Agenda and minutes

Venue: County Hall, Preston

Contact: Iris Winn  Tel: (01772) 537986, Email:  appeals@lancashire.gov.uk

Items
No. Item

1.

Apologies

Minutes:

CC J Cooney

CC C Wakeford

2.

Disclosure of Pecuniary and Non-Pecuniary Interests

Members are asked to consider any Pecuniary and Non-Pecuniary Interests they may have to disclose to the meeting in relation to matters under consideration on the Agenda.

3.

Minutes of the meeting held on 8th October 2019

Minutes:

Resolved: That; the Minutes of the meeting held on the 8th October 2019 were confirmed as an accurate record and were signed by the Chair.

4.

Urgent Business

An item of urgent business may only be considered under this heading where, by reason of special circumstances to be recorded in the Minutes, the Chair of the meeting is of the opinion that the item should be considered at the meeting as a matter of urgency. Wherever possible, the Chief Executive should be given advance warning of any Member's intention to raise a matter under this heading.

5.

Date of the Next Meeting

The next scheduled meeting of the Committee will be held at 10.00am on the 2nd December 2019 (Meeting room to be confirmed).

Minutes:

The next scheduled meeting of the Student Support Appeals Committee will be held at 10.00am on the 2nd December 2019 at County Hall, Preston (meeting room to be confirmed).

6.

Exclusion of the Press and Public

The Committee is asked to consider whether, under Section 100A(4) of the Local Government Act 1972, it considers that the public should be excluded from the meeting during consideration of the following item of business on the grounds that there would be a likely disclosure of exempt information as defined in the appropriate paragraph of Part 1 of Schedule 12A to the Local Government Act, 1972 as indicated against the heading of the item and that in all the circumstances of the case the public interest in maintaining the exemption outweighs the public interest in disclosing the information.

Minutes:

The Committee is asked to consider whether, under Section 100A(4) of the Local Government Act 1972, it considers that the public should be excluded from the meeting during consideration of the following item of business on the grounds that there would be a likely disclosure of exempt information as defined in the appropriate paragraph of Part 1 of Schedule 12A to the Local Government Act, 1972 as indicated against the heading of the item and that in all the circumstances of the case the public interest in maintaining the exemption outweighs the public interest in disclosing the information.

7.

Student Support Appeals

(Not for Publication – Exempt information as defined in Paragraphs 1 and 3 of Part 1 of Schedule 12A to the Local Government Act, 1972.  It is considered that in all the circumstances of the case the public interest in maintaining the exemption outweighs the public interests in disclosing the information).

 

Please note that due to the confidential nature of the information included in this report it will not be published on the website.

Minutes:

Appeal 4728

It was reported that a request for transport assistance had initially been refused as the pupil would not be attending their nearest suitable school, which was 0.82 miles from the home address, and within the statutory walking distance of under 3 miles and instead would attend a school which was 2.95 miles away. The pupil was therefore not entitled to free transport in accordance with the Council's policy or the law.

 

It was noted by the Committee, the appellant was not appealing on medical ground but was appealing on:

 

Financial grounds:  The appellant was in receipt of Job Seekers Allowance, Child Tax Credit and Maintenance for their eldest child but had not provided any evidence to support this. The appellant couldn't afford to purchase a bus pass for the pupil or pay bus fares to catch 4 buses.

 

Educational continuity grounds: The pupil was of a faith and had been baptised, therefore the nearest suitable school was deemed unsuitable by the appellant.  The pupil had been visiting the school attended and would receive extra help from the SEN staff when they went there in September 2019.

 

The appellant stated the pupil did not have the confidence to catch 4 buses a day on their own and had been run over twice.  The school bus stop was at the end of their street so they wouldn't have to cross any roads.  The pupil's elder sibling and their cousin who lived on the same street attended the same school and they had free bus passes.  The appellant couldn't accompany the pupil, as they had to take their youngest child to a different school.

 

According to the appellant, there are not 3 closer school and the pupil would still need a bus pass for whichever school they attended.

 

It was noted by the Committee that the pupil was on the school SEN Register but didn't have a statement of SEN or an EHCP.

 

The appellant was requesting transport from September 2019 until the family's circumstances changed.

 

The Committee were informed the Department for Education statutory guidance requires the County Council to assess transport eligibility by considering whether a place cold have been allocated in the normal admission round if the parent had included the school as a preference.

 

The Committee were reminded that from September 2015, the County Council removed discretionary elements of the Home to School Transport Policy and all new pupils starting school now only receive transport assistance if they attend their nearest school and live more than the statutory walking distance. The previous policy was much more generous and previous awards were granted to pupils who attended one of their nearest 3 schools, these pupils will continue to receive the award until they complete their secondary education. 

 

The Committee were reminded that it is parental preference for schools and academies and the application of admission arrangements linked to these which informs and drives the subsequent application of the Local Authority's home to school to transport policy.  The Council  ...  view the full minutes text for item 7.