Local Government is facing tough, tough times.
Councils throughout the country have to cut their spending by millions and millions of pounds.
Leicestershire County Council is in no different a position to any other. To simply balance the books the Council will have to make draconian cuts the likes of which have never been seen before.
Just like every other local authority Leicestershire County Council are looking at services which they provide that they don't legally have to and they are questioning 'should we provide those services in the future?'
One of those services is school transport to Faith Schools.
Last year the County Council looked at this issue, an issue very close to my heart, and after a great deal of campaigning and mobilisation from people around the County, including (at that time) the largest e-petition ever submitted in Leicestershire the issue was quietly dropped.
Now it is back and the only difference is that instead of the charge of £490 that was being talked about 18 months ago the cost to parents at Catholic schools will now go up to £640 a year.
Information on the current Faith School consultation can be seen by clicking here.
Last year I wrote:
'Now, whilst I do not mind paying a fee so our children are not subsidised I do very much mind when our children do not receive the same basic service that children in catchment area schools receive.'
My sentiment hasn't changed. Removing equitable access for children to attend faith school is morally wrong.
Yet I fear that this time around a petition will not be enough.
Parents with children at Faith Schools MUST take action. If we do not voice our concerns there is no doubt that these proposals will go through.
Please respond to the consultation.
But more importantly I would urge parents to write directly to the Conservative Cabinet members at County Hall who will make the final decision on these proposals, let them know as parents what you think about them.
In particular I would suggest parents write to the Cabinet Member responsible for Children and Young People, Mr Ivan Ould CC, at County Hall to let him know about your concerns.
Let Mr Ould know what you think about limiting your child's education. Let him know that you may not be able to afford to follow your faith. Let him know that these proposed measures will erode faith school education for all denominations. Let him know that if approved children being removed from faith schools will have a knock on effect on catchment areas schools. Let him know.
You can write to Mr Ould at:
Mr Ivan Ould CC
or e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org