Young people with special education needs (SEN) are set to have their home-to-school bus runs cut.

The council is instead introducing “pick-up points” for their SEN users, asking them to meet at designated stops along school routes rather than collecting them from home.

This move is in reaction to an “ever-increasing pressure” on its budget, the council has stated, with the current scheme in place costing Bexley £2.4m a year.

The council believes that the change will also “encourage young people with special needs to become more independent.”

Parents and carers of young people with special educational needs are being consulted about the change with a pilot project taking place during the Autumn term.

The initiative will see a small number of young people start to use the council’s pick-up points.

It is expected to be introduced in full across the whole borough later in the year.

The council believes that as a consequence of its cuts, the service will become more reliable as journey times will be reduced.

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Bexley's Rob Leitch, Cabinet member for Education

Cllr Rob Leitch, the council’s cabinet member for Education said: "The cost of delivering this service has risen to £2.4 million a year, and with ever-increasing pressure on council budgets, we must think creatively about the ways in which we deliver our services,"

“But of course, we want to consult parents and carers about how they operate in Bexley, so that they work as well as possible in our borough.”

Bexley’s new approach to providing travel assistance has been developed in consultation with parents’ representatives including the borough’s parent carer forum, Bexley Voice.

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