Home-to-School Transport

Information for Parents & Children

The Local Authority has a transport policy. We are able to give advice and signpost you to the Transport Department.

If you wish to apply for transport to and from school, please see our information and the forms to complete to apply for transport assistance.

Frequently Asked Questions about Transport

Click the questions below to see the answers.

Do not edit this one
My child has an EHC plan. Does this mean that they are automatically entitled to transport?

Not automatically. If children with EHC plans fall in one of the categories of eligible children (set out in the section on children of compulsory school age then they will be entitled to transport. If a child with an EHC plan lives within statutory walking distance but can reasonably be expected to walk to school on their own, and does not fit within one of the other categories, they will not be entitled to free home-school transport.

I have heard that transport needs to be non-stressful, what does that mean?

The issue of school transport for children with SEN was raised in the case of R v Hereford and Worcester CC, ex parte P [1992] 2 FCR 732. The court held that it was implicit that the transport provided by the LA should be “non-stressful” if the child was to benefit from education. This means the child needs to be able to arrive at school ready to learn, rather than being unduly stressed or tired because of the journey.

My child has learning difficulties and is going to need support and extra services around transport - what else is required to be done?

The government guidance, ‘Home-to-school travel and transport‘, advises on particular issues affecting pupils with severe learning difficulties and it recommends that local authorities:

  • ensure drivers and escorts are known to parents
  • operator contact numbers are provided for parents
  • ensure stability of staffing arrangements for pupils who dislike change
  • encourage schools and transport services to use a home-school liaison diary
  • ensure that journey times are reasonable to avoid undue stress.
    Other legal requirements and good practice points covered by the guidance include:
  • enhanced DBS checks for all drivers and escorts
  • minimum standards of training for drivers and escorts, including training in conflict resolution, safe handling and working with children with particular medical conditions or disabilities where appropriate
  • assessment and management of risk
  • specific measures for pupils with health needs
  • specific training for staff and vehicle adaptations for pupils with mobility needs.

The guidance recommends that travel needs of pupils with SEN be reviewed at least annually and that pupils should always travel by using mainstream arrangements and local travel schemes where they can. Reviews can decrease as well as increase transport support.

Appealing decisions about transport

For children with EHC plans, issues around transport can become relevant in an appeal about the school named in Section I of an EHC plan and transport costs are relevant to the costs of a particular school placement. It is possible to appeal Section I an EHC plan to have a sentence about responsibility for transport removed. But the SEND Tribunal does not have jurisdiction to deal with disputes about transport alone.

If you disagree with a decision made about transport, you will need to start by making an appeal through the LA’s own internal appeals procedures. All LAs should have an appeals procedure for parents to use when they have a complaint about the service or disagree with the eligibility of their child for travel support. The government’s guidance ‘Home to School Travel and Transport Guidance 2014’ says that the details of the appeals procedures should be published alongside local authority travel policy statements.

If you are unhappy with your local authority’s decision about your child’s transport to school write to the transport section of your local council to ask for a copy of the policy and appeal procedures. Remember, your local authority is required to publish this information and make it readily available to you as part of its Local Offer.

If you consider that there has been a failure to comply with the procedural rules of an appeal or if there are any other irregularities in the way the appeal was handled you may have a right to complain to the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman (“LGSCO”).

In an extreme case it may be possible for the process by which the decision was reached to be challenged through judicial review proceedings if the decision was unlawful, irrational or unjust.

Make an Enquiry

If you would like any further information or support please get in touch.

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