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Share information, support and advice on all aspects of caring.

We are writing to enquire if anyone has had any similar issues as below and how they have managed to solve the problems (If at all)

We have two children. One child is age 6 and is Deaf and Autistic and one child age 5 who does not have a disability. The youngest child attends our local mainstream primary school which is a 20 minute walk from our house (With a 8.55AM start time) The eldest child attends the only Special Needs School in the local authority for children with Severe Learning Difficulties and is transported to and from the school by the LEA (Local Education Authority)

It is the transport to and from the Special Needs School that is causing us the problems. Prior to our youngest child, starting school the time the transport turned up in a morning was not an issue. In advance of our youngest child starting school in September 2009, we as parents (with support from our Social Worker & The Headteacher of our daughter Special Needs school) made requests to the Transport Unit for our eldest child to be picked up by 8.30 AM, to allow for our youngest child to be walked to her mainstram school and arrive by the 8.55AM start time. The unit advised that they would try and met this request but would not offer any firm guarantees

On the whole the arrangement worked OK for the first two months. After that the arrival time started to creep up to 8.40 AM and improved slightly after I complained to the Passenger Transport Unit. More recently the transport has been arriving at 8.55AM, meaning that our youngest child has been arriving late at school and receivng late marks as a result.

My latest conversations to the Pasenger Trasnport have got nowere. We are now offerred no agreement of any arrival time. The unit is telling us if we have a problem to speak to our social worker. The social worker has promised to speak to passenger transport but hs not yet done so.

In the middle of all this is a 5 year old child who is being marked down as late at school. THe next step for us is for us to be referred to the Education Welfare Officrr for not getting our child to school on time.

The LEA has nice slogans such as Every Child Matters and promotes Eqaulity but in practice these are just words not matched by actions. HA any one any experience of similar problems and were do we stand from a legal perspective.

My husband, incidentally has also reduced his hours to 8AM to 2.30PM to sure similar problems do not happen at night , so we have already sufferred a reduction in our income.
2nd post by Chinarosie


DIsabled child & Sib. Contined
Sorry to keep going about this but I feel I need to get this off my chest.

We posted about passager transport unit. I spoke to a member of their team yesterday and the worker was adament the time for taxi for my daughter could not guaranteed. I asked the worker what she would go in my situation to which see replied 'contact your social worker. I then asked 'if she had a special needs child' to which she replied 'IT WAS NONE OF MY BUSINESS'. I asked her not to speak to me like that and to which she replied I was asking her personal questions. I asked to speak to a supervisor which she said she would give her manager my number afer she had spoken to them. When I asked for her name and line manager she gave me the details and then slammed down the telephone while I was still talking.

I did telephone my daughter's social worker. When I explained the situation and she just wasn't interested in anything I said. Stating perhaps i was stressed I felt she was very patronising and promised to ring me back which she hasn't.
I didn't sleep very well last night and feel silly that this incident has really upset me. Thanks for for listening.
This kind of stuff comes with the carer territory - you just need to keep going up the line until someone finally makes a sensible decision. Lots of us have been there, and it is always solvable if you keep calm and keep on keeping on. Good luck...
I think you have a few options open to you.
1) Formal written complaints to the appropriate people - copied to your MP.
2) Contact the local press - they'll love this one!
3) See a solicitor (most do a freebie advice session) - especially in relation to the fact that this has resulted in your husband having to cut his work hours and the subsequent loss of income.
4) All of the above!

Historically transport for SEN has always been problematic. Issues range from multi-pick up buses having routes that are so long that the children arrive at school at 10am - whilst the first child on the route is collected from home at 7.30am - two and a half hours on a bus for a journey of a few miles if taken directly instead of travelling a convoluted route round fifteen other houses for more pick ups! Taxi drivers who refuse to get out of the car to open the boot so the wheelchair can be loaded in -resulting in the child arriving at school with no wheelchair and having to spend every day in a major buggy instead of a suitable wheelchair that is sitting empty at home. (This happened to somebody we know!)
We also encountered a situation where adults with LD were being driven home on a LA bus - the driver would pop home for a cup of tea on the way and leave them on the bus!!!!!!!!
Don't put up with it - and certainly complain about the woman who was so rude and useless on the phone.
My problem was slightly different - I had to fight like mad to get my son on the ordinary school bus and not in a taxi with an adult escort - it took me two years but was worth it. It was about risk management really - the authorities were being over-zealous. What a waste of money! My feeling was that as he was quite capable of using the bus, he would benefit from the social aspect of it and I kept nagging away at it. The bus stops right outside our house to pick him up on the way in. One slight concession: coming home he does have to go past our house, to the village up the road, and then the bus drops him off coming back because otherwise he would have to cross the busy main road.

One major advantage of the arrangement is that whilst with the taxi he was very often late, now with the bus he is almost never late at school.
i have a similar problem with adult services, son attends day care 5 days a week, transport cant pick him up till 940am and i am supposed to start work in the special school i work in at 8.45 but i had to reduce my hours so i dont start till9.15 am day care accept him at 9 am as long as i take him down to it. and in the afternoons 2 days a week i have to finish an hour early and hubby loses an hour 2 other days so we can be in to collect him from the bus.which drops him of first asked about him being later drop of but no can do..

the ironic thing to all of it there are 3 busses in the street picking people up for the same day centre at 9 am every day and there is deffinatly room in one of the busses for garrys wheelchair.

Hi am new but we are in the same boat.

Primary schooling wasnt too bad re a late start and an early finish despite a loss of 1 day a week teaching time.

Problem has now continued into High School where lessons start at 0840 and end at 1530, yet transport doesnt leave home until 0845 - 0900 and drops off at 1530. School transport althought free is not an issue for several valid reasons.

Have had a letter from EWO wanting to visit us at home to discuss attendance. We cant help late arrivals or early leaving and the only time off is for a valid medical reason which is under investigation. How can it be our fault if our child is medically ill?

No-one is interested in how the carer manages - just want to make life more difficult when caring poses additional strain - even when it is the local education authority that has caused much of the upset.

I hope you find a way that suits you and your family, if I hear of anything i will let you know - but for us at the moment it is a case of not holding our breath and it would be a pleasant surprise if there was a solution that had an element of common sense.
Hi i had exactly this problem i had 3 children eldest child fine middle child mainstream with support and 3rd child autistic and was in special needs and equired transport we had to leave the house at 8.30 at first all was great pick up time was 8am perfect but second year he was there 3rd pick up but this meant he was to e picked up wehn id left or needed to leave then if theres traffic the other children would be late.
So what we done was arranged for the pick up point to be moved to the around the corner from the mainstream school at 8.40am this worked great yes some mornings when it was wet and cold it wasnt ideal but it meant all children got to school at the right times.
Its really difficult because they dont think of all the family, we have faced many problems educationally with the children our worst time was when our youngest needed a nursery place i already had two children in two different places how could we get to a 3rd place when they would only give one place at another nursery what we needed was for the younger children to be in the same nursery!!