Coventry & Warwickshire

More school bus chaperones to go in Warwickshire

More school bus chaperones are to be cut in Warwickshire in a bid to save up to £700,000.

The county council will be removing chaperones for seven more schools after February half-term break, taking the total lost so far to eleven.

However, some people have expressed concerns at how the cuts may affect the children's safety.

A spokesman for the council has said that it will monitor the situation "very carefully and regularly".

The £700,000 is an estimated cost of how much the council could reduce spending on passenger assistants on buses, in taxis and bus service contracts.

The schools that are having passenger assistants removed are Ferncumbe, Bishops Tachbrook, Wootton Wawen, The Dassett, Budbrooke, Henley Primary, and Kineton Primary.

Schools in Wolvey, Cubbington, Newton Regis and Long Lawford had their bus chaperones removed in September 2011.

'Risk for drivers'

In November 2011, a five-year old boy left a bus at the wrong stop after being taken home from Wolvey Primary School.

He believed he was getting off at the correct stop as he noticed other children were leaving the bus.

His aunt, who does not want to be named, said: "We need to make the council understand that by removing the chaperones on school buses, it's putting a lot of risk for the drivers."

Mark Gore, head of service learning and achievement at the Warwickshire County Council, said drivers will be asked to make sure children are met by an adult when they leave the bus.

He added: "We are not prepared to put youngsters at risk, and no decision is irreversible.

"At the moment, our experience of other authorities and our experience of the routes where we've already taken them off, is that this is a sustainable policy."

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