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160927 | Gwinear School head films ridiculous route for Hayle children denied Cornwall Council transport | West Briton

Gwinear School head films ridiculous route for Hayle children denied Cornwall Council transport - West Briton -


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Gwinear School head films ridiculous route for Hayle children denied Cornwall Council transport
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Mr Gardiner joined his pupils to walk the council-suggested route from Hayle to the school. It includes sections along narrow, country lanes without a footpath and across fields and through woodland. The video shows how the children cross the A30 by ...

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Gwinear School head films ridiculous route for Hayle children denied Cornwall Council transport

By WBGraeme | Posted: September 27, 2016

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A head teacher has filmed the long and difficult walk to school for three of his pupils who have been denied a place on the bus.

Lee Gardiner from Gwinear School near Hayle said it was ridiculous that the pupils were expected to walk for more than an hour along narrow lanes and across muddy fields.

The children, Michael, Mate and David, live 2.95 miles away - but only those who live more than 3 miles away are eligible for free school transport by Cornwall Council. The council said the route to Gwinear School had been assessed and was judged to be safe. It said parents have the right to appeal.

Mr Gardiner joined his pupils to walk the council-suggested route from Hayle to the school. It includes sections along narrow, country lanes without a footpath and across fields and through woodland. The video shows how the children cross the A30 by bridge and then walk along Grist Lane to the village of Angarrack before crossing over fields to Gwinear Lane.

Although the youngsters would be accompanied by an adult, Mr Gardiner said the route was simply not suitable with traffic, lack of pavements and the muddy footpaths – which would be even worse in the winter months, he added.

He said: "I think it's ridiculous. A parent of one of the children has challenged that decision already and I've given my support. It used to be the case that primary school children who lived within two miles were expected to walk. That was changed to three miles for pupils in years 4, 5 and 6. Here we have children living 2.95 miles away."

He said parents would also be expected to walk just under 12 miles each day to and from school.

"We are now having to use the school minibus to transport them here, without any money for that. This is not just our school but a Cornish problem and I wonder how many other schools are experiencing a similar problem," he added.

Mr Gardiner said the traffic survey of the lanes leading to school was also done in the summer, so school traffic was not taken into account.

A spokeswoman for Cornwall Council the changes to the policy on school transport was approved following extensive public consultation in November 2014.

She said: "Cornwall's Home to School Transport Policy was brought into line with national statutory regulations and duties in respect of home to school transport. These changes were implemented from September 1 2016. This change of policy means that primary schools pupils aged eight and above, determined as those in years 4, 5 and 6, will only be awarded free home to school transport where the distance from their home address to their nearest or designated school is more than three miles. We currently provide school transport to around 12,000 children, of whom around 1,200 are primary school pupils.

"While we recognise that the change in this policy has affected around 130 primary school children and their families, it brings Cornwall in line with the Department for Education statutory guidance. It remains the responsibility of parents and carers to ensure that their child is accompanied as necessary when walking to and from school.

"Where a route is within the statutory walking distance but a parent or carer raises concerns about the safety of the route for pedestrians, a Pedestrian Route Assessment is carried out in accordance with the new policy.

"With respect to Gwinear School, assessments carried out by a road safety officer have confirmed that there is a route which is acceptable for pedestrian use. Parents and carers affected by this policy change were informed on April 13. They have the right to appeal against the council's decision."

 

The video shows how the children cross the A30 by bridge and then walk along Grist Lane to the village of Angarrack before crossing over fields to Gwinear Lane

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