To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what contingency plans he has in place to ensure that children who travel to school by coach can continue to do so in the event that some coach operators cease trading by April 2021 due to the covid-19 outbreak.
23 November 2020
The Department has allocated more than £70 million to Local Transport Authorities (LTAs), enabling them to increase dedicated home to school and college transport capacity over the autumn term: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/esfa-update-14-october-2020/esfa-update-further-education-14-october-2020. LTAs have flexibility in how they use this funding to meet the needs of local families, including hiring extra coaches. We are reviewing funding arrangements for the spring term.
Government Departments continue to work collaboratively and with representatives from the coach sector, including the Confederation of Passenger Transport, to understand the ongoing risks and issues the sector faces and how these could be addressed.
The Government has also provided £4.6 billion of un-ringfenced funding to local authorities to support them with the pressures they are facing as a result of COVID-19: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-emergency-funding-for-local-government. This funding can be used to support school and college travel.