Over the past few months, we’ve heard from a number of parents and carers about issues they’ve encountered with regards to school transport. We raised your concerns, as well as a request to make public the home-to-school transport policy, to strategic contacts within Manchester City Council.
Amanda Corcoran, the council’s Director of Education, recently spoke with us to address some of the issues and sent the following letter to parents and carers.
Thank you for your letter outlining the current issues with home-to-school transport for children with Special Educational Needs and/or Disabilities (SEND).
We are aware of several matters that cause the service to fall below the standard we want and expect for our residents.
There are several contributory factors to the current situation which include a high number of staff absence, a significant number of late applications for transport in September and a transition to a new electronic system and database which has resulted in some teething problems.
We are working to resolve all these issues and have brought in extra staff to the Home to School Transport Service and Contact Centre to ensure the service is improved as a matter of urgency.
I have also agreed that we need to review and update our current home-to-school transport policy, working in co-production with parents/carers and children and young people. We will aim to do this in the autumn term once we have resolved the current situation.
I am confident that by working together we can improve our policy and the service which implements it. I will discuss with Manchester Parent Carer Forum how we work with parents/carers on this as we have done now on a number of policies and developments in the city.
In the meantime please accept my sincere apologies for the level of service parents/carers have experienced over the last few weeks.
Director of Education
Manchester City Council
As mentioned in the letter, the local authority will be working with MPCF to improve Manchester’s home-to-school transport policy moving forward. We will inform our members about any opportunities to give further feedback as well as to directly get involved in the discussions.
A fellow parent-carer from the Parent Champions group also sent a letter of complaint on behalf of their members and we thank them for copying us into the email. We are aware that the council has acknowledged their complaint in a separate email and will be addressing some of the general issues while asking that individual concerns be sent through the formal complaints process.