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School transport issue- DS attends 'part time'

(8 Posts)
pannetone Mon 19-Oct-15 22:42:31

DS (Y9) has a statement naming an out of county school about 15 miles away. He started there in March, mornings only, having been out of school for some time. We drove him there and back and eventually the LA agreed to pay parental mileage (which was backdated.)

In Sep a boy who lives locally and has a statement from our LA started at the school and the LA now provide a cab for the school journey for both boys. However DS hasn't managed to build up to full time attendance and now CAMHS and school have agreed a timetable of 2 full days and 3 morning sessions. So we collect DS 3 times a week at lunchtime.

When I spoke to the transport department at the LA last term they seemed to think that DS would need to use the provided transport and it would be our responsibility to transport him otherwise. Is this correct? Should the LA be providing a cab for the lunchtime return journeys?

GruntledOne Tue 20-Oct-15 13:06:01

The LA has to provide transport, and they can't insist that you drive your DS unless they can claim there is a nearer suitable school - which sounds unlikely in your case. Put in a formal request for transport by cab, and use their appeal system if that doesn't work: make sure you lodge evidence from the school that he can't cope with full days. If you still don't get transport provided, consult SOS SEN or a solicitor with a legal aid contract as you might be able to take action in DS' name.

pannetone Tue 20-Oct-15 16:31:28

Thanks Gruntled - yes, the only reason the LA have named an out of county independent school is that it is the nearest suitable one.

I will request transport for the lunchtime journeys. Hope I don't have to appeal - DS (who has ASD and anxiety) 'masks' in school so they have only occcasionally seen him having a panic attack - but they believe me when I explain that agreeing to let him leave at lunchtime some days is the only way I can get him into school at all....

Nigel1 Tue 20-Oct-15 17:41:22

Couple of points here.
1. DS is not psychologically able to attend school full time. Therefore the responsibility remains with the LA to transport him to and from school in a non stressful manner. He should be able to engage in school/ home life without having to deal with the issues from the journey.This is from a very old legal decision "Hereford and Worcester".
2. It is their responsibility to transport him not yours. if you choose to do so then you should be paid for it. Be careful that you do not become the standby driver if the taxi run has a problem.
3. The bigger issue is why is he reacting to the school in this way?

pannetone Tue 20-Oct-15 23:08:39

Thanks Nigel.

I think the answer to your point 3 was in your point 1! That is, DS is not psychologically able to attend this school, or any school probably, full time - at least at the moment. He finds the social, emotional and sensory demands of school very hard - academic demands are usually fine. Having been out of school for 4 terms, he is now accessing so much more of the curriculum even though he isn't full time. It is a balancing act between meeting his academic needs (and quite specific but limited social needs) and maintaining his mental health.

Nigel1 Wed 21-Oct-15 11:07:21

It was more of a philosophical question to cause the school to face and address the current situation.

GruntledOne Wed 21-Oct-15 11:22:45

If he can't cope with school full time then the LA should have been providing some home tuition. I take it they weren't?

pannetone Wed 21-Oct-15 18:00:29

I think the school have made all the reasonable adjustments that they be expected to - DS has mentoring sessions, a time out card, eats lunch separately on the days he is there, has access to the learning support base, and doesn't do a MFL or PE as he finds those especially stressful.

Gruntled - DS did get home tuition from the LA - eventually. He was out of school for 6 months before they provided it though... (They made him wait til a consultant at CAMHs said he was medically unfit for school - as a side issue I have wondered whether I should complain about this.) By that time we had signed (and paid) for DS to do internet school (which was 2 hours each morning) and he had 3 hours a week LA tuition to 'top up'. We asked for internet school plus LA tuition to be put in his statement. LA refused - saying DS needed to be in 'full time education'. DS did then decide he would try a small school - which is where he is now albeit not doing a full timetable.

TBH I don't know if I am opening up a whole can of worms asking for lunchtime transport, as the LA may 'kick off' about DS not doing full days...

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