Swanley teen 'humiliated' on school bus as £500 pass parents paid for still hasn't arrived (From News Shopper)
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Swanley teen 'humiliated' on school bus as £500 pass parents paid for still hasn't arrived
A TEENAGER from Swanley was left "humiliated" after being thrown off the school bus - despite her parents having paid more than £500 for a pass.
During the second full week of term Eleanor Kilsby, 16, got on the 409 service from Crockenhill to Knole Academy in Sevenoaks carrying a letter proving her mum Alison had shelled out £520 for a 16+ travel card to get her to school and back for a year.
Within a week of term beginning on September 6 Kent County Council instructed bus company Go-Coach to stop accepting letters in lieu of passes for school children who had yet to receive them.
Eleanor’s pass has still yet to arrive despite school having started more than three-and-a-half weeks ago leaving the Kilsbys to fork out up to £6.50 a day for journeys they have already paid for.
Mrs Kilsby, who lives in Heathwood Gardens, Swanley, also sends son Alex, 13, to Knole Academy and has now been left more than £60 out of pocket.
The 45-year-old told News Shopper: "The other day when the bus driver threw her off the bus my daughter was crying she was so humiliated.
"It’s a new school, with new people: how humiliating for a 16-year-old girl to be told she couldn’t get on.
"She is angry because she knows we have paid all that money and she has to ask us for the fare every day."
KCC promised to process all 16+ travel cards within 28 days if applications were sent in before July 19 this year.
But the Kilsbys had to wait until August 22 to find out whether Eleanor had the GCSE results she needed to get into Knole Academy meaning the application could not be sent off before then.
Mrs Kilsby added: "I think this is fraudulent and infuriating. What makes me so mad is you’re just expected to pay twice.
"It’s horrendous. Why can’t KCC just say the tickets are refundable?"
Roger Gough, KCC cabinet member for education and health reform, said: "The county receives more than 30,000 applications for the Kent Freedom Pass and 16+ travel card over the course of the summer.
"I recognise there is a challenge for those who wait until receiving their exam results before applying for the 16+ travel card.
"In this case, the pass is expected to be ready for collection from school next week – meeting the 28 day timescale.
"I will be asking officers to let me know if they feel there is anything we can do to help speed up the process for those who apply after receiving their GCSE results."
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