School transport cuts causing 'distress and upheaval'

Some pupils are eligible for free transport to and from school.

 

Will, who has autism and hates loud noise, was expected to walk a mile down a partly unlit route and take a bus and train to school, after his local council stopped funding a taxi for him.

 

Will tried it but soon became very distressed - so his mother had to drive him to and from school.

 

This was among 261 complaints about school transport decisions to England's local government ombudsman in 2015-16.

 

The figure is a marked increase, says the ombudsman, Michael King.

 

His report also says that complaints about school transport are more likely to be upheld than other complaints - 57% in the six months to last September, compared with 53% overall.

 

"When it comes to school transport... councils must ensure decisions are made fairly, legally and transparently," said Mr King.

 

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