A GOUROCK councillor says she will block any bid to use a crucial pupil attainment fund to cover the cost of free bus passes.

Councillor Lynne Quinn insists subsidised transport for those most in need should be paid for from the council's revenue budget, and not from the coffers of individual secondary schools.

She spoke out after councillors recently voted in favour of mums and dads being charged £7.25 a week from 2020 for their children to use public service buses to get to school.

It was agreed that pupils who receive free school meals will be exempt, with a transport grant being introduced to cover their fares.

But the bill for this will have to be met from somewhere and Cllr Quinn says she's concerned that money could be lifted from the Pupil Equity Fund or budgets devolved to head teachers.

Councillor Quinn said: "This originally came up at the May education committee meeting and we acknowledged that there has been an equality issue with bus provision across Inverclyde and that there was a need for a review.

"However, I was concerned about the impact of introducing a charge.

"I brought forward a motion in May to ensure free travel was provided for all Inverclyde families in receipt of free school meals and those in particular financial difficulty."

Under the new arrangement secondary schools would have to fund the costs through alternative funding sources.

But this could result in cash being diverted from a budget designed to close the attainment gap between pupils.

Cllr Quinn said: "This would mean money would either have to come from the Pupil Equity Fund or the budget for equipment.

"It is not sustainable.

"The fund is aimed at raising attainment.

"It shouldn't just be used for getting pupils to school."

Despite the uncertainty over the funding mechanism, Cllr Quinn says she remains fully committed to the providing passes for kids who are entitled to free meals.

The independent councillor says this will help families in need and also have another positive spin-off effect.

She told the Telegraph: "It means that kids can use the passes at weekends and for going to after-school clubs at night."