A “severely” disabled six-year-old was left to go to school for a week without special transport.
Jo Spear, from Littlehampton, has spoken to West Sussex County Council (WSCC) about her “disgust” after being told her son would not be able to get public transport for five days last week and that he would only be able to get transport in the future biweekly.
Ms Spear’s son has complex learning and physical disabilities and the mother of three relies on urban transportation to get him safely to school.
She now has to do three different school runs for her kids, which she says takes up most of her day.
A WSCC spokesman said there were “significant challenges” with the availability of drivers and caregivers at the moment and the council was working to find a solution “quickly”.
He added that the council had offered Ms Spear a contribution towards her transport costs.
Ms Spear said the council had offered to pay for her son’s mileage to and from school but that this “hardly increases” current petrol costs and that she will still be reimbursed or asked for the relevant information to do so to edit this .
“The lack of empathy from the WSCC is disgusting, we feel it is our fault they are in this situation and are expected to address the potential fines for missed school days and prolonged tardiness” , said Mrs. Spear .
“They rarely answer the phone or reply to messages and don’t let you know what’s going on overnight.
“They changed vehicles, didn’t put ID on the cars to know what to expect, my son’s wheelchair was left in a disassembled trunk balanced on a spare tyre.
“We are now facing a minimum of a week without transport and do not know when or who will be taking my disabled son to his school.”
Ms Spear said the situation was having a huge impact on her health.
“I’m a full-time caregiver and I have my own medical conditions,” she said.
“I am absolutely exhausted and the kids are exhausted too.
“I spend most of my day in the car.
“They all start within 15 minutes of each other and one is in Littlehampton and the others in Worthing so it’s like I have to be in three places at once.”
A WSCC spokesman said: “We are in contact with the family and have apologized for disrupting their son’s school transport.
“There are currently significant challenges in the availability of drivers and nurses affecting some of our routes.
“This is a national issue and we are working to find a solution quickly and as an interim measure we have offered this parent a financial contribution towards their transportation costs.”
https://www.theargus.co.uk/news/21871109.littlehampton-womans-disgust-west-sussex-county-council-school-transport/?ref=rss A Littlehampton woman at West Sussex County Council’s disgust at school transport