School Transport Appeals
Appealing a decision about a home to school transport application
If you feel that a decision has been made to refuse your home-to-school transport application, but that further information should be considered, because there are Exceptional Circumstances, you can appeal.
The appeals process
There are two possible stages in the appeal process.
Stage 1 allows applicants to appeal to a Senior Officer to undertake a thorough review of your application and make a decision based on their findings. This enables appeals to be dealt with quickly and to take into account any other factors that you feel means that you should receive free school transport.
You may also submit a Stage 1 Appeal if you have applied and are eligible for Post-16 SEN transport but are unable to pay the required contribution and meet instalments. In this circumstance, an appeal will only be considered upon receipt of evidence of both low income (you are entitled to free school meals or in receipt of the maximum level of working tax credit) and that you have been rejected for a bursary or financial assistance from your school/college.
If you're not satisfied with the decision made at the Stage 1 Appeal, you can then move to a Stage 2 Appeal, where your case is heard by an independent panel.
Stage 1 Appeal
We'll send you a letter telling you about the decision to refuse your application for free school transport. You have 20 working days from the date you receive this letter to make an application asking for a review of the decision (a Stage 1 Appeal).
You should make a Stage 1 Appeal Application online - you can attach any relevant documents to the appeal form.
The request should tell us why you believe the decision should be reviewed, and give details of any personal and/or family circumstances you believe we should consider when we do so.
Generally, reviews of decisions are only considered in exceptional circumstances.
Please bear in mind:
- if you've chosen a school for your child which is not the nearest school to where you live, it's your responsibility to consider how to get your child to that school
- it's your legal responsibility to make sure your child is accompanied on a journey where that's appropriate - we are unable to consider your work commitments as a reason for you to be unable to accompany your child yourself
- if your appeal relates to a medical issue, you'll need to provide documentary evidence of this alongside the appeal form when you submit it
- if your child has a Statement of Special Educational Needs you should discuss school transport with the Special Educational Needs (SEN) and Disabled Children's Team
- the criteria for assistance with school transport for low income families is set nationally, so this will have been looked at already in your original transport application - we can't reconsider decisions on this basis as the rules are set by the government
Within 20 working days of the application a senior council officer will review the original decision and send you a detailed written outcome.
Stage 2 Appeal
You have 20 working days from the receipt of our Stage 1 decision letter to make a request to escalate the appeal to Stage 2.
You don't need to resubmit any paperwork (unless you have any updated information), as the original Stage 1 appeal submission will be used.
You should make a Stage 2 Appeal Application online.
An independent Appeal Panel will consider the case, along with a verbal representation from you (if you wish to attend), within 40 working days.
We will send you a detailed written outcome.
Local Government Ombudsman
You can apply for a review of the decision through the Local Government Ombudsman if you think that:
- the rules haven't been followed
- it's taken too long to reach a decision
- the way that your appeal has been handled has been irregular or unfair
- if you feel the decision of the independent panel is flawed on public law grounds