Laura Sharman 11 September 2017

Half of council transport policies include unlawful statements, charity finds

The Government has promised a review of guidance after an investigation revealed more than half (51%) of local school transport policies in England include unlawful statements.

The research by Contact also revealed that 48% of parents with disabled children said they can’t work or have been forced to decrease their working hours because of school transport arrangements.

The report said: ‘More than 50% (30 out of 59) of the local council transport policies reviewed included unlawful blanket statements or other restrictive criteria.

‘Most incorrectly stated that children needed an Education, Health and Care (EHC) plan in order to be eligible for free school transport. Some also incorrectly stated that children in receipt of Disability Living Allowance (DLA) at the high rate mobility component must use this to fund school transport themselves.’

A Department for Education spokesperson said: ‘We are investing £222m over four years to help local authorities improve special educational needs and disability (SEND) services and local authorities must provide school transport for all eligible children with SEND.

‘In light of the findings by Contact, the department will review the statutory guidance for local authorities to ensure it is clear.’

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