Council spends £480k on school taxis

Hackney Carriage rank.
Hackney Carriage rank.

Kirklees Council has defended spending nearly half-a-million pounds on taking looked after children to and from school.

Some foster carers feel that sending non-disabled children going to mainstream schools in taxis creates a stigma as it marks them out as being in care. Kirklees Council last annual spend was £484,330.

Paul Johnson, assistant director of family support and child protection, said: “We aim to ensure that our looked after children develop the capacity to act independently, whilst ensuring that they are safe. Sometimes, they are placed in residential homes or foster homes some distance away from their regular school so we arrange transport to school so that their educational progress is disrupted as little as possible.

“Those young people who are considered capable of making their own way to school will do so. However, in the context of the current concerns about children who go missing, and child sexual exploitation, we have to be extremely vigilant. The council is reviewing its school transport policy, and the current spend on looked after children will be part of that process.”