A council in North Wales is proposing to withdraw free home-to-school transport from pupils who go to faith schools, but whose admission is NOT based on religious grounds.
The plans, which Flinthshire Council says will produce a fair transport policy are out for consultation but could go ahead in September next year. But, as Ian Lang reports, some say it's discrimination.
Canon Joe Stewart, from Connah's Quay Catholic Church says that asking a parish priest to police a school admission policy is "outrageous." He says his responsibility is to encourage the understanding that the church's education policies are inclusive, not exclusive.
Post-16 and denomination school pupil transport could be changed
Flintshire Council says a public consultation is being carried out on two "discretionary aspects" of home to school transport - post-16 transport and transport to denominational schools.
The Council is proposing that for new admissions from September 2014, free transport to denominational (faith) schools is no longer provided for pupils whose admission is not based on faith grounds. Consultation with individual schools will take place to confirm the admission criteria under which pupils are admitted, and suitable evidence of adherence to the faith of the school such as a baptismal certificate or a letter from a priest may be requested.
– A Flintshire Council spokesperson
The consultation will also look at only providing free transport to students aged 16 and under 19 to designated sites, subject to a three-mile distance criteria from September this year. The consultation will run until 12 April.