Bedford mum lied to council to get free school transport for her kids

It costs the council £1,000 per pupil per year

By Clare Turner
Monday, 18th July 2022, 2:36 pm
Updated Monday, 18th July 2022, 2:37 pm

A Bedford woman lied to the council so her children could get free school transport.

And the council’s fraud investigation team has now cautioned her for supplying false information.

It was discovered the family had applied for their child to attend Lincroft Academy, in Oakley, but had recently moved from an area where they would have qualified for free school transport to an area where they no longer qualify.

Lincroft Academy, in Oakley

The school admissions application form was reviewed and it was found that following their move, the mother had provided another family member’s address within the qualifying area and not their actual home address.

Following the investigation, the parent was formally interviewed and admitted to intentionally providing a false address on the online form.

Although this false information would not have affected which school the child attended, it would have meant that the council provided free school transport, to which their child was not entitled.

Free school transport is provided by the council for pupils who live over a certain distance from their nearest available school and costs the council approximately £1,000 per pupil per year.

Councillor Michael Headley, portfolio holder for finance, said: “While we understand that people are struggling financially, these schemes are created to provide support to those who need it most. We have a duty to do our due diligence and ensure that everyone receiving free school transport qualifies for assistance.

“I hope that this caution serves as a reminder to anyone else who might consider falsifying the information they submit to the Council. Intentionally submitting incorrect information is a crime and will be met with action from the council.”