Secondary school children in Thrapston and Islip to keep statutory free bus travel to Prince William School

26 October 2023

Following a review of its new ‘Home to School’ policy, North Northants Council officers can confirm that school children under 16 in Thrapston and Islip can continue to benefit from statutory free bus travel to Oundle’s Prince William School. 

It was recognised that children of secondary school age at Thrapston and Islip have historically been sent to Prince William School, which has been a link which is appreciated and cherished by parents and schools alike. It is, however, a school which is not geographically nearest and, in line with the new policy,  free transport was at risk. 

However, the council officers reviewed the new policy and can now confirm that as per the Department for Education’s (DfE) definition, a school may be considered 'suitable,' and therefore eligible for statutory free transport, under the admissions criteria if a school which is geographically nearer is full.  

It has been recognised that whilst Thrapston is nearer to Manor School than to Prince William School, Manor School regularly has limited spare capacity and therefore is not suitable for supporting the significant demand for school places from pupils living in the Thrapston area.  

There has been some concern from parents, NNC Ward Councillors and the MP about the impact of the new Home to School policy from parents in the Thrapston area.  I am delighted to announce that we can now clarify, that parents from the Thrapston and Islip areas who state a preference for Prince William or Manor School, and meet the other criteria within the Home to School transport policy, will be eligible for statutory free transport to school.Matt Binley, North Northamptonshire Council's Executive member for Highways, Travel and Assets
I am pleased for the families in the Thrapston and Islip areas. The new policy means that younger generations can continue to follow in their family's footsteps.Cllr Jason Smithers, Leader of North Northamptonshire Council

Earlier this year people were asked for their views on new policy proposals for the future of home to school transport provided in North Northamptonshire. Although refreshed annually, wide-scale changes have not been introduced for about a decade and with rising costs, the council needed to re-examine its approach and the amount it can afford to subsidise.  

Parents should be aware that there  is still time to make applications for a place in Year 7 in secondary schools on September 2024. The closing date is 31 October.  

Parents are able to change an application that they have already submitted, but they must remember to re-submit if they go into the system to check or change their application. Any unsubmitted applications will not be considered as on time and they will not be processed until after National Offer Day (1 March 2024).

The new Home to School policy changes will be introduced from September 2024 for the start of the 2024 to 2025 academic year.