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Home to School Transport Policy

The decision review process

The Decision Review Process

 

4.1. If the London Borough of Sutton considers that transport assistance should not be provided, the pupil’s parents or carers will be advised of the decision. This is typically within 10 working days from receipt, but may be longer if it was necessary to allow time to take professional advice or consult with parents or carers.

4.2. The London Borough of Sutton has a two stage home to school transport review process for parents who wish to challenge a decision about:

  • Their child’s eligibility;
  • The type of transport arrangements offered;
  • The distance measurement;
  • The safety of the proposed route.

4.3. During a review regarding the outcome of an initial application for travel assistance, transport will not be provided to the pupil. Where the review concerns changes to or withdrawal of transport arrangements for a child who has previously been assessed as eligible for the same journey, the Local Authority will continue to provide transport assistance, though this may not take the same form as that provided previously.

 

Stage One

4.4. A parent has 20 working days from receipt of the local authority’s home to school transport decision to make a written request asking for a review of the decision.

4.5. The written request should detail why the parent believes the decision should be reviewed and give details of any personal or family circumstances the parent believes should be considered when the decision is reviewed.

4.6. Within 5 working days of receiving the request to review, the local authority will acknowledge the receipt of the request and confirm the expected timescale for review and response.

4.7. Within 20 working days of receipt of the written request, a senior officer will review the original decision and send the parent a detailed written outcome setting out the nature of the decision reached, detailed reasoning for how the decision was reached, and information about escalation to stage two if appropriate.

 

Stage Two

4.8. A parent has 20 working days from receipt of the local authority’s stage one decision to make a written request to escalate the matter to stage two.

4.9. Within 5 working days of receiving the request to review, the local authority will acknowledge the receipt of the request and confirm the expected timescale for review and response.

4.10. Within 40 working days an independent appeal panel will consider written and verbal representations from the parent and officers and will review the original decision. They will send the parent a detailed written outcome setting out the nature of the decision reached, detailed reasoning for how the decision was reached, and information about escalation to the Local Government Ombudsman if appropriate.

4.11. The independent appeal panel members will be independent of the process to date, and suitably experienced to ensure a balance is achieved between meeting the needs of parents and the local authority, and that road safety requirements are complied with.

 

The Local Government Ombudsman

4.12. There is a right of complaint to the Local Government Ombudsman if complainants consider that there was a failure to comply with the procedural rules or if there are any other irregularities in the way the appeal has been handled.