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Plymouth City Council (21 019 138)

Category : Education > School transport

Decision : Closed after initial enquiries

Decision date : 11 Apr 2022

The Ombudsman's final decision:

Summary: We will not investigate this complaint about the Council’s decision not to provide Mrs X’s son transport to and from school. This is because there is not enough evidence of fault by the Council.

The complaint

  1. Mrs X complains about the Council’s decision not to provide her son Y with door-to-door education transport. Mrs X says Y has Autism and is finding travelling on public transport very difficult and the walk to school is not suitable as it is on busy roads.

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The Ombudsman’s role and powers

  1. The Ombudsman investigates complaints about ‘maladministration’ and ‘service failure’, which we call ‘fault’. We must also consider whether any fault has had an adverse impact on the person making the complaint, which we call ‘injustice’. We provide a free service, but must use public money carefully. We do not start or may decide not to continue with an investigation if we decide:
  • there is not enough evidence of fault to justify investigating.

(Local Government Act 1974, section 24A(6))

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How I considered this complaint

  1. I considered information provided by the complainant.
  2. I considered the Ombudsman’s Assessment Code.

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My assessment

  1. Mrs X applied for transport door to door, to and from school for Y as he has Autism. Y does not have an EHCP. The Council refused the application.
  2. Mrs X requested a review of the Council’s decision. A panel reviewed the appeal and Mrs X presented her case to the panel.
  3. The panel reported that they have provided a free bus pass using their discretion, but Y does not attend the school closest to his home that could meet his needs and is not eligible for door-to-door travel.

School Transport Policy 2021/22

  1. The Council has applied its transport policy and there is not enough evidence of fault in the way it did so warranting an Ombudsman investigation.

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Final decision

  1. We will not investigate Mrs X’s complaint because there is not enough evidence of fault by the Council.

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Investigator's decision on behalf of the Ombudsman

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