‘We weren’t told about bus cuts for children’

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Parents say they were left in the lurch after discovering school transport was no longer being provided just days before the start of term.

But now a school has come to the rescue, securing a minibus to get youngsters to class after Herts County Council scrapped its service.

Mark and Simona Bunker, of Chapel Croft, Chipperfield, whose 13-year-old daughter Jodie has taken the E125 bus to JFK School in Hemel Hempstead for the last two years, say that poor communication from County Hall meant they only discovered a week and a half before the school term that the bus had been axed.

Pat Cassidy, who also lives in Chipperfield, and whose son is a sixth form JFK pupil, said: “This appears to be an issue across Herts. There seems to have been no communication from county, just an expectation that people should have looked at the website and read the new policies.

“Most of us were waiting on bus passes to arrive and had no idea there would be no buses.”

The school only became aware of the changes when term started. Headteacher Paul Neves said: “We have worked tirelessly to secure a new route for students who have had no other way of getting to school.

“From Monday there will be a new minibus organised for our students from the Chipperfield and Bovingdon area.”

A council spokesman said: “Families whose children would be affected were notified as far back as autumn 2011. They were encouraged to consider within their own communities, and in discussion with schools attended, how their children would travel.

“During the summer we explored the potential of schools underwriting a larger vehicle, but they were not in a position to do this.”