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Brighter Futures for Children are consulting on travel arrangements for Maiden Erlegh Chiltern Edge

Please see our 'Press Statement' and 'Open Letter' below for more information about the Brighter Futures for Children travel consultation that is currently taking place for Maiden Erlegh Chiltern Edge.



Maiden Erlegh Trust raises concerns about proposed changes to School Transport Policy

The Maiden Erlegh Chiltern Edge community is rallying together in response to a concerning development: the proposed new school transport policy proposed by Brighter Futures for Children.  This policy, if implemented, would withdraw funded bus travel for a significant number of pupils commuting to Maiden Erlegh Chiltern Edge from Reading Borough, posing significant challenges for families and students who depend on this service.

The community’s concerns are articulated in an open letter from Maiden Erlegh Trust urging Reading Borough’s elected representatives and Brighter Futures for Children to reconsider their proposals.  The letter highlights the pivotal role of Maiden Erlegh Chiltern Edge in serving not only South Oxfordshire but also families in the northern part of Reading Borough/Caversham.  Despite the forthcoming increase in school place capacity in Reading Borough, Maiden Erlegh Chiltern Edge remains the preferred school for many families north of the River Thames.

Removing funded transport will create barriers to education, particularly for vulnerable students and place undue financial strain on families.  The proposed policy risks exacerbating absenteeism, limited participation in extracurricular activities, and hindering students’ academic progress and personal development.

Members of the community are encouraged to engage in the consultation process by providing feedback through a questionnaire or attending engagement events organized by Brighter Futures for Children.  Through collective action, the community aims to advocate for a fair and equitable solution that prioritises accessibility and inclusivity in education.

Mrs Briony Bowers, Headteacher of Maiden Erlegh Chiltern Edge said:

“I am proud of the numbers of families from Reading choosing Maiden Erlegh Chiltern Edge for their children. There has been an overwhelming response from the MECE community in favour of keeping the buses and I hope that a solution can be found to keep the transport links running.”

Mr Jonathon Peck, Chief Executive Officer for Maiden Erlegh Trust said:

“Whilst we recognise the considerable strain on Local Authority budgets, the proposals appear particularly punitive to a section of the community, who wanted, for very good reasons, to be able to attend Maiden Erlegh Chiltern Edge.  We would urge officers and elected representatives to reconsider the immediacy of this proposed policy change and take into consideration the wider interests and preference of Reading Borough families who elected to send their children to Maiden Erlegh Chiltern Edge in good faith.”

For information on the proposed policy changes and how to participate in the consultation, please visit the Brighter Futures for Children website:


4 March 2024

Media Enquiries:

Alison Hobby, Head of Marketing and Communications

Email: METadmin@maidenerleghtrust.org