Go back a step

Our Head of Policy talks school transport on BBC Radio 4 today

Wednesday 18th September 2019

Our head of policy Una Summerson will be on BBC Radio 4's You and Yours today, talking about our campaign work on school transport.

Una will be discussing the post-16 and under-fives loophole in school transport law that means more and more disabled young people are losing or being charged for school transport, even if they stay on at the same school and their needs haven't changed.

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. We think this is grossly unfair because disabled youngsters usually have to travel further to access education or are unable to travel independently like their non-disabled peers.

And the impact of losing school transport is huge - with parents having to give up work or disabled teenagers unable to complete their education.

Tune into BBC Radio 4 You and Yours at 12.15pm today.

About our school transport campaign

The Department for Education has launched a consultation on revised statutory home to school transport guidance for five-16 year olds, following Contact's instrumental School Transport Inquiry.

The report and desktop research, published in September 2017 on BBC Radio 5Live Investigates, brings together evidence from more than 2,500 parents. We discovered:

  • 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.

While this has been a long time coming, we hope that the revised guidance will mean both local councils and parents will better understand eligibility to school transport. Throughout the process we have worked in collaboration with officials at the Department for Education, and thanks to their hard work this guidance is finally out for everyone to comment on.

Sadly, the loophole in the law for post-16s means that more and more disabled children up and down the country are being charged or refused school transport. We will continue to campaign on this.

Tune into BBC Radio 4 You and Yours at 12.15pm today