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Does anyones child travel to school via taxi provided by local authority?

(17 Posts)
AppleCrumbleCake Tue 04-Aug-20 16:53:27

I'm in the process of appealing a decision about school transport for my DC - the council wont pay for a bus pass to the school he's going to, but would have paid for a private taxi to a different school not on a bus route!

Anyway, i was wondering whether anyones child gets to/from school via a private taxi paid for by your council? If so, what happens if your child wishes to attend after school activities - would the taxi pick them up later or is the only option to be picked up at school normal finish time?

OP’s posts: |
Movinghouse2015 Tue 04-Aug-20 16:55:37

It can be arranged if it's a regular arrangement. But if the after school club is cancelled, it's not always possible to change the taxi at last minute.

AppleCrumbleCake Tue 04-Aug-20 20:02:22

Thank you, thats really helpful info smile

OP’s posts: |
Looneytune253 Tue 04-Aug-20 20:13:59

Is it a special school? That's usually the only reason you would get a free taxi? In our local authority they only give you a bus pass if you're attending your catchment school and it's more than 3 miles away

acocadochocolate Tue 04-Aug-20 20:17:09

Yes. Another child went In the taxi, so I always paid the driver cash when he picked up my DC after a club.

It's very difficult to get a local authority to agree to pay for a taxi. Mine tried to tell me it was only for SEN children, but this is not true. To get a taxi, you normally have to be going to the nearest school and there has to be a good reason to need a taxi - in our case, the public transport is non-existent and the walk too dangerous. It took 6 months of arguing to get the council to agree. They spent weeks ignoring my letters, hoping I would give up.

https://www.gov.uk/free-school-transport

acocadochocolate Tue 04-Aug-20 20:18:01

I meant the taxi had to do an extra journey to pick DC up after a club, so I paid.

DragonflyInn Tue 04-Aug-20 20:28:37

We’re over a certain distance from nearest school so the LA provides a taxi. If the kids do an after school activity I have to make arrangements to get them home myself.

Aroundtheworldin80moves Tue 04-Aug-20 20:34:50

My DD for a while at Primary School. The driver had multiple children from different schools, so the route was set.

(We were entitled to school transport as my DDs were allocated different schools, neither of wish was the closest school to our home. My other DD wasn't entitled to transport as we had chosen her school and didn't apply to a closer school- which didn't have spaces anyhow. Arrangement stopped after I won the appeal for both of them to attend same school)

Bramshott Mon 10-Aug-20 14:57:52

My kids have always had a LA taxi to school (primary and now secondary) as we're in a rural area and more than 3 miles from our catchment schools.

If they stay for an after school club, I have to collect them, in contrast to the (paid for) buses run by the school which leave after (most) clubs finish.

MilkRunningOutAgain Wed 12-Aug-20 23:36:09

Officially my DCs have to get the taxi straight after school or I would have to collect them on my way home from work a few hours later. Last year the taxi driver was lovely and would generally take them home whenever they wanted, they just had to text him to let him know what time to collect them. If he was busy they had to wait a while but this was quite rare. I’m hoping we get the same firm this year! The council tenders annually so the firm changes frequently.

EasilyDelighted Thu 13-Aug-20 07:49:18

Mine just went right through secondary in a shared taxi (4 pupils all in different years). Any changes had to be agreed by all four families, approved by the LA and only then agreed with the taxi company and it had to be the same every week. This proved to be impossible so we all had to have standard time pickups or make other arrangements.

Also they cannot drop off at different addresses (childminder, other parent if not living together, grandparents etc).

If you do end up in a taxi share it is well worth finding who the other parents are and setting up a whatsapp, ours proved useful time and time again as the taxis were sometimes delayed and it saved them having to call all four of us or all four of us having to call them if it was late, which did happen from time to time.

Bloodylush Thu 13-Aug-20 07:51:35

My dc have a taxi. You are not allowed to change the times for appointments or clubs and pick ups and drop offs have to be the same address.

wagtailred Thu 13-Aug-20 07:54:50

Its a shared taxi and there is no variability on pick up times at either end of the day as the taxi has another route. It has to be the same address and for us an adult had to be home to drop off too.

bigbluebus Thu 13-Aug-20 08:07:40

The taxi will usually only do the start and end of school drop off/pick up. That is what they are contracted to do (and therefore what their insurance covers). If a child is on a school bus and they stay for after school activities then separate arrangements have to be made for getting home so a taxi will be the same (unless you are lucky enough that the contract is with a small owner run firm who you can persuade to be flexible and your DC is the only child in the taxi)

EasilyDelighted Thu 13-Aug-20 08:53:18

Yes, thinking back, in DS's first two terms it was just a share with one other boy and an owner run firm and they would change it if we both agreed but they lost the tender and our two boys got added in with two others in a larger firm's cars and the flexibility was lost.

AppleCrumbleCake Thu 13-Aug-20 13:09:37

Thank you everyone - this is all useful info.

OP’s posts: |
Rhubarbcrumblerules Thu 13-Aug-20 14:08:33

I'm admin manager for a small owner run local taxi company and we do many council school runs. We are contracted only to pick up at a specified pick up point and time and not allowed to deviate from that (barring delays etc). Council are very strict, we have to drop at the home address nowhere else and to a designated adult. We risk losing our licence and all other council contracts if we deviate from the schedule. if the request is made for a change of time through the coucil (who are our customer, not the parents) then if schedule allows we can alter the times.

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