Expansion of FACT enabled them to provide up to five buses daily for pupils to get to fee paying Wisbech Grammar School

Some of the FACT mini buses outside Wisbech Grammar School ready to take pupils' home.

Some of the FACT mini buses outside Wisbech Grammar School ready to take pupils' home. - Credit: Archant

Wisbech Grammar School (where fees range from £9,500 to £13,400 a year) has benefitted from FACT’s expansion into the commercial world, says the report.

Taxi drivers asked investigators to look at how the five vehicles now used by the grammar school were funded and whether permit conditions for community transport operators have been breached.

FACT manager Jo Philpott told PKF investigators that the contract started in September 2015 when Judd’s Travel and Emblings Coaches ceased trading after their operator’s licences’ were revoked by the Traffic Commissioners.

“Wisbech Grammar School approached FACT to take over the route initially providing one bus,” says PKF. “Over time the service was increased with FACT now providing five buses to the school in the morning and four away from the school in the evening.

“The difference is due to after school clubs whereby parents arrange to collect their children after the club has finished so the child does not need transport home.”

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PKF says the FACT manager Jo Philpott told them that they believed there were “fully entitled” to undertake the work and were authorised to do so using their Permit 19 licences.

She quoted, says PKF, Department of Transport guidelines that allow such permits to be used for “not for profit passenger transport.

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“The contract journeys are paid for by the parents and the school.

However the investigators say that since last July these contracts needed to show they did not need a PSV operator’s licence and were required to show the regulatory body that they met the relevant criteria.

Since March FACT has operated new trading companies that include a large number of buses and drivers operating within the PSV framework.

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