Parents forced to pay £1,100 for bus to send kids to preferred school in Lincolnshire
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 firstname.lastname@example.org or call 07740 189194.