We are aware that many families have regrettably experienced disruption to their home-to-school travel arrangements at the start of the new term and would like to provide some clarity around this situation.
The Council is currently in an unprecedented position due to a number of transport operators cancelling their contracts immediately prior to the beginning of the new school year and during the first week of term.
This situation has arisen at the last minute and occurred outside of our control. We are acutely aware that each taxi that fails to arrive has the potential to cause distress and disruption to the families depending on it and would like to reassure you that our transport team are dedicating all of their time and resources to putting this right as soon as they can. They have already secured new contracts for a number of the routes and hope to have the majority of replacements in place within two weeks.
Where a parent affected by this situation is able to take their child to school (or can ask a relative or friend to do so), the Council will reimburse them at a rate of 45p per mile for up to four trips per day (home-to-school return morning and afternoon). Parents who wish to take up this option should contact Suffolk on Board to request a claim form.
Where a parent has absolutely no way of arranging to get their child to school, they should follow their school’s normal absence reporting process. Parents should tell the school that the Council is responsible for arranging their child’s transport to school, but that due to these exceptional circumstances their transport is not currently available, and they cannot make arrangements to get them there. Schools can permit a child’s absence in these circumstances, and it will not affect their attendance record.
We would like to assure you that we take this matter extremely seriously and are concentrating all our efforts to resolve this as quickly as possible. If parents would like to raise any concerns, they have in relation to school travel with the Council, then they should contact the Passenger Transport Team by calling 0345 606 6173 in the first instance.