Sevenoaks Youth Council are concerned that young people, who are now legally required to stay in full time education or be in an apprenticeship scheme from the age of 16 to 18, have to pay in full their own travel costs. This can often be a burden on their families.
Following a query raised by a Sevenoaks Youth Councillor, a local school confirmed:
“There is no school funding to subsidise transport costs for pre or post 16 students. Bursaries are available to individual students who satisfy means test. Young people who receive Free School Meals can also apply to KCC for a discounted price for the Young Persons Travel Pass”.
Sevenoaks Youth Council point out that the cost of rail travel doubles after a student’s 16th birthday – the full adult fare then applies. They suggest that, now that the law requires young people to be in education until they are 18, the fare system should also recognise this and make 18 the threshold for adult fare.
Sevenoaks Youth Council have decided to research this further to investigate if families in the area or even nationally have the same problem paying for transport to and from their place of education. They are asking families affected – not just in Sevenoaks – to respond to a quick online survey.