In 2015/16, Haringey changed the policies for schools transport for SEND children. The new policy was meant to “encourage independence” for SEND children: for teens and young adults, for school aged children, and for children with physical disabilities. From the very beginning, sendPACT expressed concerns about this new policy.
In 2017, parents of school-aged difference saw the biggest change in school transport and certain special schools saw their buses reduced while the number of children needing the transport remained the same. Ludicrous conditions were put to parents for children collection/pick up. Many parents complained to the SEND transport department and received inadequate responses.
- sendPACT collected many of these parents experiences and reported them to the SEND Manager, Vikki MM, so she could act upon these issues. To our knowledge, the majority of parents who came to sendPACT were helped. But there were still many parents who were not happy.
- sendPACT attended and spoke out at an information event by Haringey who tried to explain to unhappy parents about the transport issues.
- Our founder, Marta Garcia, sent a personal email in 2018 to Haringey when they released a new application form for SEN transport – in her outrage (felt by many parents also), Marta expressed how the form was unnecessary complicated and long. The form was updated but still needs major improvements.
Today, the policy still remains unchanged. sendPACT has been lobbying with several local councillors to make them aware of this issue, and still interested to hear from families that are having issues with transport.
This has been a very difficult issue and there’s still loads of questions that need to be answered. Until the policy is changed, sendPACT continues to campaign for a fairer policy.