The BBC is reporting that three out of five young people in rural areas of England do not have adequate public transport to get to secondary school, according to research from Rural England.
The State of Rural Services report says lack of public transport is harming opportunities in education. There are also concerns about gaps in access to broadband in rural areas.
Most young people in these countryside areas cannot get to school in a “reasonable travel time” by public transport or walking, which means their choices depend on where they can be driven by their parents.
Local authority funding for buses in rural areas has fallen by 25% in the past four years, says the report, and about half of people in smaller villages do not have access to any public transport.
It is harder to get apprenticeships, there are few big employers to help with work experience and a lack of broadband can be a barrier to online learning and help with homework.
David Hughes, chief Executive of the Association of Colleges, said choices about education should be based on what was the best option and “not just making the decision based on the cheapest bus or train fare”.
Kirstie Donnelly, managing director of City & Guilds, said the study raised “significant concerns” about access to education outside of towns and cities.
“It’s crucial that policymakers consider how they can help people overcome them, rather than creating new barriers.”
Do you live in a rural area? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below or on Twitter. ~ Sophie
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