Rosie Cooper MP

Working hard for the people of West Lancashire

12/10/10 Rosie Cooper attacks tax on faith by Conservative Count

West Lancashire MP, Rosie Cooper, is appalled by the Conservative County Council’s charge on parents choosing to send their children to denominational schools.
Parents could now face a charge of £380 per child per year for sending their child to their nearest church school following the decision by Lancashire County Council to introduce a flat daily rate charge of £2.
This new charge will apply to those new pupils entitled to the discretionary transport assistance on denominational grounds.
MP Rosie said:
“This is an appalling decision by Lancashire County Council which will leave many families facing a massive increase in the cost of sending their children to the secondary church school of their choice.
“This could mean, in practice, that parents no longer have a choice to send their child to a church school because they simply cannot afford the bus fares.  It will cost nearly £2000 in transport costs alone for each child during their time in secondary education.  For many families this will be a price they cannot afford for a faith education for their children.
“I appreciate that it is a difficult time financially but if transport is required, to make a choice of a faith school dependent on the ability to pay the £2 a day per child is simply wrong. I would strongly urge Lancashire County Council to do the right thing and reverse this decision at the earliest opportunity.”
Rosie Cooper MP raised this urgent matter with the Secretary of State for Education yesterday in the House of Commons during Education Questions.  Rosie called on the Education Secretary to oppose this decision and for Lancashire County Council to continue supporting a parent’s right to choose a Church School.
Education Secretary Michael Gove said that he would ‘hate to see anybody unduly penalised for wanting their child to be educated in accordance with their faith.’
Rosie has written to Lancashire County Council opposing this decision and is seeking a review of the decision by the Education Overview and Scrutiny Committee.  This decision breaks long-standing practices to provide subsidised transport for school children on denominational grounds.

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