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Oxfordshire - Anger over cuts to free transport

Teachers have criticised the decision to end free or subsidised bus and taxi travel to school in a bid to save cash.

Meera Spillett, Oxfordshire County Council director of children's services, said stopping concessionary travel to families who live in other local authorities and for children who attend faith schools will save #163;697,000.

The changes will affect non-Oxfordshire residents who send their children to Chiltern Edge School on the outskirts of Reading, and Catholic families from Bicester who send their children to the Blessed George Napier School in Banbury when they come into effect in 2015.

Some 14,800 Oxfordshire pupils get free or cheap travel to school or college, costing the council #163;16m a year. Chiltern Edge head Daniel Sadler is leading "strong opposition" to the change, saying it will have a "seriously destabilising effect" on the school roll.

In a report to councillors, Ms Spillett said: "The current home- to-school transport policy goes beyond statutory requirements, primarily in the provision made for faith transport and some non-Oxfordshire residents, and is inequitable." KM.

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