Walking routes to schools

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At yesterday's children and families overview and scrutiny committee meeting of Cheshire East Council, members agreed to refer the matter of walking routes to school back to the Council's Cabinet for further consideration.

A Council spokesman said: "It is the responsibility of the Council to identify available walking routes to schools in accordance with government guidelines and policy.

"The Council's decision was about fairly, equitably and consistently applying that policy.

"The policy also states that it is the responsibility of parents or carers to ensure that a child gets to school.

"The Council is not asking children or parents to do anything which is not already in place elsewhere in the country, where children walk to school in groups, are accompanied by parents, travel by car, public transport or who cycle.

"The Council is naturally concerned about personal safety but case law and government guidelines on walking routes to school only require consideration of road safety, which was stated at the meeting.

"The Council wishes to emphasise that parents who may suffer hardship as a result of the Council's school transport policy, have a right of appeal to the school transport appeals sub-committee, on the grounds of exceptional circumstances that merit consideration on an individual basis.

"Parents should also be aware that there is a nine-month period in which they can enter into dialogue with the Council over any specific concerns or exceptional circumstances."

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