§ 94. Mr. Sumberg
To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science what guidance is offered to local authorities by his Department concerning the issuance of bus passes to school children; and what are the regulations governing such issuance.
§ Mr. Alan Howarth
Under section 55(1) of the Education Act 1944 it is for local education authorities to judge whether it is necessary to make arrangements to facilitate the attendance of pupils at schools. Transport provided under such arrangements must be free of charge. Section 55(2) provides a discretionary power for authorities to pay the whole or part of the travel expenses in other cases. There are no relevant regulations. No guidance has been issued on the specific question of bus passes, but a DES circular letter of 15 December 1981 set out the Secretary of State's views on school transport and travel expenses in the light of the 1980 Education Act's provisions on choice of school. A copy has been placed in the Library of the House.