Appealing a home to school transport decision

Summary

If your application for home to school transport has been unsuccessful you can appeal the decision.

Find out how with this visual guide to Surrey's transport appeals process (PDF).


You can appeal our decision if you live in Surrey and any of the following apply:

  • you have extenuating circumstances which you believe mean your child should be provided with free home to school transport as an exception to the policy. Please see our guide to parents on extenuating circumstances.
  • you believe that the initial transport assessment was incorrect.
  • you have been refused free home to school transport because the shortest walking route is under the statutory distance, but you believe the walking route to be unsafe. Any transport that has been agreed on the basis of an unsafe route will be withdrawn if measures are subsequently introduced to make the route safe.

Stage one: Transport case review

In order for your case to be considered under stage one of the appeal process, you must complete a transport case review form (PDF). On the form you must indicate whether you wish your case to be considered as an exception to the policy or whether you believe the original decision to be wrong. The form must be returned with details of the case within 20 working days from receipt of the original transport decision.

The written request should detail why you believe the decision should be reviewed and give details of any personal and/or family circumstances you wish to be considered.

Where possible, applications for review at stage one of the appeal process should be accompanied by independent supporting evidence such as from a GP or consultant, a social worker, the police, other local authority officers and copies of relevant court orders as appropriate.

When considering reviews, the following will not normally be taken into account:

  • Parent/carers' work or other commitments
  • Attendance by siblings at other schools
  • A work experience placement
  • An address other than the home address, including a childminder's address
  • Ad hoc visits to other establishments or locations
  • Out of hours clubs (such as a breakfast club or after-school activities).

Within 20 working days of receipt of the written request a senior officer, who was not involved with making the original decision, will review the case. More complex cases may sometimes exceed the 20 working day turnaround time for review.

The senior officer will write to you, normally within five working days of the review, setting out:

  • the decision reached
  • how the review was conducted
  • information about other departments and/or agencies that were consulted as part of the process
  • what factors were considered
  • the rationale for the decision reached and
  • information about how you can escalate their case to stage two (if appropriate).

Due to the current Covid-19 outbreak we have limited access to our post. As such we encourage you to scan your form and send it back to us by email with any supporting documents as follows:

  • Children without an Education, Health and Care Plan - schooladmissions@surreycc.gov.uk
  • Children with an Education, Health and Care Plan - sendtravel.assistance@surreycc.gov.uk

Stage two: Member case review

If you are unhappy with the decision at stage one of the appeal process, you can request for your case to be passed to stage two. At stage two your case will be heard by a panel of three Surrey County Council members. Members on the stage two case review panel will be independent of the original decision making process and will not have had any prior involvement with the case or be connected to the school or family in question. Details on how to request a stage two transport case review will be included in your stage one transfer case review outcome letter.

You must make a request for a stage two case review within 20 working days from receipt of the local authority's stage one written decision.

Stage two case reviews will normally be considered within 40 working days of receipt of your request, A copy of the paperwork that has been submitted to the stage two case review panel will be sent to you at least seven working days prior to the review.

You will be asked to indicate on the stage two case review form whether or not you wish to attend the review to present your case verbally. An officer for the local authority will also be invited to present the local authority's case. You are not required to attend and if you do not indicate that you wish to attend, the review will be scheduled to be heard in your absence.

The clerk at the stage two case review panel will write to you, normally within five working days of the review, setting out:

  • the decision reached
  • how the review was conducted
  • information about other departments and/or agencies that were consulted as part of the process
  • what factors were considered
  • the rationale for the decision reached and
  • information about the your right to put the matter to the Local Government Ombudsman.

Local Government Ombudsman

There is a right of complaint to the Local Government Ombudsman, but only if the complainant considers that there was a failure to comply with the procedural rules or if there are any other irregularities in the way the review has been handled. Further advice is available on the Local Government Ombudsman website or from the Local Government Ombudsman advice line on 0300 061 0614.

If the complainant considers the decision of the independent panel to be flawed on public law grounds, the complainant may also apply for judicial review.


Files available to download