Please respond to this especially if you live in Surrey and have time; the petition is quick and easy and please also complete the survey if possible.

Surrey County Council (amongst others) is proposing to remove the provision of free school transport for those who travel to ‘denominational’ schools.

The Dean of Weybridge Deanery, Father Rob Esdaile, said:

“The impact on our Catholic schools, including our deanery secondary school, Salesian School, Chertsey, could be dramatic. It is critical that all parents, families, priests, parishioners and other stakeholders in local Catholic schools are aware of the action Surrey is taking and register their objection. Surrey has a consultation process ending on Friday 8th April – but it is rather well hidden on their website!”

http://www.surreycc.gov.uk/sccwebsite/sccwspages.nsf/LookupWebPagesByTITLE_RTF/
Consultation+on+the+provision+of+transport+to+denominational+schools?opendocument

Father Rob has requested that we complete the online survey  - there is a link to this from the consultation page together with

an online petition to sign at:

http://petitions.surreycc.gov.uk/School-Transport/

You might also find the attached letter helpful.

A significant fact of the matter is that we, i.e. the Church, contributes to the cost of our state schools on top of the contribution we make anyway through our taxes. So if the elimination of discrimination is the issue then it should cut both ways and the state (county council in fact?) should pick up the full cost of running these schools.

There is also an issue about social justice because of how this would impact upon those who are impoverished.  Without free transport poorer pupils might be prevented from attending their religious school of choice which would amount to unfair discrimination.  Faith schools could then be justifiably classified as ‘elitist’, (for which they have previously been criticised!) At present, this charge is untrue but if the free transport is taken away, we would undoubtedly see rising property prices in neighbourhoods where good faith schools are located, because inevitably, demand for places would be high.

Again, please take the time to respond – every voice and signature counts and the petition is quick and easy to do.  Also, don’t forget to complete the survey if possible.  THANKS