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Post 16 SEN transport charges

(5 Posts)
zebrafinch Tue 20-Sep-11 08:17:38

DS is wheelchair user and very severely disabled unable to attend local school. which is within walking/cycling distance. He has turned 16 and LEA have asked for money towards the taxi cost to get him to special school. Apparently now he is post compulsory school age they do not have to provide transport and can make a charge. Anyone successfully fought this? How did you do it? I really appreciate that LEA budgets are tight but there has been no consideration given to ability to pay (we qualify for free school meals but have never claimed) or that we may not have any savings. I offered to pay direct debit monthly installments but this was rejected.

bigbluebus Tue 20-Sep-11 08:28:52

Sorry, can't help with the legalities of this one. My DD has just gone into 6th form at her Special school 14 miles away and we have not been asked to contribute to her transport. Nor have I heard of anyone else being asked to do so. DD claims income based ESA & higher rate DLA in her own right so would be entitled to free school meals (if she ate - but has gastrostomy) but not sure about how that would affect school transport issues - she can claim back travel costs to hospital appointments now because of ESA - but wasn't entitled to anything free before she claimed ESA because of our income.
If you are on an income level that entitles you to free school meals, then claim them - as this is often the trigger for other things and may be the solution to your free school transport. As far as not allowing you to pay in installments is concerned - I would say that is unreasonable - even parents of children at my DS's mainstream secondary school are allowed to pay monthly by s/o or DD where they don't qualify for free transport.
Sorry I can't be more help but good luck with the fight - I would say you had a good case.

davidsotherhalf Tue 20-Sep-11 08:30:45

if you qualify for free school meals put your claim even if you don't use them, this should qualify you for free transport, iyswim. i had this problem last year with our lea, when they offered my dd a placement 2hrs drive away, if you get certain benefits you don't have to pay. phone lea and ask them what benefits you need to be claiming so you don't have to pay. hth

Sevenfold Tue 20-Sep-11 08:33:52

this seems to depend on where you live,
where I am you don't have too pay, but my friend just over the border in next county does have too.
seems unfair as we don't have the same options for 6th form in the sn world

keepingupwiththejoneses Tue 20-Sep-11 08:51:42

Where we live we do have to pay once they have left school, but it is means tested. The problem you may come across is there is no legal obligation by LA's to provide transport post 16.

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