luton borough council: Stop Proposed Cuts to Cardinal Newman R.C Schools Denominational Travel

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luton borough council: Stop Proposed Cuts to Cardinal Newman R.C Schools Denominational Travel

This petition had 1,385 supporters
CNS POST COMMITTEE started this petition to Cllr Hazel Simmons (Luton Borough Council) and

CNSPOSTCommittee is a recently formed committee standing for Cardinal Newman School Preserve Our School Transport Committee. I hope you will take the time to read our letter.
While we sympathise with the Council having to make so many cuts, forced on them by Government, we are opposed to the proposed transport cuts to denominational schools and the Post 16 Saver card scheme.
We call into question the legality of the consultation process relating to:
 Having relevant, sufficient and timely information:
o Parents of Children in Year 6 had to submit their application for a place in Secondary School by 31/10/12. Then on 03/12/12 we were informed that the Council were consulting on home to school transport including denominational transport. Parents should have been told this before they submitted their applications for Secondary School as you cannot make informed decisions without all the facts. Parents’ choices may have been different if this information had been known!
o Parents do not know if the bus service to CNS will continue to run if the Council agrees to cut the Funding.
o Parents do not know how much they will have to pay for each child to travel to CNS if the Council withdraws funding. If buses are provided by a private coach company it could be up to £20 per week per child to transport them. In these times of austerity, this will have an enormous impact on many families.
 Having the right to participate at meetings:
The Council held two public meetings at totally inappropriate times.
o The first meeting held on Monday 11/02/12 was 2pm – 3.30pm (it actually finished at 4pm). All schools in Luton are finishing at this time. Many Dads are at work and unable to attend. Mum’s are collecting their children from school, meeting them at bus stops or finishing work and find it extremely difficult to attend a meeting at that time of the afternoon.
o The second meeting was held on Wed 13/02/12 6.30 - 8.00 pm. On this evening it was Parents Evening at Sacred Heart Primary School while there was a school production being held at CNS so many parents could not attend. More importantly it was Ash Wednesday, a Holy Day of Obligation for Catholics and many Catholics throughout Luton were attending Mass and so unable to attend the meeting.
 Pupils right to participate:
The Council has not given pupils the opportunity to voice their opinions with regards to the proposed cuts even though it will make a big impact on their access to education.
Please consider the impact cutting the transport to CNS could have on Luton:
 Environment:
There are currently 11 buses transporting approximately 600 pupils to CNS. If there are
no buses to the school and parents choose to drive their children there could be
hundreds of extra cars on the road, causing absolute chaos for the residents nearby
and doing immense damage to the environment.
 Safety of pupils:
If the funding is withdrawn from transport, there may not be a direct bus running to
CNS. For pupils in Stopsley, Wigmore, Round Green and Farley Hill areas, it will mean
pupils getting a bus into town, walking through town and getting another bus to CNS.
Would you allow your 11+ child to do this? Many people do not allow their children to
go into town alone but we will not have a choice. Who will guarantee our children’s
safety?
 Impact on other Secondary schools in Luton:
If all the parents decided that they would not sent their child to CNS but to their local
catchment school instead, it would put enormous pressure on the other secondary
schools in town, most of them already over-subscribed. There would not be enough
places for everyone.
 Impact on CNS:
If parents living a long distance from CNS decide not to send their children there, over
time it could become a local catchment secondary school rather than a faith school.
 Impact on Catholic Primary Schools:
If CNS becomes a local catchment school what would be the point in having Catholic
Primary schools and no Catholic Secondary School for them to feed into?
 Impact on the economy of Luton:
Luton is a multi-racial, multi-cultural town. Catholics have been a very big part of the
history of Luton. If there is not a Catholic Secondary School, and possibly Catholic
Primary Schools, the Catholics in Luton will over time, move to other areas. This would
have a detrimental impact on the economy of Luton!
There has always been transport provided to CNS and now, after over 40 years, the
Council is proposing cutting the funding.
We are considering seeking a Judicial Review on the grounds that Luton Council is
discriminating against Catholics and also that it breaches the human rights of a
Catholic pupil.
Please support us and oppose the cuts to transport and the saver card scheme.Explain why someone should support this petition

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This petition had 1,385 supporters

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