Medway Council (17 015 628)

Category : Education > School transport

Decision : Upheld

Decision date : 13 Mar 2019

Summary: Mrs B complained to us in 2016 about the Council’s decision to refuse her younger daughter, C, home to school transport to the secondary school that she attends (reference: 16 008 920). We found that the Council’s policy did not comply with the Home to school travel and transport guidance, and it should have offered C home to school transport. The Council agreed to provide home to school transport for C to her present school from the date of our decision; reimburse Mrs B for the actual home to school transport costs she incurred for C from September 2016 (up to a maximum of £700); and maintain its current Home to School Transport Policy for the present but review it within three months in light of our guidance. Mrs B complains that the Council has failed to carry out the agreed actions.

Finding

The Ombudsman upheld the complaint and found fault causing injustice.

Recommendations

To remedy Mrs B’s injustice, we recommend the Council:

  • continues to provide home to school transport for C to her present school;
  • reimburses Mrs B for the actual home to school transport costs she incurred for C for 2016/17 and 2017/18;
  • pays Mrs B £100 as a remedy for the injustice caused by the delay in undertaking the agreed settlement;
  • pays Mrs B interest based on the increase in the Retail Price Index on the transport costs incurred for 2016/17 from the decision date on complaint reference 16 008 920, and for 2017/18 based on the dates that Mrs B made payments for school transport; and
  • amends its Home to School Transport Policy to take into consideration the availability of places where the applicant applied for the nearest school at the time of the original admission application (regardless of preference rank).

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