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Parents forced to pay £1,100 for bus to send kids to preferred school in Lincolnshire

By East Lindsey Target  |  Posted: October 03, 2012

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A PARENT says he is being forced to pay out £1,100 in bus fares to send his children to the school of his choice.

The man from Woodhall Spa, who asked to remain anonymous, contacted the Target in response to last week's story about Horncastle student Thomas Roark.

Thomas recently started a sports course at Lincoln College but lives around one mile from the boundary that would allow him to get a subsidised bus pass.

The designated further education college for most students in Horncastle is Boston College, leaving his father David Roark to fork out around £1,500 in travel fares.

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The Woodhall Spa parent told the Target he chose to send his two daughters to Banovallum School, Horncastle, instead of the designated Gartree School in Tattershall which was placed in special measures earlier this year.

He said: "My nearest school is Gartree but it's a failing school, if it wasn't we would have considered it. My wife and I both work part- time so don't have a lot of money coming in anyway. We contacted the county council to see if we could get assistance for travel fees and they said no. We live 0.8 miles outside the boundary. We are paying out £1,100 a year in transport fees."

A spokesman for Lincolnshire County Council, said: "The county council provides home to school transport for all school aged children to their nearest school if it is over three miles away.

"In this case transport cannot be provided as it does not fall into this criteria and Banovallum is not the nearest school. The council has to spend £26m a year on home-to-school transport to support children and young people to get to their nearest school and college, which is a huge commitment when we have also had to find substantial savings."

David Roark, who asked other parents to contact with him, has been inundated with responses from across the county including Boston, Market Rasen and Louth.

He said: "It's quite interesting really the different variety of response we are getting.

"I am quite surprised the different people that have phoned me. I am pleased with the response and would still like to hear from others to help build up a better picture of the situation."

To contact Mr Roark, email david.roark@tesco.net or call 07740 189194.

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  • Gnome_Chomsky  |  October 05 2012, 11:37PM

    Grumpy_Mum - I'm not sure it's a parent's choice to send their children to a grammar school. A grammar school education is a privilege - I had one - and catchment areas need to be enforced so that residents are only paying for the level of advantage they receive. This is why I am shocked that Queen Elizabeth's in Gainsborough seems to accept students from Nottinghamshire and South Yorkshire, both of which gave up their contribution to a grammar school education decades ago. Middle class families have fought for years for grammar schools to return, but fought equally for lower contributions from income tax and community charge. It seems Lincolnshire are willing to educate privileged and advantaged children from elsewhere at the expense of local taxpayers.

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  • Hazelkaye  |  October 05 2012, 7:04PM

    It's parents' responsibility to get their children to and from school - NOT the council's!

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  • passtheparcel  |  October 03 2012, 7:32PM

    "to send kids to preferred school" Ay-up! By gum, ee when I were a lad, t'was no such thing as "preferred school you went t'nearest school and have dun with it. Eee, tha' dont no they born these days! Ta' ra.....

  • FreedomSpeech  |  October 03 2012, 7:05PM

    "There is no such thing as a free ride" And why should there be comrade?

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  • InsideStory  |  October 03 2012, 6:03PM

    There is no such thing as a free ride unless your a Pensioner or disabled until the conservatives take it away which is their intention .

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  • XNY556  |  October 03 2012, 1:14PM

    Well it looks like double standards to me - one of my neighbours has a bus turn up at the door every weekday to make the ten mile trip to Cherry Willingham. There is no wonder that LCC are spending £26m a year on transport, when they provide door to door transport for some pupils and won't subsidise bus travel for others. If they cut out the taxis and minibuses and sent people to the nearest school using service buses, they could save a fortune and probably subsidise bus passes for those few that need them?

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  • Saxilby_Mick  |  October 03 2012, 12:56PM

    I have no sympathy with Mr Roarks position. He excercised his right to send the child to a particular school but seems unable, or unwilling to accept responsibility for this forseeable expenditure. If he cannot afford it, he shoul dnot have done it.

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  • Grumpy_Mum  |  October 03 2012, 10:06AM

    This is the same if you live in Claypole and wish your children to attend the Grantham Grammar Schools. Claypole's designated secondary school of SWRHS at Welbourn, which is 1 mile less in distance than the Grantham Grammar schools, so Claypole residents have to pay the full cost of transport rather than the difference. Our choice you might say, which it is. However, this is not the case throughout the Lincolnshire County Council jurisdication. If you live in Colsterworth, their designated comprehensive secondary school is Corby Glen, but choose to send their children to the Grantham Grammar Schools, Lincolnshire County Council will pay the transport costs!!! why? because historically this is what they've always done!! Is is fair no! will Lincolnshire Council change its policy? not so far!

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  • GeorgeSomme  |  October 03 2012, 9:28AM

    With choice comes responsibility and in this case your choice means you take responsibility. So stop whining, suck it in and make your child pay you back when this supposed 'better' education pays off.

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  • SherlockBones  |  October 03 2012, 9:19AM

    If it was his choice to send the kid to that particular chool, he can hardly claim he is being forced into paying, if you dont like it ship him to Gartree it will be character building for the young lad, or another option, stop sitting around on your backsides for half the week and get full time jobs!

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