A MUM claims her five-year-old son has been BANNED from the school bus because another primary is just 300m closer to their house.
Rhys Ellis’s home in Powys, Wales, is around eight miles away from both Llanidloes CP School – where he attends – and another school, Rhayader Church in Wales Primary School.
A mum claims her five-year-old son has been BANNED from the school busCredit: Getty
Powys County Council offer free school buses to all kids to their nearest school – meaning Rhys was entitled to no-cost transport in the morning and afternoon, his mum Jenni, 33, said.
But she was shocked to discover that because Rhys’ rival school Rhayader was just 300 metres closer to their house, he couldn’t use the bus at all.
It means Jenni must either move Rhys’ school, or give up her job in order to make it for pick up and drop off times.
Jenni told Wales Online: “Rhys knows somebody somewhere won’t let him on the bus.
“A few times we’ve gently said, ‘How would you feel if you went to Rhayader.’
“He just looked confused and said, ‘But my friends go to Llanidloes, I want to go to Llanidloes.”
“The choice could be moving house — we’ve been here 30 years and it’s not something we want to consider — or it could be my husband or me giving up work or reducing our hours, so we’re more available to drive Rhys to school.
“Or it could be Rhys moving school. For the sake of 300 metres you’d think the council could apply a bit of compassion.”
She claims the Llanidloes school bus travels past their house every day and has empty seats.
The council said their school bus policy went through a consultation – and stressed it does not comment on individual cases.
A spokesman said: “The consultation findings and the final version of the policy were considered and approved by cabinet in September 2020.
“In line with the policy, Powys County Council is committed to providing all qualifying Powys learners with free home to school transport to their nearest or catchment school.
“Entitlement to free school transport will be decided by The Corporate Transport Unit. Where a request is refused, parents/carers will be advised of the reason(s) not to award free transport.
“Parents/carers have a right of appeal against a decision not to award the provision of free school transport for their child.
“If the appeal is declined, parents/carers have a right to appeal this decision by sending a letter of appeal within two weeks… Appeals will be heard by a portfolio holder. The appeal will be arranged and supported by the authority’s legal services.”