Labour welcomed the improvements to the Home to School Transport Service at the Children, Young People & Skills Committee meeting at Brighton & Hove City Council on 9 November.
When Labour Councillor John Allcock assumed the Chair of the committee in September 2019, it became evident to him that something had gone badly wrong with the Home to School Transport Service (HtST), so he commissioned the Local Government Association (LGA) to independently review the service. This review took place in January 2020 and its clear and frank deliberations and recommendations have greatly assisted the council’s Home to School Transport panel in its work.
The panel has held 7 public meetings and Labour says we simply wouldn’t have been able to explore the issues in the level of detail we did without the excellent support and engagement from a range of stakeholders who attended and contributed to our meetings. These included the Parent Carers Council (PaCC), the city’s special schools and the contracted HtST operators. Co-production has been a key theme of the panel’s work and service recovery.
Throughout the process, the panel continued to acknowledge that the service disruption over the summer and autumn of 2019 should never have happened and that all are extremely sorry for this disruption. According to Councillor Allcock, through the submissions and contributions made by stakeholders, Councillors learnt more about the impact it had and the difficulties children, young people and their parents and carers experienced.
The panel did, however, hear much about the significant improvements that have taken place since the Home to School Transport crisis at the beginning of the 2019 Autumn term. Labour were especially pleased to hear this from PaCC at the final public meeting in September 2020 where they stated they had “seen a real improvement in the service, as well as strong co-production and communication with families.”
Opposition Lead for Children, Young People & Skills, Labour Councillor John Allcock said:
“As soon as I became Chair of the Children, Young People and Skills committee last year, I recognised the problems with the Home to School Transport service.
“I apologised wholeheartedly for the disruption to the pupils, parents and carers who had been impacted and pledged to get to the bottom of the issues.
“I commissioned an independent review into what went wrong and went about trying to address them.
“It’s by working with providers, PaCC and the community that we’ve been able to see the much needed improvements to the service that have been achieved, and I want to thank everyone who played their part in this.”
See the CYPS meeting in full on the council website: https://aisapps.sonicfoundry.com/AuditelScheduler/Player/Index/?id=51e0ac52-c6ba-4fdc-9e40-fd1cda514e89&presID=1d4a1b0751954ec4bb7a70777d0840781d