Research carried out by Leeds University has uncovered serious legal failings by local authorities (“LAs”) in relation to the information contained on their websites concerning transport entitlement for children with special educational needs (“SEN”) and/or disabilities. The research, funded by the disabled children’s charity Cerebra and undertaken by students at the School of Law, Leeds University was conducted under the supervision of Professor Luke Clements and Sorcha McCormack.
Between November 2016 and January 2017 student volunteers at the School of Law analysed the websites of 71 English LAs to assess the accuracy and accessibility of their information concerning transport entitlement. IPSEA are delighted to have contributed to this important research and our submission can be found in Annex 3 of the report.
The main findings in the report included:
The report describes the legal failings as:
“at the very least, reckless: in the sense that it is probably cost effective not to provide clear and concise information as this will deters families’ from accessing their statutory entitlements”. (para 5.01)
In terms of remedial action, the report recommends:
“The Secretary of State would appear to be under a public law duty to have regard to these findings and to consider taking action to address this failure”. (para 5.05)
If you want to know more about the law on transport and what your rights are, you can find plenty of information here. If you require advice from one of our specially trained volunteers you can book a call back here.
Our Tribunal Helpline Gives next step advice on SEN appeals and disability discrimination claims to the Special Educational Needs and Disability Tribunal. When you call we will also assess whether you need casework support. Please click here to book an appointment to get one of our advisers to call you back.