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Special Educational Needs

Department for Education written question – answered on 30th March 2020.

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Photo of Lord Touhig Lord Touhig Labour

To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the length of time it takes on average for a child to travel to a special school compared with a child travelling to a mainstream school.

Photo of Lord Touhig Lord Touhig Labour

To ask Her Majesty's Government how many children use home-to-school transport to attend special schools compared with children attending mainstream school.

Photo of Baroness Berridge Baroness Berridge Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for International Trade) (Minister for Women), The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Education

Information published in November 2019 by the Local Government Association in conjunction with census data indicates that more than 98% of pupils aged 5-16 attending special schools receive free home to school transport. This compares with around 5% of pupils attending mainstream school.

We have not carried out an assessment of the length of time it takes for a child to travel to a special school compared with a child travelling to a mainstream school.

The statutory home to school transport guidance suggests that good practice journey times should not exceed 45 minutes for primary aged pupils or 75 minutes for secondary aged pupils. It also acknowledges that journeys for children with special educational needs and disabilities may be more complex and, therefore, take longer. The guidance is available at the following link and attached: www.gov.uk/government/publications/home-to-school-travel-and-transport-guidance.

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