Proposed changes to home to school transport will have a ‘major impact’ on many Brooksby Melton College students, it is feared.
The college has responded in the strongest terms to the county council consultation and is urging parents and students to make their voices heard, too.
It says the intention to provide transport assistance to the ‘nearest college’ and not the ‘nearest course’ from September 2015 fails to acknowledge that it attracts students from all over the county and is a Designated Specialist Status college.
It offers a wide range of vocational courses across two main campuses and its specialist courses, for example in performing arts, media, business, equestrian management, animal care, agriculture, land management, horticulture, land-based service engineering, floristry, arboriculture and countryside management – attract students from all parts of Leicestershire with significant numbers also travelling from neighbouring counties.
Vicki Lock, purchasing manager for the college, said: “Under these new proposals all students who do not reside within the local area will not be eligible for assisted transport. The local authority contract routes will be withdrawn, affecting at least 200 students, and the onus will pass to the college to provide transport infrastructure at substantial additional cost to retain students.
“If this happens the £425 student contribution per year will become irrelevant. We are committed to our learners and will do everything we can to minimise the impact on them but the realistic cost would be far higher which would either have to be passed on to the student/parent or subsidised by the college at the expense of teaching and learning.”