Transport: school / further education

Under 5’s school transport

An excellent 2019 report[1] from the ombudsman sets out the law and the requirements of the relevant statutory guidance concerning the legal obligations on a council to provide transport for a disabled child below statutory school age.

In the case considered by the ombudsman, the council had misunderstood the law, misunderstood the facts and misunderstood the minimum requirements for a lawful appeals process. Although by the time the ombudsman prepared his report, the council had adopted a revised policy – this policy was almost certainly unlawful for the purposes of the Equality Act 2010 and amounted to a ‘fettering’ of its discretion.


School transport for children of statutory school age

An excellent Cerebra guide explains the legal duties on local authorities to provide free school transport for disabled children in England – to download a copy – click here.

For an equally excellent YouTube lecture on the law by Michelle Michaelson from IPSEA – click here.


Post 16 students and school transport

For a commentary on an ombudsman’s report which explains the law and policy for students over 16 years of age – click here.


Post 19 students and education related transport

The ombudsman has reviewed the law concerning the duty to transport young adults (post 19) to education / training in a 2019 report[2] which is discussed in a ‘post’ which can be accessed by clicking here.

In a 2020 report the ombudsman held it to be maladministration for a council to have a policy that stated: (a) this support would only be provided in exceptional circumstances; and (b) created a presumption that families would ‘provide transport in practically all cases’.[3]


[1] Complaint no 18 017 909 against Herefordshire Council, 24 July 2019.
[2] Complaint no 17 017 296 against Birmingham City Council, 3 April 2019.
[3] Complaint no 18 012 500 against East Sussex County Council, 20 January 2020.