Views on school transport in England needed

2 mins read

Tuesday 14 May 2024

Tags: school transport, Disabled young people

School transport is consistently in the top 10 issues on Contact’s education helpline.

When the Department for Education updated the school age guidance on home to school transport, on the back of a Contact campaign, we welcomed many positive changes including clearer wording and sections on benefits and allowance, behaviour and independent travel training.

However, some concerns remained, including the section on accompaniment, which leaves parents largely responsible for accompanying their teenage disabled children to and from school.

Contact has been working with Cerebra, IPSEA, SOS!SEN to raise concerns about this section. We need to gather the experiences of families to inform our work to push for change.

Today we are asking affected families to complete a short survey. Do you have a disabled child aged 11-16 who’s been refused school transport because you live within 3 miles of their school and you’re expected to accompany them? If so, please do take the survey – it should only take a few minutes.

What is the issue

The guidance says that the daily pressures of fitting work and family commitments around the school run apply to all parents in the same way and it’s up to parents to “fulfil their various responsibilities”.

But the guidance doesn’t acknowledge that the pressures on parents with disabled children are different because their children will need to be accompanied to a much higher age than their non-disabled peers.

The consortium believes the guidance on accompaniment requires urgent review in order to uphold school transport and equalities law and to protect the rights of disabled children and their parents.

If you are affected please do take a few minutes to complete the survey. It will help us challenge the guidance and push for change.