Home to School Transport Policy (0 to 25 Year Olds)
10.21 How to challenge a decision
Concerns about transport arrangements
Transport arrangements are based on the Council’s assessment of the young person’s individual transport needs and relate to how their transport is delivered. Examples include the type of vehicle, number of passengers, use of a passenger assistant.
If you have a concern about your child’s transport arrangements, you should contact the Client Transport Team in the first instance. If your concern is not resolved, view section 10.22 on How to make a Home to School Transport complaint.
Appeals about transport eligibility
Transport eligibility relates to whether the child or young person:
- has a legal right to have transport provided, or,
- meets Buckinghamshire Council’s criteria for exceptional reasons to have transport provided
The Council has a 2 stage appeal process for young people and parents/carers to challenge a decision about transport eligibility.
Stage 1 – Review by a senior officer/officer panel
Parents/carers have 20 working days to request a review of our decision about home to school transport eligibility. Parents/carers should write to us, detailing why the decision should be reviewed, giving details of any personal/family circumstances and include all supporting evidence to be considered, for example, evidence from a medical professional. In most cases the parent/carer will be asked to complete a form for further information. The parent/carer will receive an acknowledgement when we have received their written request for a review.
The parents/carers of students with EHCPs should write to their named Education, Health and Care Coordinator or the relevant area team:
The parents/carers of all other students should write to the Admissions and School Transport Team using the Admissions and school transport ‘Contact us’ form.
The decision will be reviewed by a senior officer or via the Transport Exceptions Panel. The Transport Exceptions Panel meet throughout the year and is made up of officers from Children’s Services, the Client Transport team and Integrated SEND teams.
Within 20 working days of receipt of their written request including all supporting evidence, parents/carers will be advised in writing of the appeal decision.
Stage 2 - review by an Independent Appeal Panel
Parents/carers have 20 working days from receipt of our Stage 1 appeal decision notification letter to write to ask for it to be reconsidered at Stage 2, which is a review by an Independent Appeal Panel. Details of where to send the Stage 2 request will be included on the Stage 1 appeal decision letter. Within 40 working days of receipt of the parents/carers Stage 2 request, an Independent Appeal Panel will consider written and verbal representations from both the parent/carer and officers involved in the case. The Independent Appeal Panel will give a detailed written notification of the outcome within 5 working days of the panel meeting.
The Independent Appeal Panel is made up of trained volunteers who have experience of transport issues. These volunteers are independent of the Council.
Stage 3 - complaint to Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman
Parents/carers can complain to the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman only if they consider that:
- there was a failure to comply with the procedural rules
- if there are any other irregularities in the way the appeal has been handled
For further information contact the Admissions team.