Wednesday, 16 July 2014

Guest Blog: Hermione Crisp, QEHS student, on why the cut to Post 16 transport is wrong

"Cutting post 16 transport will discourage many 17 year olds like me from pursuing further education

I am currently a student at Queen Elizabeth High School Hexham and take school transport to school. The new changes to post 16 transport will affect me very much, due to the fact that I have moved schools in order to take a subject that wasn’t available in my catchment area. Without this valuable service I would be unable to receive this education and would have to choose subjects that I was worse at and didn’t enjoy. This change would affect everyone who is pursuing a love of learning; these cuts will destroy many vocations.

The few other alternatives to school transport are less reliable; firstly, my parents are not capable of ferrying me in to school every day as they have jobs to work at. The public buses are difficult to catch at the right time and are expensive to use every day, as it is not only me but my sister too who would have to consider this option. The last choice is to walk to school, but seeing as this is 18 miles a day and six hours walking, I don’t think that is an option.

The financial pressure on families is a vast one, especially if there are families with more than one or two children in post sixteen educations. This new tax seems to be targeting lower income households and preventing them from receiving the best possible education available to them. This seems to be discouraging many post sixteen year olds from continuing in further education. Six hundred pounds a year and up, or fifty pounds a month, is a large burden to bear. Free school transport for post 16s is a necessity. It should not be used as a means of boosting local government funds. Which, perhaps they should consider when they use their personal chauffer."

Hermione is a student at Queen Elizabeth High School in Hexham and was our 3 day work experience student here in Westminster last week.