A CONTROVERSIAL policy that would see families of disabled children charged about £700 a year for school transport will need to be looked at again, county councillors had said.

In a rare move, councillors formally said they wanted the policy to start charging parents of children who have special educational needs or disabilities sent back to cabinet.

The cabinet passed the plan last month at a heated meeting, in which one member was moved to tears.

About 130 families across Oxfordshire with children between 16 and 18 would be affected by the move.

Steve Harrod, the cabinet member for children and family services, told the performance scrutiny committee he felt the issue had been 'blown out of proportion, possibly through some media reporting'.

He said no parents who were unable to afford to pay for the transport would need to stump up the costs by the time the policy could be introduced in September 2019.

But he was not supported by his fellow Conservative Independent Alliance members on the committee.

Michael Waine said a plan to pay for children's costs with Government bursaries would reduce funds which are used to 'enrich the curriculum' at special schools and would be 'highly detrimental' to education.

While fellow Tory Nick Carter said the policy was 'depressing nonsense'.

He said asking parents to pay for the transport 'removes any amount of Christian humanity' and that for some parents a charge of £730 a year would be unaffordable.

The plan will now need to go back to a cabinet meeting, with the performance scrutiny committee insistent that more detail must be given before the policy can go ahead.

As part of it, parents could be asked to contribute to the council's costs, which amount to about £4,300 for each child a year. The council has said the policy is implemented in full it would save about £330,000 a year.