School transport for disabled children is a vital service

2 mins read

Wednesday 6 December 2023

Tags: school transport, disabled children, cuts to services

School transport is an integral part of the school day for some disabled children.

But as local authorities struggle with severely reduced budgets, some are looking at ways of reducing their spend through changes to school transport arrangements for disabled children.

This has sadly been happening for several years. But last week a government minister said provisions of home to school transport needed to be ‘revisited’.

The law is very clear

Una Summerson, Head of Policy at Contact, said: “We understand the very real difficulties that local authorities have with their squeezed budgets, but it isn’t fair to balance the books on the backs of families with disabled children. What’s more the law is very clear on what transport must be provided to disabled children.

“We have seen school transport policies placing emphasis on cost cutting rather than transport based on individual need and legal entitlements. It places all responsibility on parents which adds unnecessary extra pressure on family life.”

Disabled children are more likely to travel further to nursery, school or college. Unlike their non-disabled peers, many can’t travel independently, even as they reach secondary school age. For these reasons, school transport is a vital service.

Information about your child’s rights to school transport

We have information about transport to school and college in England and how to challenge school transport policy

We also have information about transport to school and college in Scotland, Wales and in Northern Ireland.