parents/carers are not at home, realigning extended distance criteria to statutory guidance from 25 miles to 15 miles, and creating discretionary awards for those with temporary mobility impairments.

(Image: Flickr)

These proposed changes align with recent changes presented in a guidance document by the Department for Education (DfE).

The spokesperson added: "The consultation will close on Monday, July 15 2024.

"Any changes to the current policy following this process will come into effect in September 2025.

"The consultation is being done now to allow parents to access the new policies when choosing secondary schools by the end of October 2024 for admission in 2025."

Currently, North Somerset Council provides transport for children who meet certain criteria.

This includes children under eight living further than two miles from their nearest school in reasonable safety, those aged eight and above living further than three miles from their nearest school, or children with certain medical conditions, disabilities or an Educational Health Care Plan.

To have your say on the changes to the Home to School Transport policy, visit the North Somerset Council website.