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School Transport for children and young people with Special Educational Needs (SEN)

Wandsworth Council has a duty to assist parents in the Borough by providing free transport in the following cases:

a)            if a child is under 8 years of age and lives over 2 miles from school;

b)            if a child is aged 8 years or over and lives over 3 miles from school.

In both of the above cases, the child must be attending the nearest suitable school (one which the Council considers suitable for the aptitude and ability of the child) and must be of statutory school age (aged 5-16).  Walking distance is assessed by measuring the shortest lit route between home and school. It may be assumed that a child who is unable to undertake such a journey alone will be accompanied to school by a parent or carer unless this is shown not to be reasonably practicable.

Children with statements of SEN / an Education Health and Care Plan (EHCP) may be provided with transport if they live within this distance, but it is not an automatic right. Children will be provided with transport assistance to school where this is deemed necessary in the light of the needs set out in their statements of SEN / their EHCPs. 

As part of the current special educational needs and disability (SEND) Reforms the Government is adopting a new approach to special educational needs and disability. The aim is to give parents greater control, ensuring they are empowered to make decisions about their child and their support.

The Council has agreed more flexible approaches to offering transport assistance including mileage reimbursement / personal travel budgets and travel training. The report, attached right, sets out how parents and carers can be given choices in how their children get to school.  This should allow them to make their own arrangements which would support them in improving their children’s lives and helping the rest of the family.

Travel Assistance Budgets (TABs) become the standard support option for children who are eligible for travel assistance on account of their SEND.  Not all families or carers will wish to take up a TAB and it will not be suitable for all pupils. However TABs will enable parents to choose the best way to get their child to school, in a way that is convenient for them and, importantly, the process for calculating the budget has been reviewed so that it is double the previous mileage reimbursement rate. See attached leaflet on the right for more information.

Wandsworth Council is also investing in the provision of ‘Independent Travel Training’ (ITT) to teach the independent travel skills that help prepare young people for adulthood and a pilot scheme started in the spring term 2015. Since then 30 young people engaged in travel training and 21 of them successfully completed the training are now travelling independently. See attached leaflet on the right for more information on ITT.

Wandsworth's full SEN Transport policy which takes account of this greater flexibility has now been developed.  It is now available on the local offer website. See the attached policy on the right.

Appealing against Travel Assistance decision

If you are not happy about the travel assistance decision you can use the Appeal Form (attached on the right) . Please note that your appeal should be on the decision made and not on any Policy aspect. It is important that you read the policy before lodging your complaint. 

If you wish for further information or to apply for SEN Travel Assistance, please contact Travel Assistance Coordinator-  with your child's name and your phone number and a brief outline of your question.

If you have existing SEN Travel Assistance and you wish to report an absence or have a query/issue please contact our Travel Assistance team with your child's name, your phone number and a brief outline of your question.

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020 8871 7899