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school transport(12 Posts)
my ds has just started his new special school and it has been agreed that he can have school transport. the problem is - he is refusing to go on the minibus. He has had meltdowns over it because he is so anxious about noisy children on the bus. we have offered him ear defenders, ipad with headset, but hes having none of it. I have tried googling this in the hope of finding a social story or some tips about how to get him to go, but I havent found anything. Has anyone else had this problem? How did you resolve it? Even if you haven't please feel free to give me any tips. P.S He has only been to school this week, so it may be overload. But the school think he should continue to try the transport and not give up.
Individual transport. My dd can't manage travelling with other children. (Even in a taxi).
You need to speak with the compliance officer (school should know who it is, but they are from Sen transport at county).
The best thing the compliance officer was that they came out to see school try to get dd into the bus, agreed that it was unsafe for dd to be in shared transport.
Transport provided needs to meet the needs of the child rather than the needs of the system, so if a bus/shared transport means that ds doesn't get to school in a calm state ready to access learning then it is not meeting his needs.
It's going to be hard enough for him dealing with a new school without being forced onto transport he finds difficult, so I agree you should try for a separate taxi. There's a basic rule that transport should be "suitable" and in particular that it should be non-stressful. If it keeps the transport people happy, you could suggest to them that this can be reviewed once he's settled in at school.
I think they will want to see the transport with a mini bus fail. I don't believe they will just take my word for it that he is having meltdowns over it. What I will do is see how it goes on Monday and if he refuses to get in, the staff on the bus will be my witnesses. If he goes on the mini bus but is stressed out by the time he gets to school, then I think the school will tell me, if they don't (because he can mask his distress) then a meltdown will happen when he gets home. Out of interest is there anything in law that says about transport meeting the needs of the child? and also that he should be in a calm state ready to learn?
In a case brought by IPSEA, (R (on the application of IPSEA Ltd) v Secretary of State for Education and Skills)  ELR 393): The Decision was that any flexibility in provision must be there to meet the needs of the child, and not the needs of the system.
Potentially a breach of the Equality Act 2010, in terms of their failure to make reasonable adjustments.
The Department for Education’s Home to School Travel Transport Guidance states that travel arrangements must be “suitable” and that they must enable the child to reach school without such stress, strain or difficulty that would prevent him/her from benefitting from the education provided.
The issue of school transport for children with statements was raised in the case of (R v Hereford and Worchester CC, ex pate P, (1992)) Times, 13 March. The court held that it was implicit that the transport provided by the local authority should be “non-stressful” if the child was to benefit from education.
I quoted the above at the state of my letter to Transport, then detailed dds issues and how they were presenting. basically what the problem was, what effect this was having on dd, and how I expected it to be solved.
followed by The above is the relevant legislation that demonstrates you are required to do what I request. Please send it to your legal team if you are unsure of your duty. I look forwards to hearing from you shortly lest this matter affect my child’s education further.
This constitutes stage 1 of the complaints process.
also SENDIASS (Special Educational Needs and Disability Advice and Support Service) can provide independent guidance and support in relation to your child’s special educational needs.
I suggest you film what happens when you try to get DS into the bus as further evidence.
This must be so scary for him. A new school, new routine is a lot for any child to cope with.
Until he settles and is coping with the change of school could you not take him to school yourself so he has your reassurance in the car or on the bus or in the taxi or whatever method you use?
It may help him stay calm and ready to learn to have you there.
thank you Frusso thats very informative and just what I was after. If needed I will insist that he cannot travel on the minibus and quote those bits from your post. And Augusta yes thats a good idea regarding filming it, that would be hard evidence wouldn't it. Unfortunately Twice- no I cannot take him to school myself. I do not have a car and have borrowed a friends this week to take him and she has used public transport to get herself to work. Obviously, that is not a thing I could continue to do. The school is in a rural location and is not on a public transport bus route or train route either, the taxi idea would work but not financially as its £25 each way. He's not able to travel on his own in a taxi so I would need to go with him so that would cost £100 a day. I agree its a major thing for him to deal with, school have advised not to force him onto the minibus next week. And if he can't get to school that way then the borough will have to fork out for a taxi for him to enable him to get to the school they have named on his EHCP. So fingers crossed that Monday goes ok .
A quick update;- ds went off to school on the minibus and when he came home on it he ran past me and was sobbing his heart out. Which then led to a spectacular meltdown. Absolute refusal to get on the minibus for the rest of the week which meant no school for ds. Of course I got straight onto LA and they said it has to go to panel re ds having a taxi and that it is unlikely it will be agreed. I should hear from them tomorrow regarding the decision the sen panel have made. In the meantime school have been picking him up and bringing him home which he has had no problem with. But, obviously they can not do this indefinately. Any ideas on what to do if LA refuse individual transport?
I have just heard the decision from the SEN panel and they say ds can have a shared taxi with one other child in the mornings for 4 weeks. But he needs to come home on the minibus at the end of the school day. Their reasoning on this is that he will get into school in a calm state and that he will want to come home so he will make himself get onto the minibus. I can see where they are coming from in a nt sense, but the effect of him getting the minibus home after school will probably be refusal to go to school the next day. He is not stupid and knows that if he gets the taxi to school - there is only one way of getting home!! Hence the meltdowns and refusal to go. They have lectured me on how this offer is non negotiable and very unusual to be offered. Im just not feeling it though. Maybe the gratitude will come later. grrrrrrrr
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