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PostPosted: Thu Aug 21, 2008 9:30 pm 
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Joined: Thu Aug 21, 2008 9:22 pm
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My son (from Chelmsford) has a place at a Southend Grammar School. He is in a wheelchair and the Council have offered him a place on a bus with 4 steps onto it. Having explained that he can't get onto the bus they have told me they can't help any further!
Having sought advice from a Solicitor I am told the Council have an obligation to provide him 'suitable' transport but they won't budge.
Does anyone know of anyone else in a similar situation now or previously?
I would appreciate your experiences as it is causing us great upset.


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 22, 2008 8:47 am 
The behaviour of the council is appalling! If a school, run by the council, has to have wheelchair access then surely the council should provide buses. Have you got in touch with your MP? Do you have the energy to take this further because this is not right?!

Anyway, sorry I can't be any help!


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 22, 2008 9:00 am 
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Joined: Fri Mar 17, 2006 5:12 pm
Posts: 1302
Location: Birmingham
Hi Pezzo

Suggests you check advice on the Equality & Human Rights web site -

http://www.equalityhumanrights.com

The old Disability Rights Commission was merged into this department last year - they have lots of good information on what to do. I suspect that the LEA may have an obligation to provide a free taxi service until such time as they comply with the law.

Hope this helps


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 22, 2008 9:20 am 
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Joined: Sat Nov 17, 2007 8:55 pm
Posts: 851
Location: Bexley
Pezzo - how dreadful for you. Have you tried local councillors? In my experience they're usually quick to respond - you should find a list of who they are and email addresses on your council's website. I'd also speak to the school when they start gearing up for the new term (end of next week?) to see if they have any experience of this problem. Local newspaper? I'm sure they'd love a story about how the council is effectively excluding your son from a school they've allocated him.

Best of luck.


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 22, 2008 9:38 am 
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Joined: Mon Feb 12, 2007 1:21 pm
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In Bucks the children in wheelchairs normally have transport arranged by the LA - in special taxis - this sounds very wrong.

Do phone admissions and check with them how to take it further ...


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PostPosted: Sat Aug 23, 2008 6:46 pm 
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Joined: Sun Apr 06, 2008 2:16 pm
Posts: 12
As KenR has said, the best people to contact in the first instance would be the Equality and Human Rights Commission. They will be able to advise you.

Their contact details are as follows:

Equality and Human Rights Commission Helpline
Freepost RRLL-GHUX-CTRX
Arndale House
Arndale Centre
Manchester
M4 3EQ

0845 604 6610 - England main number
0845 604 6620 - England textphone
0845 604 6630 - England fax

Telephone lines are open on Mon, Tue, Thu, Fri 9:00 am-5:00 pm; Wed 9:00 am-8:00 pm (last call taken at 7:45pm)

(Calls to 0845 numbers are charged at Local call rate tariff if you are using a BT landline. Call charges from other telephone operators and mobile networks will vary. To find out exactly how much you are paying for 0845 calls you should consult your telephone provider or their latest published tariffs.)


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PostPosted: Sat Aug 23, 2008 7:24 pm 
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I accept what it suggested above but I would contact the LA first in case someone has misunderstood. Take a name when you speak to someone.


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 Post subject: Wheelchair Transport
PostPosted: Sun Aug 24, 2008 12:46 pm 
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Joined: Thu Aug 21, 2008 9:22 pm
Posts: 4
IThankyo very much for the supportive comments posted on here in response to my query.
One person asks if I have the energy for a fight with the Council? The answer is 'not really' as it is soul destroying, BUT I will fight all the way as I don't think it is right.
I will seek advice from the Equality people and have sought advice from a Solicitor. He believes the Council are acting unlawfully and wants to challenge them.
I will do this, but it seems so unecessary and avoidable. The thing is, I cannot let this drop as it is my son's future on the line.
It seems so unfair that I worked him hard for 2 years studying for the exam and no whe faces the prospect of not being able to get to the school.
If anyone has any examples of other transport issues that may be similar I would really appreciate it.


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 24, 2008 1:18 pm 
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Joined: Mon Feb 12, 2007 1:21 pm
Posts: 11956
Pezzo,

As a GS ex-SENCo I know that children who use wheelchairs are entitiled to transportation to school. I used to make sure that the companies knew when our last day and INSET days were - it happens routinely.

Could there have been a misunderstanding by the council?


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