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PostPosted: Sun Aug 24, 2008 8:31 pm 
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Joined: Thu Aug 21, 2008 9:22 pm
Posts: 4
My son (from Chelmsford) has a place at a Southend Grammar School (about 16 miles away). 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?
The Council say they only have a legal duty to transport him to the nearest school. However, it is the Local Authority that offered him the place and I believe he deserves the oppurtunity to go after working so hard.
I would appreciate your experiences as it is causing us great upset.


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 24, 2008 11:40 pm 
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Joined: Thu Nov 02, 2006 9:10 pm
Posts: 1068
Location: Lincolnshire
School transport is a thorny issue, not least because although the law and basic guidelines are the same for all local authorities, many use discretionary policies which give free transport to additional groups of people and these vary from authority to authority.

The basic law and guidelines can be found in a DfES document:
http://publications.teachernet.gov.uk/d ... 00373-2007

IPSEA also have a guide to school transport:
http://www.ipsea.org.uk/transport-england.htm

I am guessing that you would not have a statutory entitlement to free school transport as this is not your nearest "suitable" school. However, if the local authority is providing free or subsidised transport to non disabled children in your situation, then to not provide it to your child (assuming your child has a long-term disability) sounds as if it would amount to disability discrimination.

Solicitors, unless they are specialists in education or disability, may not always be experts in such areas and you may get better advice or a list of suitably experienced lawyers from one of the charities/voluntary agencies dealing with these areas like IPSEA or The Advisory Centre for Education.


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 26, 2008 5:31 pm 
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Joined: Thu Aug 21, 2008 9:22 pm
Posts: 4
Alex wrote:
School transport is a thorny issue, not least because although the law and basic guidelines are the same for all local authorities, many use discretionary policies which give free transport to additional groups of people and these vary from authority to authority.

The basic law and guidelines can be found in a DfES document:
http://publications.teachernet.gov.uk/d ... 00373-2007

IPSEA also have a guide to school transport:
http://www.ipsea.org.uk/transport-england.htm

I am guessing that you would not have a statutory entitlement to free school transport as this is not your nearest "suitable" school. However, if the local authority is providing free or subsidised transport to non disabled children in your situation, then to not provide it to your child (assuming your child has a long-term disability) sounds as if it would amount to disability discrimination.

Solicitors, unless they are specialists in education or disability, may not always be experts in such areas and you may get better advice or a list of suitably experienced lawyers from one of the charities/voluntary agencies dealing with these areas like IPSEA or The Advisory Centre for Education.


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