Following consultation with parents and carers in November and December 2018, and the decision made by Richmond Council in February 2019, two new policies have been published on the Local Offer website:
- SEND Home to School Transport Policy for children aged 5-16 (Reception to Year 11)
- Transport Policy Statement for young people aged 16-19 (with or without SEND) and aged 19-25 (with SEND)
These policy changes have been made to enable the Council to meet the school travel needs of children and young people with SEND, and better promote their life skills, independence and future employability, while operating the service within the financial resources available.
Summary of the changes
- Expansion of the existing independent travel training offer. This means that all young people with SEND who we believe would benefit from the training will be invited to take part. If at the end of the training it’s decided that it isn’t appropriate for the young person to continue to travel independently, they will revert back to their previous transport offer.
- Increased pay offer to parents who wish to arrange their own travel for their children. This will include offering travel bursaries to parents where they would like to provide transport themselves, but need up-front investment, for example. We will also increase the parental mileage allowance from 47 pence per mile to £1 per mile where their child is the only pupil eligible for SEND Transport who attends a particular school.
- Implement collection points on selected routes to increase independence for pupils and improve efficiency. This will be introduced on a limited number of routes and will only be implemented after a further 28 day consultation with all families with pupils on those routes.
- Only assess children aged under five for home to school transport in exceptional circumstances. This will only affect new applicants - children aged under five who currently receive home to school transport will not be affected.
- Re-assess all young people who are moving from compulsory schooling to post-16 education, including if the young person is remaining at the same education institution. This will only apply to pupils currently in year 11. There will be no change for young people currently in post-16 education.
- Offer parents the option of making a financial contribution to the cost of home to school transport for their child/children, where they have been assessed as ineligible for transport but there is space on their route. The contributions will range from £700 per academic year to £1,400 per academic year, depending on the journey distance.
To view the policies, visit https://kr.afcinfo.org.uk/pages/local-offer/information-and-advice/education/send-transport-in-richmond