500 signatures reached
To: Waltham Forest Council
Special Education Needs and Disability school transport crisis: Waltham Forest
We are calling on Waltham Forest Council to urgently review transport policies that have refused local special eduational needs and disabled children places on buses which enable them to get to school. These children were previously eligible and in many cases have been offered a ‘mileage allowance’ alternative. This is not a suitable alternative for many families who have been offered this option. Criteria for eligibility has been substantially narrowed without adequate consultation or communication with families in the borough.
Why is this important?
Families in Waltham Forest with children with special education needs and disability depend on existing transport provisions to get their children to school, either because they go to a special school which is further from home, or because of their disability they are unable to travel to school unaided. In February 2018 lots of children in Waltham Forest who had previously been eligible for transport to take them to school were suddenly refused transport. This includes children with autism, deafness, cerebral palsy and other disabilities. Families have had to go through the stress and worry of amounting appeals against the decisions. Some families have had transport reinstated after appeal. It is not clear how many children and families that are affected have not appealed, either because they are not able to appeal or do not know they have the right to appeal.