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School transport what to do?

(39 Posts)
claw2 Mon 07-Oct-13 09:11:24

Ds is entitled to school transport and in this borough they also pay parents mileage. It is costing me a fortune to get ds to and from school. I cannot decide what to do for the best.

I have been told by LA there is one place on the school bus and ds has said that he would go on the bus.

However, I don't think he could tolerate it (although he does like the idea) At the moment he cant stand noise on the way to and from school. He listens to music on the way to and from and gets very irritated by any other noise, especially talking or other peoples voices (even on the radio, he skips through any talking bits). Its also a new school that ds has started and he suffers with high anxiety etc.

The LA have told me I wont get mileage paid as there is a space on the school bus, but sent me a form regardless.

Should I give the school bus a try?

iwanttoscream Mon 07-Oct-13 09:25:55

Ask them if he can listen to music to/from school, how long will his journey on the school bus take.
Maybe he needs to sit next to the driver, to start with so he in his own zone!
But it's down to what you and ds feel will work best.

claw2 Mon 07-Oct-13 09:32:37

Journey can take about 25 minutes if there is no traffic, 45 minutes with traffic. But I am assuming if ds is first to board the bus, it could take much longer picking up other children.

I am amazed that ds is keen on the idea of going on the school bus, but I fear it wont be as he expects. Still I suppose there is no harm in trying first.

Things are going so well for him at the moment after being out of school for a year, I don't want to spoil things, hence my doubts.

Ear defenders?

They keep things quiet but also send out a big fat message to everyone that he won't be listening to them.

Does the bus have an escort?

I would agree to the transport but take him to school one day, and at pick up time introduce him to the bus, the driver, any escort, and the other children and then tell him it will come in the morning for him the next day.

If this can work it'll take some of the pressure off you. If you have tried it and decided it isn't appropriate at this time, you have a better argument for claiming petrol.

DS' really likes his bus btw. I was worried but the service is good and it is a ready-made social club after he got used to it.

They all say hello, and wave buy and the older children on it look out for him during the school day.

iwanttoscream Mon 07-Oct-13 09:52:47

Does the form state who the contractor is? If it does there should be their phone number, they will be able to tell you what time ds will be pick up and drop off.
If not phone transport, and ask them who the contractor is etc.
HTH

claw2 Mon 07-Oct-13 10:00:11

He wont wear his ear defenders anymore, he would wear headphones with an ipod though, so he could listen to music. Yes there is an escort.

He is very keen on the idea and keeps asking if/when he can get on the school bus. I think he likes the idea of going to school on his own and being a 'big boy'. I really want to encourage him, to be more independent of me, and more importantly for it to be a success, as he is usually a hang onto my legs and don't want to separate from mum kinda boy.

I will give them a ring. We can start without headphones too and see how it goes, as you say a social opportunity for ds and the fact he is keen to get on a bus, where he knows other children will be, is huge progress!

claw2 Mon 07-Oct-13 10:11:36

On the phone now, apparently I need to speak to my case officer, who decides if ds is eligible. What a performance!

hmm

claw2 Mon 07-Oct-13 10:37:59

No it doesn't Iwanttoscream just a bog standard LA form. Apparently I have to speak to my case officer, who is now on holiday, to see if ds is 'eligible'.

I thought we had already established that ds is 'eligible', in literally two questions previously a) Does he have a statement b) what school and how far, hence them sending me the mileage form.

Apparently I have to speak to case officer, who then lets me know if ds is eligible and puts in a request for transport.

iwanttoscream Mon 07-Oct-13 10:38:06

What a performance!!!!
When dd started transport to ss, her only worry was, getting on the wrong transport home.
So when the transport came on the first day, i asked the escort and she told dd she would collect her from school hall at the end of the day.

claw2 Mon 07-Oct-13 11:03:44

Oh well I am to phone back tomorrow when they think my case officer will be back from holiday. We will see.

ouryve Mon 07-Oct-13 11:06:57

Don't you just love bureaucracy!

It's all about the power....

A computer could do that job.

- But someone has to be awarded the power to 'give' or 'reject' and the 'experience' of 'control' over an 'emotionally vulnerable' parent, otherwise it's just no fun, and the line manager can't value herself by how many totally unnecessary staff she has.......

claw2 Mon 07-Oct-13 11:16:43

Apparently 'we have to receive a request'

Me hmm I AM making a request'! 'no a request from your case officer, once she has decided if your ds is 'eligible'.

Me 'he is eligible, he meets the criteria, we have already established that'

'with who, your case officer'

Me 'no with YOU, I have phoned before and YOU told me he was eligible and sent me out a form'

'Your case officer has to put in the request'

Me 'ok, give me case officers name and number'

'She is on holiday, I think she is back tomorrow, phone back then'

Great!

ouryve Mon 07-Oct-13 11:32:22
bigbluebus Mon 07-Oct-13 11:40:37

Good luck with sorting this out claw. The system is clearly designed to make people give up at the 1st hurdle.

I can't see how the LA can say they won't pay mileage if there is a space on the bus. If your DS can't cope on the bus, then it is not appropriate transport for him. It would be a bit like saying there is a space for a child in a wheelchair on a non-accessible bus. I know a number of parents who are paid mileage by our LA for transporting their child to school when the child has failed to cope with the journey for a whole variety of reasons. But like everything else, they make you prove that the provision isn't suitable first.

Given that your DS seems keen to try the bus though, I would give it a go - if/when you can get your 'case worker' to agree it!

Do you have your case officers email?

If not, stick a letter in the post tonight or hand deliver it.

You've still got a wound healing from the crap of the recent past, don't scratch it. This is not worth a delay to the healing.

(sorry if this sounds nuts, but it the visualisation I use when I see myself bracing for a fight about something stupid. I'm just so damn CROSS with everyone and it takes very little to send me into battle now as I'm on high alert, unless I can remember that I'm trying to heal/rest).

claw2 Mon 07-Oct-13 11:57:09

Yes Ouryve grin

Bigbluebus I was told by the LA that they wont pay mileage as its not 'cost effective' while there is a place for ds on the school bus (and would I like the place, I said I would get back to them)

However they sent me the mileage form (which I haven't filled out)! Then when I phone back to say, ok we will take the place on the bus, I need to speak to a different person to find out if ds is eligible for the place!

Enough to give anyone a headache! and I didn't even realise I had a 'case worker'! 'Case worker' sounds very official and as if she has been supporting me for years, I might pop in for a coffee with her!

claw2 Mon 07-Oct-13 11:57:11

Yes Ouryve grin

Bigbluebus I was told by the LA that they wont pay mileage as its not 'cost effective' while there is a place for ds on the school bus (and would I like the place, I said I would get back to them)

However they sent me the mileage form (which I haven't filled out)! Then when I phone back to say, ok we will take the place on the bus, I need to speak to a different person to find out if ds is eligible for the place!

Enough to give anyone a headache! and I didn't even realise I had a 'case worker'! 'Case worker' sounds very official and as if she has been supporting me for years, I might pop in for a coffee with her!

claw2 Mon 07-Oct-13 12:03:38

Its no big deal Star, to be honest the delay is just as much on my part, as I was undecided as to what to do for the best.

I have literally only just made up my mind (minutes ago) that I want a place on the bus for ds.

Just seems like the LA want to make even the simplest of things, so complicated!

Yes. I expect they'll want a sw report and then it will have to go to a panel meeting in 2 months time, which will be cancelled due to a meeting room clash and reconvened for in 2 months time by which time they will have forgotten your paperwork and your SEN Caseworker will have gone on maternity leave, with your records under password lock that no-one can access until the new computer system is in place which might not happen now as they are running over budget..............

claw2 Mon 07-Oct-13 12:32:44

[Grin] What is a case worker? apart from someone who is paid to not give a fuck about your situation.

A case worker, is a worker who is a case. A bit like an empty computer.

claw2 Mon 07-Oct-13 12:41:06

Lol oh I see just another LA bod who is employed to push papers from one office to another to delay things. I have images of my case worker being a Little Britain 'computer says no' character now!

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