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Harborough District Council Initial Equality Impact Assessment Pro

By Frederick Rogers,2014-04-03 11:11
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Harborough District Council Initial Equality Impact Assessment Pro

     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

    Participation Facilitator

    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,

    ; 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

    charge.

    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.

     1)

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.

     2)

    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

    3)

    16+ students to be able to access post 16 education and training giving special consideration to

    those in most need

    4)

    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

    5)

    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.

    6) 7)

    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

    interest groups

The Integrated Transport

    Management Unit (ITMU)

Northamptonshire County Council

    Children and Young People’s

    services

Transport contractors

    8)

    County Demographics

    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

    Year 11

    Total % Male % Female

    7954 52% 48%

    Year 12

     Total % Male % Female

    4345 47% 53%

    ; Ethnicity

    Year 11

    ABAN

    810428552264311344225AIND 5 5 0 2 2 9 0 2 2 7 0 5 8 2 1 3 4 6802 4 1 9 1

    AOTH

     APKN

    BAOF

    BCRB

    BOTH Bangladeshi

    BSOM

    Indian CHNE

    Any other Asian Background MOTH

     Pakistani MWAS

    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

    Vietnamese WROM

    Refused

    British

    Irish

    Traveller of Irish Heritage

    Any other White background Gypsy/Roma

    Year 12

    ABAN

    43 93 30 26 65 28 16 8 19 51 35 20 45 31 19 7 27 3650 10 0 122 0 AIND

     AOTH

    APKN

    BAOF

    Bangladeshi BCRB

    Indian BOTH

     Any other Asian Background BSOM

     Pakistani CHNE

    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

    WBRI

    Information Not Yet Obtained

    WIRI Any other ethnic group

    WIRT Vietnamese

    WOTH Refused

    WROM

    British

    Irish

    Traveller of Irish Heritage

    Any other White background

    Gypsy/Roma

    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

    comment.

    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

    only

     9)

    ; 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.

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