Reviewing Staffordshire's Delivery Model for Home to School Transport

The Assignment

31ten was commissioned to carry out an independent review of the current Home to School delivery model and to consider alternative delivery models.

Staffordshire County Council had an outsourced Home to School Transport Service commissioned through a Dynamic Purchasing System however; 

  • The cost of the current delivery model was not sustainable,  
  • The quality of provision needed to be more consistent;
  • There was a restricted marketplace for some vehicle types and older vehicles which didn’t meet the council’s climate change agenda;
  • Home to School Transport, SEND and the wider education services were misaligned, and;
  • There was a perceived over-reliance on expensive single-occupancy taxis.

The Role

We worked with the Council, schools and providers to better comprehend the strengths and weaknesses of the existing service. We engaged with a wide range of key partners, including Council personnel, schools, and transport providers. By combining this valuable insight with a baseline of data about demand, requirements, and finances, we developed a strong understanding of the current situation in Staffordshire and used this to develop a position statement and case for change.  

This analysis served as the foundation for a phase of co-production with key stakeholders. We held market testing sessions with providers to listen to their feedback about the current model and to hear their thoughts about the future. We also organised workshops with a diverse group of stakeholders to co-design a new model which worked within the current local context and with consideration to their wider transformation agenda.  

Key Outcomes

We recommended the Council change its commissioning strategy for Home to School Transport for children and young people with SEND to develop longer-term relationships between the schools, the parents and the providers. For mainstream, we recommended changing the structure of their procurement methodology to encourage providers to invest in a greener fleet.

Once implemented, these recommendations will increase the quality of provision through better relationships and more consistency of provision, greener vehicles with lower emissions and savings to the Council.