My son attends a Priory Group special school which is just over an hour's drive away. He boards Monday-Friday, and the LA provide a taxi to transport him there
On Friday we recieved a letter saying that the taxi company had been changed and my son would be picked up on Monday by a different company, in a different car, with a different driver, at 7.00am, an hour earlier than his normal pick up time. At 3pm on Friday the "normal" taxi driver called us to say he had only just been informed that he was no longer required:(
We called the new company, and discovered the extra hour was required because the LA had decided to put all 4 students from the LA into one taxi, requiring a two hour round trip.
A year ago the same issue arose. We didn't complain until after my son was physically assaulted, and the school complained that the students were arriving in such a state that the whole of Monday was wasted in calming them down. The school pointed out that the 4 students are a particularly bad mix, and there were some serious concerns raised about the behaviour in the taxi. The school also pointed out that my LA was the ONLY one not to send an additional person in the taxi to support the students.
Naturally we complained immediately this time - but as we only got the letter on Friday, and the LA transport staff don't work weekends, we reluctantly sent him off with the new firm on Monday. He is in year 10, and working well towards his GCSEs and can't afford time off/difficulties at school at the moment!
The school also complained, saying that it had caused both academic and pastoral concerns last time. The LA responded to the school almost immediately saying that the change was made because the new firm do not have enough taxi's to split the route as has been done for the past year.
The LA have not yet bothered to reply to us!
I am assuming that "not enough taxi's in preferred firm" is not an acceptable reason to put my child at risk of assault, bullying and academic failure - but would appreciate some advice on any helpful wording I could use.
I will be asking to see their risak assessment as the risk is obviously high based on previous incodents:/
I think the LA are going to try to bounce it straight back to us and say "transport him yourself then". Can I refuse - even if they offer milage? I have a job which would be impossible if I have to spend three hours driving on Mondays and Fridays:/