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Review of the policy for SEND personal transport budgets for eligible families in 2024-2025 - This consultation has now ended

Ended

We want to hear your views on this budget proposal for 2024-2025.

What we would like you to do
Over the next year, the Council will need to make tough decisions to balance next year’s budget due to Government cuts, inflation and increasing demand for services such as social care as more residents require support. This short survey is to help us find out what you think about our proposal to review the policy for SEND ('Special Educational Needs Declaration') personal transport budgets for 'eligible families' (families who qualify for transport because they have a child or young person with a Special Educational Needs Declaration). Here's a summary of what we propose: 
“Following discussions with families, we proposing to consult on a change to the current Personal Transport Budget policy; that it could be extended to pay for things such as:
a childminder or family member to care for a sibling whilst a parent / carer takes the 'eligible child' (the child with a Special Educational Needs Declaration) to school.
a breakfast or after-school club for a sibling in order to allow the parent the time to collect the eligible child from school. 
two hours of the relevant hourly rate of a personal assistant (who may already be involved in the child’s care) to drive the eligible child to school (and back) in addition to the mileage costs of both journeys. 
In addition, we propose to introduce a banding system to calculate the value of payments for transport, rather than a straightforward mileage reimbursement (a system for repaying eligible families their school transport costs). This method is in place in other local authorities and has been found to be highly successful." 
Please note that a full consultation on this proposal is likely to take place early in the spring term of 2024, with a decision from Cabinet in late spring or early summer 2024. We will post details of this here on Let's talk Newcastle Online once it begins.
We are consulting on all our proposals between 30 November 2023 and 17 January 2024. Have your say by completing the short survey here: Your views on review of the policy for SEND personal transport budgets for eligible families, or by emailing us at: letstalk@newcastle.gov.uk. We have also produced a PDF copy of our questions, which can be found at the bottom of the page and can be printed off, completed, and returned to us at:  FREEPOST Let’s Talk if this is easier for you or someone you know.
Here is the Integrated Impact Assessment (IIA) for this proposal, a summary of what we propose to do, and the impact we expect it will have: Review of the policy for SEND personal transport budgets for eligible families in 2024-2025. You can also find it attached to this consultation at the bottom of the page. Please do give us your views.
If you have questions
If you have any questions about this or you need the consultation materials in different formats, such as large print, you can email us at: letstalk@newcastle.gov.uk, call 0191 278 7878, or write to us at: FREEPOST Let’s Talk
What happens next
After the consultation closes, in February 2024, Cabinet will be asked to recommend the post-consultation budget to City Council. City Council will debate and vote on the budget at their meeting in March 2024. We will publish the final budget proposals, including a report on the consultation findings, on our website: Newcastle City Council. Thank you for giving us your views.
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