Local Authorities are currently required by law to provide private transport to school for SEN children, usually via specialist minibuses or taxis. On average, this already costs Local Authorities about £6,000 per SEN child per year – which equates to a total cost of about £500m per year across the UK. And with an increasing number of children being classed as SEN, this cost is rising. In addition, this costly specialist transport creates a dependency that can be actively disabling for young people.
Great outcomes for young people, significant savings for commissioners
Travel Training is a proven method for enabling children and young people with SEN to travel independently on public transport, removing the need for Local Authorities to provide costly specialist transport. Independent travel also has a very positive effect on the young person's overall independence, opportununity to progress to further education or employment and to have a better social life. The challenge for under-pressure Local Authorities has been to invest in the level and scale of Travel Training required to make a real difference.
Payment by results
In a UK first, HCT Group is now providing Travel Training on an outcomes basis using a Social Impact Bond - payment by results. Authorities only pay for travel training once independence outcomes for children and young people with SEN are achieved. The up-front funding requirement is met by The Bridges Social Impact Bond Fund, managed by specialist sustainable and impact investor Bridges Ventures (“Bridges”) with additional funding from the Big Lottery’s Commissioning Better Outcomes Fund.
HCT Group can now deliver training under an outcomes contract, whereby it will only receive payments from commissioners if it is successful in improving the young person’s independence. One payment will be made on completion of the course; a second if the beneficiary maintains independence for one term subsequently; and a third if the beneficiary maintains independence for a full year. This should allow Local Authorities to realise cashable savings in the first year of the programme.
HCT Group’s previous experience of delivering Travel Training (in both Leeds and Camden) suggests that the programme can have immediate and lasting benefits for the young person. It improves their ability to access education, after-school classes and social events and, in the longer term, to gain employment. It also has positive impacts for their families, who are able to manage their affairs more flexibly.
Find out more
If your Local Authority would like to find out more about outcomes-based, payment by results travel training, then we would be happy to hear from you. Contact our Travel Training Team on Amandaanderson@hctgroup.org or call 020 7608 8962.