Decision status: Recommendations Approved
Is Key decision?: No
Is subject to call in?: Yes
The Cabinet gave consideration to a report of the Director of Education, Skills
and Early Years which detailed the recent Transport Service tender allocation process and outlined the current provision of Home to School Transport, provided by the SEN Transport Team.
The Cabinet noted that SEND had been undergoing an improvement journey since the Ofsted inspection in 2017 and Transport was identified as a priority area in the Written Statement of Action. The Education Health and Care Plan’s (EHCP’s) annual review process would now include a review of home to school transport arrangements annually in the context of the plan, to further assess need and review appropriate provision.
All pupils with SEN were provided with free travel assistance, in accordance with the Council’s current Home to School Transport Policy (March 2018),
IPSEA Legal guidance and the Education Act 1996. The SEN Transport Policy aimed to ensure that all pupils eligible to access transport, would receive the appropriate provision which met their needs.
In accordance with the Council’s Procurement regulations and European Legislation, routes for home to school transport for children and young people had been put out to tender, for contracts to start in September 2019. The Cabinet noted the process for seeking bids via the Chest and for the evaluation of bids.
It was proposed that contracts be awarded for 104 of the available 118 routes and that the other 14 be re-tendered via the Chest. This would ensure the Council was operating within the guidelines set out in the Dynamic Purchasing System, by ensuring a fair and moderated tendering process had ensued. This would also maximise the opportunity to ensure the service operated in the most financially efficient way.
The Cabinet noted that families, carers and young people across the Borough had been involved in the development of the new policy, along with POINT.
· Option 1 - Open the Dynamic Purchasing System under The Chest and re-tender the remaining 14 routes to the successful bidders on the System.
· Option 2 - Approach the current supplier to continue undertaking the route previously tendered for the same price, over the contracted period. If this is not possible. re-tender the 14 routes outside of the Dynamic Purchasing System.
1. The award of the contracts for 104 routes be approved.
2. The proposal to re-tender for the remaining 14 routes be noted.
3. The revised Travel Assistance Policy for Children and Young People with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities accessing Education be noted.
Publication date: 23/07/2019
Date of decision: 22/07/2019
Decided at meeting: 22/07/2019 - Cabinet
Effective from: 31/07/2019