School transport is Number 1 issue on our helpline
Tuesday 11th September 2018
School transport was the top concern of callers to our helpline this August. Here our senior parent adviser, Jill Hardman tells us about some of the calls we're getting.
"We've been inundated with calls about school and college transport, from last-minute changes to travel arrangements days before the start of the school term. For example, a council deciding that wheelchair users no longer need an escort on minibuses. There has been no consultation with parents and no assessment of individual needs.
"A worrying trend about enforced personal transport budget is also emerging. Some families like the flexibility of a personal transport budget or mileage allowance to make their own arrangements. However the local authority cannot insist on this, even if you have a Motability car or your child gets higher rate mobility of Disability Living Allowance (DLA).
"We've also spoken to several parents who are being asked intrusive questions about their work and family situation when they've applied for school transport, for example even though her disabled child met the eligibility criteria for transport to her secondary school, a parent was asked to provide evidence that she works during school drop off and pick up time and therefore can't take her child to school. Your ability to drive your child to school must not be considered, even if your child receives the mobility element of Disability Living Allowance, or you have a Motability car.
So please call us free on 0808 808 3555 if you have a question about school transport. Our webpage also explain your rights and entitlements including:
- Which children are eligible for free school transport
- What sort of transport can be provided
- How to apply for school transport
- How to challenge a school transport decision
- Your rights post 16
For local parent carer groups and forums we have advice on how to challenge local school transport consultations. These webpages will help you understand:
• Local authorities' duties with regard to transport policies
• The need for a fair consultation
• Common issues on which a policy could be challenged
Join Contact's live Facebook session and get answers!
We'll be holding a live Q&A session on Facebook on Wednesday 26th September between 1-3pm, where parent carers can ask our expert advisers any question they have about school or college transport for their child.
To ask your question just log into Facebook on the Wednesday 26th September between 1-3pm and join the conversation.
Free Workshops in the Midlands
We're also running free workshops for parents which will look at school transport issues. The workshop will be facilitated by a solicitor who specialises in education and special educational needs issues.
Tuesday 25 September, 10.15am.12.30pm (Birmingham)
Wednesday 26 September 2018, 10.15am.12.30pm (Nottingham)
Thursday 27 September 2018, 6.30pm-8.45pm (Northampton)
To book a place on any of these workshops, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0121 274 0437