MP tackles Michael Gove over school ‘discrimination’

Ribble Valley MP Nigel Evans
Ribble Valley MP Nigel Evans

Ribble Valley MP Nigel Evans has written to Education Secretary Michael Gove to express his concern about the “discrimination” some families having to pay for school transport.

“It cannot be right that parents are penalised for sending their children to a faith school or indeed because their child has done very well and passed the entrance exam into a grammar school,” said Mr Evans.

“In the Ribble Valley parents have come to see me about the travel to St Augustine’s school, which I raised in the House of Commons. Clearly
there is also an issue with children travelling to Clitheroe Royal Grammar School as well.

“The situation is perhaps best highlighted by this example. Take two families in the village of Chipping, both of whose children go to senior school in Longridge. The family who sends their children to Longridge High School will not pay for transport, whereas the family that chooses St Cecilia’s because of their faith will need to pay around £450 per child per annum.

“Both sets of children will travel in the same minibus and the bus stops are 0.1 miles apart. In fact, the schools back onto to one another. I simply do not understand how the system that I have described is either fair or proportionate.

“I look forward to hearing from Michael Gove and I sincerely hope that we can put an end to this unfair charge,” said Mr Evans who wants the Department of Education to review the cost of school transport.