In the light of the findings of a new report from Contact, the Department for Education has announced plans to review the statutory guidance for local authorities regarding school transport for children with special educational needs and disabilities. A government spokesperson said, “We are investing £222million 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.”

The School Transport Inquiry brings together evidence from more than 2,500 parents, finding that more than half (51%) of local school transport policies in England include unlawful statements, 23% of parents feel their child’s journey to school is stressful which impacts negatively on their learning, and almost half (48%) of parents have had to decrease their working hours or cannot work due to their disabled child’s school travel arrangements.

The impact of poor school transport arrangements on disabled children and their families is significant. One parent said, “It put a tremendous strain on the family as I have to get my younger daughter to a different school at the same time. Also I cannot manage my son on my own if he doesn’t want to cooperate. I had to go on medication to calm my nerves.”

Contact have produced some resources to help families across the UK, including information about school transport and your rights and entitlements, and advice for parent carer forums on how to challenge local school transport consultations.

Find out more about the inquiry on Contact’s website, and share your experiences of school transport on social media with the hashtag #SchoolRunCrisis.