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Home to School Transport: – a journey (Our way on the Highway). A presentation by Stockport Council SEN Travel Coordination Service. A B usiness Process R e-engineering exercise or A warts ‘n’ all guide to how we changed the transport service. The start of the journey. SEN Department

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home to school transport a journey our way on the highway

Home to School Transport: – a journey(Our way on the Highway)

A presentation by Stockport Council SEN Travel Coordination Service

A Business Process Re-engineering exerciseorA warts ‘n’ all guide to how we changed the transport service
the start of the journey
The start of the journey

SEN Department

  • Checked Young People with SEN for eligibility for transport
  • Sent referral for transport to SSK Transport
  • Owned the budget

SSK Transport

  • Organised transport via referral from SEN Dept
  • Arranged contracts with transport providers
  • Monitored routes
  • Recorded costs

Who was responsible?

so what was the problem
So…what was the problem?


  • Too many students on transport
  • Huge overhead cost of the outsourced service
  • Uncertainty over who had responsibility
  • Poor contractual arrangements
so what do we do about it
So…what do we do about it?

In 2009 Stockport council introduced a cost reduction exercise, “Business Improvement, Transformation and Efficiency”, also known as,



vanguard systems thinking back to basics approach ask your clients does the system meet your needs
Vanguard, “Systems Thinking”Back to basics approachAsk your clients,“Does the system meet your needs?”
this approach raised a few questions
This approach raised afew questions
  • Why is the service outsourced?
  • What alternatives to a taxi / minibus do we offer?
  • Are we providing the right service?
so where to begin
So…where to begin?
  • Overhaul the assessment process
  • Bring the service back in house
  • Review and amend existing contract arrangements.
overhaul the assessment process
Overhaul the assessment process
  • Instead of requesting a taxi / minibus for every eligible young person, we asked Parents / Carers to apply for travel support
  • Offer support appropriate for the needs of the young person, e.g.
    • Independent Travel Training
    • Pick up points
    • Cycle Scheme
    • Transport by Taxi / Minibus
bring the sen transport service back in house
Bring the SEN Transport Service back in house
  • Some wrangling over staff contracts, but, common sense dictated that a single service was the only option
  • Enabled us to provide an “End to End” service
  • Opportunity to rename the service to“SEN Travel Coordination Service” to reflect that we provided travel support rather than just a taxi / minibus
review and amend existing contract arrangements
Review and amend existingcontract arrangements
  • New Terms & Conditions
  • The contracts were to be tendered, in conjunction with AGMA using a new on-line procurement tool, The CHEST
  • The new changes was scheduled to start in April 2011

3 staff successfully transferred across to the Council

The new assessment program was in place

Independent Travel Training scheme was up and running


The CHEST would not be ready to use until July, which was far too late to arrange the tenders!

plotting a new route
Plotting a new route
  • Around this time Dave Hulley came to work with the SEN Department
  • We looked at the various options for the contracts:
    • Reverse Auction
    • Mileage framework
    • Keep it the same (best price) but with new T&C’s
mirror signal manoeuvre
Mirror, Signal, Manoeuvre
  • We agreed to introduce a framework mileage rate combined with a quality element for the contracts
  • Contractors were given a quality rating and asked to provide a mileage rate for each type of vehicle
  • The contracts were offered for 2 years (plus one) to the highest scoring contractor
framework facts
Framework Facts
  • Around 60 contractors and 150 + runs
  • Different rates for different vehicles
  • No further negotiation on rates once on framework
  • Not obliged to use contract for journeys outside the usual scope
  • No mileage payments for Passenger Assistants
  • Journey length calculated by us
are we nearly there yet
Are we nearly there yet?
  • All new contracts are in place
  • More support options available
  • Significant reduction in the numbers of young people travelling to school in Taxis / Minibuses
  • Reduction in dependence on Council services
  • Services brought in house
most importantly
Most importantly

We have saved money!

2010/11: £2,817k

2011/12: £2,412k

2012/13: £2,068k

lessons learnt
Lessons learnt
  • Cuts can drive innovation
  • Changes can be complex
  • There is no cure all solution
  • Outsourcing is not always the best option
  • It is not (always) your fault
on going problems
On-going problems
  • Some contracts were too cheap to run
  • Fixed prices are useful, but restrictive
  • There has been some rivalrybetween taxi firms
  • Taxis still run late!

Value for money Journey time

Reducing dependence Health and Safety

Spend targets Appropriate service


any questions
Any questions?

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