SLOUGH Council is looking to axe travel assistance for children attending faith schools as well as other changes to its transport policy.

The local authority is reviewing home-to-school travel assistance policies where ‘significant’ areas of ‘inefficiencies’ have been identified.

A number of changes could be implemented within the home-to-school transport and post-16 transport for children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) that could reduce the council’s £3.4m while improving outcomes for those who use the service.

The council says many of the 710 individuals, of which 520 are SEN, who use the service travel long distances on their own in a taxi. A policy review will mean it will move away from that and promote independence and look into alternative provisions, on an individual basis.

READ MORE: Slough wards are changing - and you can have your say

One of those changes could be withdrawing travel assistance to faith schools or same-sex establishments, unless qualification under statutory requirements, in a bid to save about £20,000.

Another could involve introducing a contribution charge of £1,000 per young person from those in receipt of assistance where the council does not have a statutory obligation to provide free assistance to eligible individuals.

Some families could be offered a public transport pass if suitable, which could result in an £85,000 reduction. A new travel bursary option could be introduced so families can make their own travel arrangements and save the council £65,000.

The council is also proposing the use of collection points for transport arrangements which have historically collected and dropped off at a child’s home address.

A consultation is being held until July 21 for affected residents to have their say. Cabinet will receive an update on the policies in September, before a new policy is published and implemented in October.

READ MORE: Slough bin collection swap will make town a "rats' den," readers say

Operational changes will begin during the 22/23 academic year, with full adoption of the new policies in time for the 23/24 academic year.

Councillor Christine Hulme, lead member for children’s services, said: “We want to run a service which supports the integration and independence of children and young people with SEND, promote environmental sustainability and secure the most efficient use of public resources.

“We want to get service users’ views on the current service and which options they would prefer in future. Please complete the consultation when you can.”