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Home to school review request

A travel assistance review will only consider the entitlement to travel assistance and travel arrangements made. It is outside the remit of the SEN travel assistance review process to make decisions regarding the suitability of a school named in Section I of an Education, Health and Care Plan as nearest appropriate. Requests for review which centre solely on the suitability of the school will be rejected and the parent referred back to the SEND Assessment and Planning Service (EHC).

The travel assistance review process will ensure that the transport policy and law have been correctly applied. It will also ensure that any special and exceptional circumstances which mean that travel assistance should be granted as a concession are taken into account.

Statutory entitlement to free travel assistance ceases once the student has completed compulsory education in Year 11. In Staffordshire, we support students with learning difficulties or disabilities which means that they are unable to access public transport even when accompanied, or the journey is within walking distance but they cannot be expected to complete the journey even when accompanied and the student is attending the closest appropriate learning provider as determined by the SEND Assessment and Planning Service (EHC).

In order to understand the rules about eligibility and the grounds on which you can request a review, please read all of this form before completing and submitting it.

Under Staffordshire County Council policy, travel assistance may be provided for students with an Education, Health and Care Plan who require specialised travel assistance as they are unable to walk or use public transport (even when accompanied) because of their learning difficult or disability, aged 16 to 18 or continuing a course commenced prior to their nineteenth birthday, if they meet the following criteria and subject to the payment of the relevant charge:

  • The student is a resident of Staffordshire
  • Is continuing a course begun before their 19th birthday
  • Is a full time student (16 hours or more timetabled sessions per week) - the course can be at entry level or at level 1, 2, or 3. Travel assistance is not given to higher education courses (level 4 and above, such as Foundation Degrees or Higher National Diplomas)
  • Has an Education, Health and Care plan or Statement of Special Educational Need and is unable to walk or use public transport (even when accompanied) due to their learning difficulty or disability 
  • Is studying a course that is funded by Staffordshire County Council (travel assistance is not given to students paying fees for their tuition, or studying as part of a paid apprenticeship;)
  • Is studying at the nearest suitable school, college or Local Authority funded training provider offering the course as specified by the Local Authority and named in the Education, Health and Care Plan. When considering if a course is available, we take into account the end qualification awarded (not the individual subjects taken), the training provider having a place available to offer on that course, and that the student meets the entry requirements demanded by the training provider. 

For a student over the age of 19 and beginning a new course, we will make an additional assessment on why it is necessary for us and not the student or family to make their own travel arrangements. We make the decision based on the information provided by the parent or carer along with any information already provided as part of any Social Care and Health Assessments, Education Health and Care Plan. 

A new course is one where the named qualification, learning aims, outcomes, unit / course code or title of the course differs from the previous year. For example, an A level in maths delivered over 2 years is a continuing course. This is because the qualification is awarded only at the completion of the second year.

Where a student follows a programme of study such as level 1 course the first year and progresses on to the level 2 the next year, or completes a series of courses where the outcomes differ each year and there is no requirement to progress to the second or further years to complete each year, this is not considered a continuing course. Should there be any query, we will confirm with the school / college.

A student or parent may wish to appeal a decision about:

  • Eligibility for travel assistance
  • Transport for arrangements offered

During the review / appeal process you will be responsible for making your own travel arrangements, including the financing of those arrangements. If, at any stage during the review and appeal process, the decision not to provide travel assistance is overturned, only then will the Local Authority become responsible for putting appropriate travel assistance in place and for funding it once travel arrangements have been made.

Guidance notes

Please provide full details of why you are appealing against the decision not to provide travel assistance:

  • Eligibility for travel assistance including:
    • Why the student is unable to make the journey to school or college (even when accompanied) 
    • Why the student requires travel assistance outside of our agreed policy. 
  • Transport arrangements offered
    • Why you feel the arrangements are not suitable.

Include all recent supporting evidence (no more than 6 months old) and details of any exceptional circumstances that you wish to be considered. Letters simply of ‘support’ without additional evidence (e.g. medical professional’s report) are not sufficient.

For post 19 students starting a new course, you must also evidence why it is necessary for the County Council and not the student or family to make travel arrangements. To assess this we would need to know:

  • What other arrangements you have considered or tried and why they are not suitable
  • If there is a family member / carer who is able to transport the student and why it would not be possible / reasonable for them to do so.
  • If the student is in receipt of higher rate mobility component of the Personal Independence Payment or Disability Living Allowance, the purpose of which is to assist those who have mobility problems, with severe difficulty walking or who need help getting around outside. We would normally expect this benefit to be fully utilised and if there are any factors limiting its use, you should provide details of them.
  • If there is a ‘Motability’ vehicle which the student may or may not be the driver. If a decision has been made to not use the ‘Motability; vehicle to support the student to reach their education placement, we would normally expect the carer / student to make their own appropriate alternative arrangements or provide details as to why that is not possible / reasonable.
  • Any other exceptional circumstances that you consider need to be taken into account and consider any recent supporting evidence that you provide.

Please note, we would not consider work or childcare commitments as an exceptional reason for travel assistance to be provided for any Post 16 student.

Each request will be assessed on a case by case basis, considering the law, County Council policy and any supporting information provided.

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