The CES has produced a supplement to its Transport Toolkit, which is designed to help teachers, parents and governors to obtain further information about how their local authority has used its funding for extended rights to free travel.
Funding for extended rights to free travel – Making a Freedom of Information request
Please note that the funding referred to below was made available in England only and so these FOI requests should only be made to English local authorities.
In 2011-2012 the Department for Education made additional funding available to local authorities for extended rights to free travel. This was designed to support the choice agenda and would include an element of support for religion and belief. Further information is available on the DfE website.
You can find the allocations for individual authorities here.
Schools and dioceses might wish to pursue a Freedom of Information Request in order to identify how their local authorities have used this grant, and to identify how many children have been supported through this funding.
The following questions might be asked:
1. What was the funding allocation for extended rights to free travel and the general duty to promote sustainable travel for the year 2011-12?
2. How was that allocation used?
3. How many pupils have been supported with travel to school through use of the funding?
4. What percentage of those pupils travel to schools with a religious character?
5. How many of those children travel to Catholic schools?
If you are unsure how to make a Freedom of Information request, the website www.whatdotheyknow.com will guide you through the process.
Once you have the details of how the funding allocation has been used, this information could be used to aid any lobbying you are doing to retain discretionary transport subsidies. Please refer to our Transport Toolkit for advice about how to campaign against the removal of discretionary transport subsidies.