A FLEET of new vehicles will be hitting Wiltshire roads to help SEND pupils get to school at the start of the new term.
Wiltshire Council said the 37 minibuses and 20 people carriers will be deployed across the county, ensuring young people with Special Educational Needs and/or Disabilities (SEND) are provided with reliable, safe and comfortable journeys to and from school.
The council has invested around £1.4m in leasing the fleet and employing drivers, as it takes over managing the SEND transport for around 240 SEND pupils in the county.
It recently recruited an additional 50 drivers to create a full complement of 80 drivers.
The minibuses will be used for taking pupils to Silverwood School, Rowde, while the people carriers will be for other SEND journeys in Wiltshire.
Cllr Jane Davies, cabinet member for SEND, said: “We have taken on the transport contract and invested in these first class vehicles as part of our commitment to ensuring our SEND children can arrive at school safely and comfortably.
“We are committed in our business plan to find the right specialist support for children with SEND and to help achieve that, we need to also ensure the support is there to provide them with transport to attend.
“I want to thank all our SEND drivers, and our passenger assistants who travel with pupils, for being part of this essential service and I look forward to seeing our new fleet across Wiltshire.”
Cllr Laura Mayes, cabinet member for education and skills, added: “We have invited families to see the new vehicles and many have taken up the offer in advance of the school term.
“This new fleet underlines our commitment to providing the right support so pupils can feel safe, relaxed and ready to start their day.”
Anyone who is interested in applying for a role as a passenger transport assistant or driver on a casual basis can find out more at jobs.wiltshire.gov.uk.