Knebworth family loses appeal over ‘unfair’ school travel costs

Juliet and Jordan Pomerance

Juliet and Jordan Pomerance - Credit: Archant

A 16-year-old Knebworth boy and his mum have been left frustrated after learning he must pay £56 a week to get to school.

Jordan Pomerance, of Westland Road, Knebworth, attends the Jewish faith school JCOSS (Jewish Community Secondary School) in New Barnet.

Since he turned 16, he has to pay £56 per week to get the train to school, and with his 12-year-old sister attending the same school and paying half fare it costs the family more than £80.

Jordan’s mum Juliet, 41, who works as a facepainter, contacted Hertfordshire County Council about the cost of the journey in 2012, when Jordan first started attending the school.

She said: “It’s just such a lot of money. It’s really unfair.

“We are Jewish so he goes to our closest faith school and it’s the only one that’s accessible by public transport.

“We appealed and said we’d pay a quarter and you pay three-quarters but they wouldn’t.

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“Now he’s in his GCSE year I do feel that it’s really, really unfair. We are living on quite a low income and it’s a lot of money to have to pay to them to school.”

As well as Jordan, Juliet lives with her husband Nigel and their two daughters, one of whom is at primary school.

Juliet said: “We have been paying the half price tickets until he turned 16 on October 1.

“There’s a student card but you can’t get a weekly or daily ticket, the smallest you can buy is monthly. There’s no point with two weeks left before Christmas.”

Jordan’s journey to school takes him an hour each morning.

A spokeswoman for Hertfordshire County Council said: “The council’s Home To School Transport Policy includes a series of criteria for people to receive help with school transport.

“Criteria include the child attending their nearest school and their family being on a low income.

“Unfortunately, in this case, the family does not qualify for assistance.

“We only have a limited amount of funding available and this has to go to those that need it most based on the rules that are set out.”