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Concerns over Transport Review for Vulnerable Children

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Lancashire Labour group have grave concerns about a review ordered (Thursday 10/6/2021) by the Conservative administration into the transport of our most vulnerable children who need to be transported from home to their education facilities.

During the review

Lancashire County Council will NOT be considering:
* Parents work or other commitments.
* Attendance by siblings at other Schools.
* A journey from one educational establishment to another.

Cllr Lorraine Beavers, Deputy Leader, said, we are asking “where is our empathy with these families”?

Many parents particularly those with health needs or disabilities themselves or single parents, rely on the support this transport gives.”

The idea of giving children with Special Educations Needs training to independently catch a bus is in theory a great idea, but the reality is that there are many children with anxiety issues, social anxiety and some may be vulnerable to bullying or simply not safe to be put into that position.

Many children have invisible conditions and it may not be obvious to other passengers that they are for example ‘shouting’ or displaying challenging behaviour, due to these conditions.

Cllr Lorraine Beavers said “The review document states ‘pupils that are mobile’ we believe this is an indication that that children with non-physical impairments are going to be treated differently than children with physical impairments.

“We believe the children with neurodiversity conditions, and there are many, will be unfairly affected by this review.”

“The offer of a favourable mileage payments to parents who are willing to take their children to school we believe favours parents in a better economic position, who have their own transport and time to take their children to school and back. Specialist Schools are rarely close to where you live and travelling to and from them will make it impossible for the parents to work or pick up siblings from a mainstream setting.”

“Most people have to work and many families have more than one child! You cannot be in two places at once. LCC have said it is not their concern.”

“The Labour group is also concerned that that this consultation could be held over the holiday period when parents may be unaware of the review or the implications.

“We believe that this review needs advertising widely so all the families of children with SEND who use the School transport system can have their voices heard. Lancashire Labour Group will be fighting for the rights of our children with SEND to be able to access their schooling via appropriate transport to get them there safely.”

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