From the Lowestoft Journal:
Education chiefs in Suffolk were coming under increasing pressure this week to provide free bus passes to students in rural communities facing a yearly transport bill of £540 to stay in further education.
Hundreds of parents have signed a petition calling on Suffolk County Council to offer free home-to-school transport to students aged over 16.
It follows a change in the law last year stating all young people must stay in some form of education or training until they are 17. It increases to 18 next year.
They can stay in full-time education, such as a sixth form or college, sign up to apprenticeships or take up part-time education or training if they are employed, self-employed or volunteering full-time.
Sonia Barker, spokesman for education and skills at the Suffolk County Council Labour Group, said:
“All young people whether at school, at college, in apprenticeships or in other training programmes, should be given every opportunity and encouragement to continue their studies until they are complete.
“It is a false economy to have young people failing to achieve their full potential just because they can’t afford the bus fare.
“Young people, whether in rural, coastal or urban areas of Suffolk, have enough barriers to their future career prospects without an extra burden of £540.”
The petition reads: