Transport myths

Local Authorities (LA’s) give many reasons for refusing to provide SEN home to school and college transport. I have listed below some common refusal myths used by LA’s:

“Your child lives within the statutory walking distance.

The Government statutory guidance on home to school transport states:

“Eligibility, for such children with SEN should be assessed on an individual basis to identify their particular transport requirements. Usual transport requirements (e.g. the statutory walking distances) should not be considered when assessing the transport needs of children eligible due to SEN and/or disability”.

The Government statutory guidance on Post 16 home to education transport states:

“The statutory walking distance of 3 miles to school (along the nearest available route) for those of compulsory school aged 8 and over is set out under section 444(5) of the Education Act 1996. This can be used as a benchmark by local authorities in defining the distance a young person might reasonably be expected to walk to access education or training. In determining whether transport arrangements are necessary, local authorities will want to take into account other factors, such as the impact a learning difficulty or disability may have on a young person’s ability to walk this distance, and the nature (including safety) of the route, or alternative routes, which a young person could be expected to take”.

“You have a Motability car or receive DLA for a child or young adult and this should be used for home to school transport.”

Local Authorities can ask you if would use a Motability car for home to school transport, however they cannot force parents to use them for this purpose. Local Authorities have no jurisdiction to enforce this.

“SEN transport can only be provided for children and young adults with a Statement of Special Educational Needs or an Education Health and Care Plan.”

A child or young adult doesn’t necessarily need to have a Statement of Special Education Needs or an Education Health and Care Plan to qualify for SEN transport.

“Local Authorities have no duty to provide SEN transport for Post 16 education”.

The Government statutory guidance on Post 16 home to education transport states:

“The legislation recognises that a local response to transport arrangements is important in enabling young people’s participation in education and training. A local approach allows local circumstances to be taken into account. The legislation therefore gives local authorities the discretion to determine what transport and financial support are necessary to facilitate young people’s attendance. The local authority must exercise its power to provide transport or financial support reasonably, taking into account all relevant matters. A failure to make arrangements would amount to a failure to meet the duty”. 

“You are over 19 so the Local Authority has no duty to provide SEN home to education transport.”

The Government statutory guidance on Post 16 home to education transport states:

“Local authorities also have a duty under the Education and Skills Act 2008 to encourage, enable and assist the participation of young people with learning difficulties and/or disabilities up to the age of 25 in education and training”.

The 1996 Education Act also places a duty for LA’s to provide SEN home to education transport for young adults.

“The Local Authority will only provide transport to the nearest suitable college.” 

The Government statutory guidance on Post 16 home to education transport states:

“Young people should have a reasonable opportunity to choose between the courses available to them at 16 and be supported to access their choices. Local authority transport policies must be supportive of reasonable choice”.


Has your LA given you another reason for refusing home to school or college transport? Let Sentas know. If it is suitable we can add the reason to the myths list to keep other parents informed.

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