The government guidance, ‘Home to School Travel for Pupils Requiring Special Arrangements’, advises on particular issues affecting pupils with severe learning difficulties and it recommends that local authorities:

  • ensure drivers and escorts are known to parents
  • operator contact numbers are provided for parents
  • ensure stability of staffing arrangements for pupils who dislike change
  • encourage schools and transport services to use a home-school liaison diary
  • ensure that journey times are reasonable to avoid undue stress.

Other legal requirements and good practice points covered by the guidance include:

  • enhanced DBS checks for all drivers and escorts
  • minimum standards of training for drivers and escorts, including training in conflict resolution, safe handling and working with children with particular medical conditions or disabilities where appropriate
  • assessment and management of risk
  • specific measures for pupils with health needs
  • specific training for staff and vehicle adaptations for pupils with mobility needs.

The guidance recommends that travel needs of pupils with SEN be reviewed at least annually and that pupils should always travel by using mainstream arrangements and local travel schemes where they can. Reviews can decrease as well as increase transport support.