Transport can be an important factor in the support for children and young people with SEN or Disabilities. Children and young people with special educational needs may be able to get help with transport to school or college. It is the responsibility of parents to ensure that their children get to and from school at the appropriate time each day. Parents or carers should consider the practicalities of how their child will travel to school before submitting their school preferences.
Independent Travel Training
Wirral Independent Travel Training (ITT) aims to give pupils with Special Educational Needs and or Disabilities (SEND) the key skills and confidence to travel independently using public transport to and from school or college. The aims of ITT are to:
- Increase independence and use of own initiative
- Raise self confidence
- Provide greater freedom
- Develop social skills
- Open opportunities for learning and work
- Less reliance on friends and family
What service is offered?
The service provides individuals with their own personal travel programme and assistance to learn how to travel independently. Working one to one with a travel trainer, pupils will be accompanied to and from school over an extended period of time until they are ready to make the journey independently. Training covers various topics depending on the needs of the learner. Areas covered are:
- Personal Safety
- Road Safety
- Recognising and avoiding dangerous situations
- Following directions
- Boarding the correct transport in the right direction
- Buying tickets
Pupils who have completed the pilot scheme report feeling more confident, having more self-esteem and feeling happier about accessing further education, work, training and other opportunities.
Who is eligible for Independent Travel Training?
The scheme is open to young people with Special Educational Needs and or a Disability attending Wirral Special Schools, Education Inclusion Bases in mainstream schools or post 16 provision. Students currently in receipt of school or college transport who would like to learn to travel independently can also apply.
How can I find out more?
To register your interest in ITT please contact the Integrated Transport Unit by: E-mail [email protected] Call 0151 666 4212
A good transport system is vital to the functioning of Wirral, the region and the country. Transport policies are aimed at providing for the mobility of all road users – residents, businesses, visitors, car users, public transport, cyclists and pedestrians, irrespective of age or ability. Transport policies also contribute to other policy areas aimed at improving the economy, environment, education, health and the quality of life. Wirral Council is the strategic Highway Authority for the Borough and, as such, sets transport policies to help support and deliver local priorities. The Council also has statutory responsibilities set out in a complex legislative and policy framework, including the Highways Act 1980, Road Traffic Regulations Act 1984, Road Traffic Act 1988, Local Government Act 2000 and the Traffic Management Act 2004. The responsibility for local public transport policy is with the Merseyside Integrated Transport Authority/Public Transport Executive (known as Merseytravel). Transport policies are incorporated into the overall transport strategy for Merseyside, which is set out in the Local Transport Plan (LTP). The Merseyside LTP is the main framework to help deliver local, and contribute towards regional and national, transport goals. It also sets out the schemes and initiatives that will be delivered, together with the performance indicators and targets that will be used to monitor progress. Wirral’s development planning policies relating to transport are set out in the Council’s Unitary Development Plan (UDP). The UDP, which was adopted in February 2000, will gradually be replaced by the Local Development Framework (LDF), which is a collection of Local Development Documents that set out the vision and special strategy for future development in Wirral.
Free travel assistance
Wirral Council has a statutory duty to provide free travel assistance to assist compulsory school age pupils within certain criteria. This includes pupils who: Are between 5 and 16 and go to their nearest suitable school and live at least:
- 2 miles from the school if they’re under 8
- 3 miles from the school if they’re 8 or older
Are registered at their local school and are unable to walk to school due to a route which the Council has assessed as hazardous. Are from a low income family (entitled to free school meals or maximum Working Tax Credit) if they are:
- aged 8 to 11 and the school is at least 2 miles away
- aged 11 to 16 and the school is 2 to 6 miles away – as long as there are not 3 or more suitable schools nearer to home
- aged 11 to 16 and the school’s 2 to 15 miles away – if it’s their nearest school preferred on the grounds of religion or belief
Are registered at their local school or the most appropriate school to meet their special educational needs and those needs prevent them from achieving independent travel or walking the statutory distance safely accompanied by an adult.
How do I apply?
In some cases transport assistance will be provided in the form of a travel pass subject to a number of criteria such as the age of the child, distance to travel to school, evidence of low income and availability of a safe walking route. Parents/carers of students with Special Educational Needs and or Disability (SEND) who wish to apply for specialised free transport assistance are required to submit an application. The new application criteria will also apply to existing applicants where there is a change of circumstances, for example, if they move house, change school or their benefit entitlement changes.