This news article is courtesy of contact.org.uk . The charity for families with disabled children.
On the 13th June, Leanna and son Billy from Eastbourne and Laura and daughter Sara from Coventry delivered our school transport petition of more than 10,000 signatures to the Prime Minister at 10 Downing Street.
The petition calls for the government to close a loophole that councils are exploiting to cut school transport across the country. This loophole in the law is grossly unfair on disabled youngsters and why more than 10,000 people have come together to sign our petition.
Why this campaign is so important to families
Leanna, whose son Billy aged 17 has a rare chromosome disorder, said: “When Billy qualified for free school transport, aged six, it allowed me to think about a career and I started a degree, I did teacher training and got a job as an English Teacher in a local secondary school. I wanted to work and give back to my community and it was amazing to have the opportunity to do that.
“But when Billy turned 16 I was told that he would no longer get school transport, even though he was staying at the same school. It is essential that Billy goes to college, he has therapies there which are helping him progress, so I have given up my job to transport him myself ensuring he stays at college.”
Laura, whose 16-year-old daughter Sara, is paralysed from the chest down, and has learning difficulties, epilepsy and scoliosis, said: “We’ve been told we need to pay £600 to continue getting the transport that my daughter Sara has had since she started at the school aged three. This is unaffordable and unfair.
“It is affecting some of the most vulnerable children and families not just in Coventry, but up and down the country. That’s why we have travelled down to Downing Street today to deliver this petition. The government must change this unfair loophole in the law.”
Help contact.org.uk challenge loophole in the rules
We are interested in hearing from families of children who are around 14 years old, currently eligible for transport, and will potentially be affected by a decision at post-16 where free home to school transport would be removed. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to find out more.