Transport scheme for youngsters with special needs in Derbyshire could be extended

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A successful travel scheme which helps Derbyshire youngsters with special educational needs get out and about in their communities could be continued.

Derbyshire County Council’s independent travel training helps young people with reduced mobility, learning difficulties or low confidence be able to use public transport safely.

Classroom or practical training has been given to more than 135 children to help them get to school, employment and socialise since the training launched in 2012.

Young people learn about road safety, journey planning, money and time management, and personal safety.

The authority’s current contract with the charity National Star Foundation, which delivers the training through their Learning Independence for Travel (LIFT) scheme, is due to end in September next year.

But a proposal to go out to tender for three years of the training – with a possible extension of an extra two years – taking the scheme into 2020, will go to the authority’s Cabinet Meeting for Children and Young People on Tuesday 5th August.

Youngsters with special educational needs who are eligible for the scheme are: in Year 8 or above at school or aged between 16 and 24 and attending post-16 education; being provided with transport to their place of education; paid for by the county council.

The average current cost of transport assistance for young people with SEN is £5,399 per student to schools, and £2,797 per student to a further education college.

Thanks to the scheme an average saving of more than £3,000 per student per year is possible once youngsters can travel independently.