Future arrangement of the Home to School Transport service

Closes 12 Nov 2021

Opened 30 Jul 2021

Overview

Purpose of the consultation

The council has begun to consider the process of commissioning the new Home to School Transport (HTST) contract from August 2023. This consideration will involve a consultation with all stakeholders, including parents and carers, young people, schools and transport firms. It will also involve research into systems used by other Local Authorities and their respective strengths and weaknesses.

The Home to School Transport (HTST) Service

The Service is organised and managed by the HTST Team based within Brighton & Hove City Council.  The Team works with taxi, minibus and bus companies to provide high quality, safe and efficient transport for children of compulsory age who meet certain criteria.  Each of these companies sign up to a fixed contract arrangement and then recruit Drivers and Vehicle Passenger Assistants (VPAs) to meet our School and College journey requirements. 

The service provides taxi, minibus, coach or mileage transport to approximately 508 children and young people with complex special educational needs and disabilities. This involves around 258 journeys each day to 61 schools or colleges.

The Team monitor the contract to make sure that each company provide an excellent service for our families, and part of this is checking that everyone has undertaken our comprehensive training package which help them understand the role and develop knowledge and expertise in key areas such as Safeguarding.

The service budget is £3.1M and the average cost of transport per pupil is currently £6,505.

Background

In August of 2019, Brighton and Hove Council moved to a Dynamic Purchasing System (DPS) for securing HTST and the purpose of the DPS was to enable as many suitable firms to bid on routes, thus providing more capacity and better value for the use of public money. Transport firms apply to work for the council on HTST routes at any time, and if they are able to meet the council’s stringent procurement specifications they join the framework, with the ability to bid for new journeys when required. The current framework contract runs for four years to August 2023.

Prior to 2019, the council ran a Framework System, where a limited number of firms were able to bid for work over the life of the contract and no new firms could join in that period.

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