The Department for Education (DfE) has allocated a further £6,559,450 to local transport authorities (LTAs) in England to pay for additional dedicated home-to-school (H2S) transport in the second half of the summer term.
It takes to £135,197,222 the total made available for that purpose since the beginning of the autumn 2020 term. 79 of England’s LTAs have been paid directly from the funding stream over its life. In the sixth and final allocation for the 2020/21 school year, 57 of those will receive monies. Those that have been allocated nothing from the latest tranche include Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA) and Transport for London (TfL).
Kent County Council will receive the most from the sixth round of funding, at £851,690. West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) and West Yorkshire Combined Authority are the two others that will receive more than £500,000. 38 LTAs will receive less than £100,000.
Of all monies allocated to the scheme since the start of the school year, TfL has received the largest share, at £18,100,000. GMCA is in second place, with £10,069,418. Third-highest beneficiary is WMCA with £9,127,490. All allocations can be found on a spreadsheet hosted on the gov.uk website.
DfE announced the scheme in August 2020 to enable students to be removed from open-door services while capacity on those was restricted. Although agreement was reached with the Department for Transport for all forward-facing seats to be used on buses in England outside London from 17 May – a change subsequently adopted by TfL – it remained the case that many additional dedicated H2S transport services ran beyond that date.
The latest tranche of funding includes contingency payments for the first half of the summer term, although DfE notes that the latest allocations have been calculated based on information provided by LTAs about their actual and forecasted spends.