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Education and Inspections Act 2006

Section 76: LEAs in England: duty to promote sustainable modes of travel etc

338.This section inserts a new section 508A in the 1996 Act. Section 508A places a general duty on LEAs in England to assess the school travel needs of their area, and to promote the use of sustainable modes of travel.

339.Subsection (1) requires LEAs to prepare and publish a sustainable modes of travel strategy, and to promote the use of sustainable modes of travel. The school travel strategy refers to journeys undertaken to and from school, and to journeys between schools and to and from other educational institutions.

340.Subsection (2) requires LEAs to prepare an assessment of the school travel needs of their area, and conduct an audit of the sustainable travel and transport infrastructure within their area. This infrastructure may serve the needs of children resident and receiving education in the same authority; resident in, but receiving education in another authority; or not resident in the authority, but travelling through the authority to receive education in another authority.

341.‘Sustainable modes of travel’ are defined in subsection (3) as modes of travel which the authority consider may improve the physical well-being of those who use them and/or the environmental well-being of the whole or a part of their area. Physical well-being relates mainly to health benefits – for example, benefits derived from walking or cycling to school. Environmental well-being could be improved by, for example, the reduced use of cars to take children to schools.

342.The assessment is of the needs of children below the age of 16 (including those below compulsory school age) and persons of sixth form age (broadly, 16 to 19) travelling to, from, or between any school (including a nursery school or independent school), institution (including a further education institution) or other place at which children or persons of sixth form age receive education by virtue of arrangements under section 19(1) of the 1996 Act. The assessment must be carried out annually. Details of how the assessment is to be carried out will be included in guidance to be issued by the Secretary of State.

343.Subsections (4), (5) and (6) define the ‘school travel needs’ of a local education authority’s area.

344.Subsections (4)(a) and (5) provide that, for children and persons of sixth form age in the authority’s area, these needs are their needs as regards travel to and from: schools at which they receive or are to receive education or training; institutions within the further education sector at which they receive or are to receive education or training; or any other places where they receive or are to receive education by virtue of arrangements made in pursuance of section 19(1) of the 1996 Act.

345.Subsections (4)(b) and (6) provide that, for children and persons of sixth form age resident in another authority’s area, these needs are their needs as regards travel to and from: schools at which they receive or are to receive education or training; institutions within the further education sector at which they receive or are to receive education or training; or any other places where they receive or are to receive education by virtue of arrangements made in pursuance of section 19(1) of the 1996 Act, in so far as that travel relates to travel within the area of the authority carrying out the assessment under subsection (2).

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