There should be three stages of appeal for SEN home to school or college transport decisions:
You have 20 working days from receiving a decision regarding home to school/college transport to submit a written request asking for the decision to be reviewed.
This review should be carried out by a Senior Officer in the Local Authority (LA) who should be independent from the original decision.
The officer should send a detailed written notification stating: the decision reached, factors considered during the review, how the decision was reached and who was consulted during the process. The notification should also inform you how to make an appeal to stage 2 should you wish too.
You have 20 days from receipt of a written stage one appeal notification from the LA to make a written request for a stage two appeal.
Within 40 working days an independent panel in the LA should consider both written and verbal representations from the LA transport officers and parents. They should write to you within five days of the panel meeting, stating the outcome of the decision, factors considered, how the decision was reached and who they consulted during the process. The notification should also inform you how to make further appeals or complaints to the Local Government Ombudsman or Secretary of State.
If you have been unsuccessful you can make a complaint to the Local Government Ombudsman (LGO) or Secretary of State. You should make your complaint within a year of receiving a rejection of transport from a stage two appeal.
Your LA should inform you how you can escalate the matter to LGO or Secretary of State. Sentas recommends that most stage 3 appeals should go first to the LGO. You can complain using their online complaint form – link below
Sentas can help you with any stage of appeal. Please contact us if required.