-A A +A
Select color visibility that suits you Basic theme Dark theme Darker theme Text only

Council school transport policies must not fail disabled young adults

07 August 2018

Councils across England should ensure their education transport policies properly support young adults with disabilities, the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman has said.

The warning comes following an investigation about London Borough of Lewisham, in which the council insisted a mother take her adult son to college using his Motability car, rather than consider providing him with transport.

The mother complained to the Ombudsman that she was not able to return to work, even though she told the council she was unwilling to drive her son to the college identified in his Education Health and Care (EHC) Plan, when he turned 19.

The Ombudsman’s investigation found the council at fault for not following law and statutory guidance, which requires councils to provide free transport, where necessary, to enable young adults up to 25 attend their named college, and prevents councils making unreasonable demands of family carers.

The Ombudsman also found the council at fault in many other aspects of the support it provided to the man, including:

  • Delay in his social care assessment before he turned 18
  • Failing to assess his care needs during his EHC assessment
  • Failing to consider many aspects of his social care assessment once he became an adult, including mental capacity, transport and care needs during the holidays and days when he was not at college
  • Delay in transferring his Statement of Special Educational Needs (SEN) to an EHC Plan
  • Delay in completing his SEN personal budget (which meant he missed out on additional therapies)
  • Inaccurate statements it made about the use of the young man’s Motability car and mobility benefits

The council also failed to consider the mother’s needs as a carer.

For more information see https://www.lgo.org.uk/information-centre/news/2018/aug/council-school-transport-policies-must-not-fail-young-adults-with-disabilities