Option 1- Part implemented policy
Northamptonshire County Council Initial Equality Impact Assessment - Please note that this form replaces the previous Screening Form
Environment Growth and Nicky Hyde-Pulley Transport
Commissioning Services Manager- ITMU (Lead Transport and Highways Officer)
Cindy Baysal- Special Projects and
Contracts Analyst– ITMU
Samantha Parish- Parent
Post 16 Transport Policy Statement Existing November 2010
Positive Equality Duties
This initial EqIA will also help you to identify whether there are opportunities for promoting equality. Even if there are no adverse impacts, this
part of the process is essential, as it will ensure that we meet our equality duties. These equality duties are set out in a number of pieces of legislation but can be summarised as follows;
The need to promote equality of opportunity between and for different groups based on:
; Gender reassignment (i.e. transgender individuals),
; Age (young and old),
; Disability (mental, and physical)
; Ethnicity and race,
; Sexual orientation (heterosexuality, homosexuality, etc)
; And religion or belief (including no belief)
The new 2010/11 16+ Transport policy, which formed the basis of a cabinet report and was approved
in July 2010 , aims to support Post 16 students with their transport requirements to attend Post 16
education, at schools college or training. Whilst the policy makes some provision for all students,
financial support is targeted to those students with special educational needs and those from low income families.
The policy statement outlined the intention to make charges for transport provision to all Post 16
Students who receive assistance with their transport needs from Northamptonshire County Council.
Previously only mainstream 16+ students were charged for their transport provision. Historically until
September 2010 Mainstream 16+Students from low income households and SEN 16+ students
received financial assistance that allowed them to access the 16+ transport they receive free of
The 2010/11 policy has been part implemented at present whilst further consultation with parents/ carers and stakeholders takes place. i.e. SEN 16+ transport has remained free of charge this year whilst this further consultation gathers feedback and 7 different options for charges are explored. Low
income mainstream 16+ students paid 50% of the transport charge this academic year as outlined in
the current policy.
There are a number of options being examined that could provide solutions to the issue of charging
and each has a separate Equalities Impact initial screening form to cover the possible impacts on Equalities groups. An explanation of any other issues and factors that could affect the suitability of
the option will also be covered briefly on the form to help put it in context.
Option 1- Continue with part implemented policy as is
Continue with the part implemented policy - i.e. leave the present system of not charging for any SEN students’ transport provision but continue to charge Low Income mainstream students 50% as was done this year. The result of this would be an unacceptable level of overspend on the budget
and it would be unsustainable. This option would also result in an inequality between those students paying for bus seats and those students travelling by taxis etc paying nothing and could burden the 16+ students who do pay with vastly increased bills for their transport if the cost were to be spread
amongst only those students. This would be one way of addressing some of the overspend although
there would still be a ?43k overspend. The option is also unfair and inequitable.
The 16+ Transport assistance service is not intended to be solely budget led but it is important to
highlight the likely cost of provision in relation to the different options under examination. 93% of
young people stay on in learning in Northamptonshire in education, training or employment with
training. (Source: Connexions) The other key issue is that 90% of Northants young people stay in
the County for their post-16 education. The highest for any of the East Midlands authorities.
The current level of budget is: ?570k + ?150k Grant from The Young People’s learning Agency. This
was overspent by ?480K last year and also the previous financial year in meeting the demand for
financial assistance and free provision of 16+ transport. The service cannot remain demand led as
the budget is insufficient to cover the costs of all the16+ transport provided free of charge at present.
The predicted spend for the approved budget for 16+ for 2010/11 is ?1.2m.
The main area of support for transport is for those 16+ students most in need and the policy sets out
the level of financial support it will provide towards the costs of transport to students who meet the
eligibility criteria. Whilst there is no legal duty to provide free transport to any post 16 students the
scheme operating under this policy recognizes that Northamptonshire County Council needs to
support young people from low income families and those with learning difficulties and or disabilities
16+ students to be able to access post 16 education and training giving special consideration to
those in most need
Two of the three core purposes of Northamptonshire County Council are ‘Helping you to help
yourself’ and ‘Helping you when you can’t help yourself’ In providing those 16+ students in most
need help with appropriate transport options and financial support according to the level of need the
new policy meets those two core purposes. The 16+ transport policy helps to ensure that young
people can improve their life skills and chances and receive training that allows them maximise their
potential in jobs markets and/ or independence. This means the council priorities of ‘Young people
feeling engaged and ‘Building social capital’ are being met. Better educated young people with
maximised life skills have potential to support developing local communities and local markets
This EqIA screening process is working on the premise that the approved budget will be similar to
previous years however there could be limitations on how much financial support can be given in
each case. The need to keep within the budget and make steady savings over the next 3 years
means that either the number of young people given assistance could grow smaller or that the level
of financial assistance will be lower. The possibility of removal of the whole budget would mean
numbers (39 Low income students and 166 SEN students at present) of the most needy and
vulnerable young people would have less opportunity to improve their life chances, skills and
employability and become marginalised and therefore not engaged. This would also detract from
building social capital.
Northamptonshire Schools and The ITMU in Transport and Highways Colleges and training providers service area implements the policy.
offering post 16 education and
training The Area Manager Tom Callaghan in
the Transport and Highways Service Post 16 students and their families area is responsible for the policy
SEN and Disability support and
The Integrated Transport
Management Unit (ITMU)
Northamptonshire County Council
Children and Young People’s
Most recent estimates of the county’s population put figures at 705,300.
In terms of gender, the population of the county is fairly evenly split between males and females, although in the over 75 age group, there is a vast different in the numbers of females to males (59.92% to 40.08%).
43.3% of the population is either younger or older people, both of which are protected age groups.
The Office of National Statistics mid-year estimates for 2008, found 88.14% of the
county’s population is of White, British ethnicity with the remaining 11.96% of the population being fairly evenly represented by other ethnic groups, the largest of which being Asian (3.22%).
There has been no collection or estimation of religion figures since the 2001 census. The most recent estimated figures are the ONS percentages of religion by ethnicity,
and the ONS estimated Ethnicity figures, 2008. These figures suggest a large percentage of the county population is of Christian faith (71.7%), with around 3.5% (24,046 residents) of the population practising other faiths or religions (1.2% Hindu,
1.2% Muslim, 0.4% Sikh, 0.3% Buddhist, 0.1% Jewish and 0.3 % Other). An estimated 25.8% of the population either did not state a religion or stated that they do
not practice any religion.
Figures of the entire population from 08/09 suggest that 9.91% of residents in the
county have a disability.
There is a distinct lack of data for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender communities within the county. However, in September 2010 the Office of National Statistics estimated that approximately 1.5% of the UK population comprises of gay
men, lesbians or bisexuals. This figure would potentially equate to over 8,000 of Northamptonshire’s residents.
2011/12 16+ Student profiles
; number of current yr 11 students across the county (schools): 7954
; no of yr 12 students across the county (schools) 4345
; number of yr 11 students with categorised levels of SEN
N No Special Provision: 6179
A School Action: 1020
P School Action Plus: 379
S Statement: 376
; Number of yr 12’s with categorised levels of SEN
N No Special Provision: 4006
A School Action: 203
P School Action Plus: 51
S Statement: 85
; Statemented yr11’s as a percentage of all yr 11’s 4.7% ;
; Statemented yr12’s as a percentage of all yr 12’s 2% ;
; Number of students attending a special school or DSP xxxx,
; Percentage split of boys and girls across yrs 11 and 12
Total % Male % Female
7954 52% 48%
Total % Male % Female
4345 47% 53%
810428552264311344225AIND 5 5 0 2 2 9 0 2 2 7 0 5 8 2 1 3 4 6802 4 1 9 1
Any other Asian Background MOTH
Other Black African MWBA Caribbean MWBC
Any other Black Background
NOBT Somali OOEG Chinese
OVIE Any other mixed background REFU White and Asian
WBRI White and Black African
WIRI White and Black Caribbean WIRT Information Not Yet Obtained Any other ethnic group WOTH
Traveller of Irish Heritage
Any other White background Gypsy/Roma
43 93 30 26 65 28 16 8 19 51 35 20 45 31 19 7 27 3650 10 0 122 0 AIND
Any other Asian Background BSOM
Questionnaires to parents and schools Other Black African MOTH
160 questionnaires were sent out to SEN parents schools and the 3 Caribbean MWAS Northamptonshire colleges There were 82 respondents and responses to questions
are summarised here: Any other Black Background MWBA
37 parents said their 16+ child travelled in a taxi to school. 39 had children who Somali MWBC travelled by bus or minibus (NCC own provision) with 1 using public bus and 2 being
transported to 16+ education by parents themselves. 71 felt the transport used was Chinese NOBT suitable to their child’s needs but 6 did not. The most common reasons given for not
transporting their own child were timing issues and other responsibilities (60 Any other mixed background OOEG respondents) or having no car (7)
White and Asian When asked if they had any thoughts on how 16+ transport could be made more OVIE
White and Black African REFU
White and Black Caribbean
Information Not Yet Obtained
WIRI Any other ethnic group
Traveller of Irish Heritage
Any other White background
efficient many cited more sharing of transport (15), using buses more (13) and not allowing individual transport (5). 11 respondents felt the transport arrangements are fine as they are. 26 gave no answer. Many parents (25) did not like the idea of
promoting car sharing because of associated risks and issues such as CRB checks
and insurance. 15 parents felt more buses were an alternative. 36 declined to
93% of parents responding to the questionnaire believed that 16+ SEN transport should remain free of charge. 6% believed it should not, with 1% undecided. The
reasons given for why were varied but the highest percentage of parents (30%) cited
the reason as SEN 16+Students not having a choice of school to go to and therefore
covering larger distances by necessity (designated school often farther from home address than a mainstream 16+ child’s).
When asked if there were to be a charge for 16+ SEN transport what would a
reasonable amount to charge for the service be the highest percentage of
respondents who gave a figure (30%) said ?400-?600 per year. 43% of respondents
would prefer monthly payment options for this. A small percentage of respondents
said they would choose a fuel allowance instead of transport if it was offered with the majority of those respondents saying an allowance of between 30p and 40p per mile would be reasonable. Nearly 40% of respondents felt using public transport was not
an option for their 16+ child because of vulnerability but another 20% would consider
this option if there were an escort on the bus. When asked if there were any other
comments or suggestions regarding 16+ transport 47.5% of respondents felt that
only SEN students should retain free transport. A further 47.5% declined to comment or felt they should not be burdened with the issue.
; Customer satisfaction data
A customer satisfaction survey was conducted in late November 2007.
The results from 250 customers accessing SEN transport showed that 88%
were satisfied or very satisfied with the service. Only 8% were not satisfied.
The highest levels of dissatisfaction were about issues with punctuality and
the booking service (14%) but highest levels of satisfaction were around
seating provision, drivers and escorts ( 98%,94%,94% respectively).
; Other Local Authorities data on approach to 16+ charges
In summary many authorities require some level of contribution from
parents/carers for SEN 16+ transport although the principles vary a little.
Commonly transport is only provided following the annual review of a students
statement and where the provision of transport is considered necessary.
Where transport is provided FOC to SEN students this is often up to age19
; The SEN Aiming High project team and consultation events
The aiming High project team made up of parents and CYPs officers were consulted in the early stages of the initial draft policy (March / April 2010) and
also held consultation events for parents and school staff at 4 special schools
across the county at Hinwick Hall, Fairfields School, Wrenn Spinney and
Daventry Community Hall. There were approx 40 varied comments recorded
from these events. Comments were both positive and negative in relation to
some of the possible options and other initiatives such as independent travel
training. Common themes were the scope of previous consultation, the short
timings involved in making decisions about the policy and informing parents of
the need to pay the 50% costs. Parents were pleased that the ITMU were
trying to get the approach right and that any system of charging should be
equitable with Mainstream students.
Parents also highlighted the issue of living in a rural area and therefore longer
distances to travel when thinking about any independent travel training
The general opinion coming from parents was that they felt SEN 16+ should remain free of charge but if it did have to be charged for any system would have to be fair and equitable and sufficient notice given to be able to prepare for these charges. Due
consideration should be taken for households on lower incomes.