The Department for Education has launched a consultation on the revised statutory home to school transport guidance, following Contact's instrumental School Transport Inquiry.
We continue to campaign to close the loophole for post-16 and under-five disabled children following more than 10,000 of you signed our petition on the topic.
School transport is a major concern for the families we support especially at this time of year which local councils make decisions about eligibility.
Why we are campaign to close the loophole?
Disabled children are more likely to travel further to school, and unlike their non-disabled peers, many can't get on a bus independently when they turn 16. So school transport is fundamental to enable them to continue at school and college.
It is grossly unfair that the law says a young person is expected to be in school or training until 18 but does not have the right to transport to enable them to get there once they turn 16. And the impact of losing school transport is huge - with parents having to give up work or disabled teenagers unable to complete their education.
What did the School Transport Inquiry find?
- 48 per cent and mostly mums said that school travel arrangements for their disabled child meant that they can't work or have had to decrease working hours.
- 23 per cent said their child's journey to school is stressful which makes it harder for their child to learn.
- 51 per cent of local school transport policies in England include unlawful statements.
We want to say a huge thank you to the thousands of you who responded to our Inquiry into school transport for disabled children.
The Inquiry is now chaired by Stephen Lloyd MP for Eastbourne.
What's the school transport issue?
School transport is one of the top issues our helpline gets calls about.
School transport is an integral part of a child's education. If a child can't get to school or has a stressful experience getting to school, they are not able to learn and take part in the school day like other children.
What do we want to achieve?
- Closing the loophole in the law for 16 & 17 year olds. Read more about school transport for young people over 16 in England.
- We are calling on the Scottish Government, Welsh Assembly and Northern Ireland Executive to strengthen the law, making it clear that education authorities 'must' provide school transport for children because of their special or learning needs, disability, or mobility problems.
- See our full list of recommendations in our report.
- To help parents understand their rights to school transport. Find out your rights on our webpages.
What are we are doing?
We launched our biggest every Inquiry into school transport for disabled children. It consisted of four main elements:
- A call for evidence. Please read about our evidence session in parliament and see our report
- An information campaign for parents, including factsheets and template letters on how to challenge decisions. See our new webpages and myth buster on school transport.
- We are also campaigning to close the school transport loophole for post 16 and under 5s.
How can you take part
What else are we doing
- We've produced new information for parents with disabled children about school transport and your rights and entitlements.
- For local parent carer groups and forums we have new advice on how to challenge local school transport consultations.
- We are working with Stephen Lloyd MP to secure a parliamentary debate.