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Transport to and from school for Child with HFA(5 Posts)
I just wanted to know what your LA offers. Currently I drive my Ds age 12 and the school is just over 3 miles away. I couldn't trust him to walk anyway as there are many main roads to cross. We tried the bus, which is only 15mins, for a while but it was clear he couldn't cope with the busy loud situation and other boys started to pick on him so that's no good. Do LA still offer a taxi to and from. We are not on low income or anything but im really not a confident driver and i find it difficult as its so busy at those times of day so how do you qualify.
What's your experience please?
DS goes to a school which is out of catchment area (just) and many children from our viilage go there too (when they can get in!). There is a public service bus which is supposed to run to tie in with school start/finish times but more often than not it runs late (and this is just accepted by the school). For this reason and due to the numbers of children on the bus and the position of the bus stop (was on a crossroads when DS started at school, but has since been moved) we told the LA that the public service bus was not suitable for DS. School is 5 miles away.
Fortunately, the LA happened to run a minibus to pick up very rural children and which just happens to run through our village. We spoke to the Inclusion officer at the LA (with the support and backing of HT at Primary and Senco at Secondary) and managed to secure a place on the 7 seater bus. DS still has to walk to a pick up point 5 mins away (which supported his independence), but that was fine as there was only 1 other child getting on there, and no main roads to cross.
It seems to vary so much between LAs. Does your son have a statement? You will need to approach the special needs transport service and get a copy of their policy.
Our LA is trying to move away from a door to door service and have pick up points but are also trying to cut back on transport in general with independence training schemes etc.
DS (14) goes to a school out of catchment and he has a taxi to/from school, door to door with an escort. It was agreed when we got his school place at tribunal, although it wasn't ordered by the tribunal and it isn't written into his statement. It seems to be relatively rare for other students to get school transport though (they are all from a range of different LAs) and most parents have to drive their children.
I have heard as well that our LA are pushing children into independence training schemes (teaching them to use public transport), but a lot of local parents are opposed to it as even when they pass an assessment, the children can still be vulnerable if there is an unexpected change or if a stranger approached them etc.
I think we are lucky in our LA. Ds 16 has had door to door transport since he started secondary. School is borderline 3 miles away, not our catchment school but named on his statement. Transport is also specified on his statement which is the crucial thing. Ds has AS and OCD and would not cope on public transport and too far for him to walk.
We are working on independence skills. Post 16 provision is much less generous so hope he gets there by September.
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