Here some suggested organisations that offer expert advice on SN.
School transport issue(4 Posts)
This is also posted on the mai legal board.
My son started a special needs school last September.
The LA had me over a barrel & wouldn't give me the school place unless I signed to say that I would be responsible for getting him to & from school. I was desperate for his place. Tbh, I didn't realise what I had agreed to. I didn't physically sign anything either, was via email.
I know it sounds silly to say I didn't realise, but there is so much to go through & it's very stressful.
Their argument is that there is a special needs school closer by. This do school is also for children like my son. But it isn't suitable. It's for children more advanced than my son. He's 6 with the mental age of a 2 year old.
Even this school that he goes to says in the state,went that he would have to go to a different school if they could meet his social & emotional needs.
The school is closer as the crow flies. But due to morning traffic would take longer to get to due to having to cross a very busy A road.
I have argued with the LA & got nowhere so have let it go. 98% of the children are bused in btw.
But a little girl around the corner has just got transport to the school. She started just after my boy & initially her dad didn't want her taking the school transport so didn't even apply. He's taking the LA to court for other reasons. They kept asking him why he hadn't applied for transport. He did. Within 45 mins of his application being submitted (last Thursday 10th sept) his daughter got a place on one of the buses.
I don't think she SHOULDN'T have the place, but I am furious that my son is refused a place. (The dad is aware of my situation, that's why he told me!)
Legally, is there anything I can do?
Feel free to ask questions, im sure there's more I can tell you.
Many thanks for reading this.
As a matter of law the LA is entitled to say it has no duty to transport your child if there is a nearer suitable school. So what you need to do is to establish that the nearer school is not suitable. Can you gather evidence that in fact the nearer school is unsuitable - e.g. send them the statement and reports annexed to it plus reports from his current school and ask them whether they can meet ds' needs? If they say no, then go back to the LA and apply for transport, and if they refuse go though their internal transport appeal procedure. You would need to bring the evidence about the other school to that appeal, plus evidence to show that the journey to the nearer school isn't actually any shorter.
However, if you can't persuade them that way, then probably the only way would be to appeal to the Special Educational Needs and Disabilty Tribunal to try to get a finding from them that the school the LA is suitable in fact isn't. However, you would have to get solid expert evidence to back you up and it is fairly high risk. You can also only appeal if you currently have a right of appeal: have you had an annual review recently? If so, you have a right to appeal for two months after the formal review decision is issued.
Have you tried contacting IPSEA - they have a good website? You can book in to ring them if you find it hard contacting them by phone as it is very busy.
I'm currently doing my autistic son's ECHP plan and the council aren't saying yet whether or not they are providing school transport, but he is completely unable to walk safely to school with or without me. He hits me whilst I'm driving. Tries to tell me what route to take etc. No way would I take him to school. The taxi is the only thing that gets him there.
I don't know if you are all sorted now ,but why won't the LA let your DD just join the transport with the young boy .We had transport agreed for our son for SS at the start of the school year .In January another student joined but only got into the school if she paid the boarding element (LA agreed she needed SS but not residential) As my son got transport ,the LA agreed for her to join him in the taxi but if he didn't use the taxi for any reason ,the car wasn't sent out and everyone was happy .They even picked her up from her front door 10 mins from us .
Would they consider that?
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