I am requesting the below documents and information:
1 – The current School Travel Plan for Okehampton College submitted to Devon County Council (“DCC”).
The most up to date School Travel Plan that Devon County Council hold on file from Okehampton College was submitted in November 2009. This indicated approximately 92% of its students travelled either on foot (31%), by cycle (2%) or by bus (59%). The school travel plans contain specific details about the students’ travel to school and public disclosure of this information may prejudice the prevention of crime. This further information is therefore exempt from disclosure pursuant to s.31 of the Freedom of Information Act 2000.
We can, however, confirm that Devon County Council provide support, information and guidance to schools and further information can be found online at:
2 -The current document which sets out DCC’s strategy to promote the use of sustainable modes of travel to meet the school travel needs of its area, in accordance with the School Information (England) Regulations 2008 Schedule 3, Part 1, Paragraph 9 and Section 508A of the Education Act 1996, as relevant to Okehampton College.
The County Council publishes an Educational Travel Policy each year which describes how eligibility for transport to and from education settings will be determined and how transport will be provided within Devon County Council. The document is published online at:
3 – The detailed findings for the most recent audit that DCC carried out in accordance with the current Department for Education Statutory Guidance for Local Authorities “Home to school travel and transport guidance” under paragraphs 5 and 6 of that Guidance (Audit of infrastructure to support sustainable school travel), in so far as the audit is relevant to the area served by Okehampton College.
Since 2010 four routes to Okehampton College have been considered, one of which was deemed to be not suitable.
4 – An explanation of how frequently DCC carries out such audits and who DCC consults with in relation to the area served by Okehampton College.
Every year DCC transport officers will look at the children starting year 7 and undertake an assessment on whether there is a duty to provide free transport – This is a pre-emptive assessment and DCC Transport Officers will write individually to parents to encourage early application.
Parents can ask for a review of any transport decision. Where a parent lives within walking distance of the school they can appeal and where necessary this will result in a site visit. The route review will assess the safety of a route, whether the walking route to school can be walked by a child in reasonable safety, accompanied as necessary by an adult. The assessment will be carried out by a Transport officer and in some cases a Councillor. It can also involve the Road Safety Team.
5 – DCC’s most recent strategy for developing infrastructure so that it better meets the needs of children and young people in their area (see the current Department for Education Statutory Guidance for Local Authorities “Home to school travel and transport guidance”, paragraph 8) , insofar as the strategy is relevant to the area served by Okehampton College.
The County Council’s most recently provided input to the Plymouth and South West Devon Joint Local Plan, which was adopted in March 2018, (see http://www.plymswdevonplan.co.uk .) The Local Plan sets out growth aspirations for the area and includes an infrastructure plan for Okehampton. Specifically, policy SP4 highlights ‘spatial priorities for development in Okehampton’ and TTV3 identifies ‘strategic infrastructure measures for the Main Towns’. TTV3 and SP4 lists the need for a road linking Crediton Road to Exeter Road in Okehampton, improvements to rail infrastructure in Okehampton and Tavistock, Okehampton town centre traffic management / access road and expansion of early year places, a new primary school in east of Okehampton and relocation of post 16 provision at Okehampton College. primary school and secondary school provision where required and expansion of special educational needs places. Section 5.23 specifically states:
“There is a need for highway, public transport, cycling and walking measures, particularly in the towns of Ivybridge, Tavistock, Totnes and Okehampton, to alleviate congestion and encourage greater use of alternatives modes of transport to the private car”.
More generally, there is also the DEV29 policy which sets out ‘specific provisions relating to transport’ for new developments. This includes high-level aspirations such as promoting sustainable transport choices and facilitate sustainable growth. This would include travel to education from new developments, as explained in section 6.116, where it states:
“Major developments should include an assessment of their impacts on local communities, including off-site impacts such as the need to support safe walking and cycling routes to local schools and contribute to local services, including transport”.
6 – A list of the guidance and factors relied upon by Devon County Council to determine whether the nature of a route is such that a child cannot be reasonably expected to walk to school, for the purposes of the Education Act 1996 Schedule 35B paragraph 4(c) and the current Department for Education Statutory Guidance for Local Authorities “Home to school travel and transport guidance”, paragraph 16 (Unsafe Route Eligibility).
Criteria used for assessing available walking routes to school is contained in the Education Transport policy 2020/21 (Appendix 7). This is available online at:
A copy of the Road Safety GB booklet “Assessment of Walked Routes to School” is available via the link below:
7 – An explanation of the requirements that DCC places on schools within its area to provide facilities for children that may have to walk or cycle long distances to school through muddy lanes or footpaths – such as a requirement to provide locker facilities, drying rooms and showers.
DCC do not require schools to provide facilities for children that may have to walk or cycle long distances to school. It would sit within Okehampton College’s Academy Trust foundation to finance and provide such facilities.