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Eligibility appeals procedure

Eligibility for home to educational establishment travel assistance – appeal process

In certain circumstances, parents or carers may be able to request a review of a decision made by the Local Authority, or present a formal appeal to the Appeals Committee.

Stage one – request for review of decision

If you wish to challenge a decision about:

you have 20 working days from receipt of the Local Authority’s written decision on travel assistance to ask for a review of the decision.  You should complete the appeal form below, setting out why you believe the decision should be reviewed and outline any personal/family circumstances which you feel should be considered.  This will trigger the first stage of the review process (see appendix one of the Home to educational establishment transport policy).

Pending the review, it remains the parent/carer’s responsibility to ensure that their child attends school.

The original decision will be reviewed by the reviewing officer within 20 working days (wherever practicable) of receipt of your appeal form.  Details of the outcome of this review will be sent to you.  If appropriate, information regarding escalating the case to stage two will be included in this correspondence.

Stage two – appeal against decision

If you wish to challenge the Local Authority’s stage one decision, you have 20 working days from receipt of the stage one decision to submit your intention to progress your case to stage two of the appeals process where your case will be heard by an appeals committee. You will be required to provide additional information and supporting evidence as to why you remain dissatisfied with the decision. If you do not respond within this timescale it may prejudice your appeal. 

You can appeal on one of the two following grounds:

In addition to one of the above, you can also appeal on grounds of financial hardship if appropriate.

Pending the review, it remains the parent/carer’s responsibility to ensure that their child attends school.

To support your case you must submit your supporting evidence.  For example, financial hardship will require a completed Statement of Incomings and Outgoings; appeals on medical grounds will require supporting medical information from your GP or hospital.  It is your responsibility to ensure all evidence is made available to support your case in order for the appeals committee to make an informed decision.  Failure to do so may mean a deferral to your appeal hearing until such evidence is supplied.

Once your request is submitted, including all relevant supporting information, the team leader will send you an acknowledgement letter. You will also be sent contact details for your Local Councillor, whom you may wish to liaise with about your appeal, so that they can help and advise you throughout the process.

Democratic services will write to you when a date and time has been set for your appeal and you will be invited to attend the hearing – allowing you to make your case to the appeals committee.  Your appeal date will be within 40 working days of receipt of your request and supporting information.  Prior to your case being heard, a full copy of all correspondence will be forwarded to you for information.

Members of the appeals committee meet approximately on a monthly basis (dependent on demand) and consider each case on its individual merits. When all the evidence has been heard, members will decide if travel assistance should be approved or declined and a letter outlining the committee’s decision will then be sent to you. If transport travel assistance is granted, the type of travel assistance offered is at the Authority’s discretion and usually takes the form of a bus pass or most economical method possible. Cash grants and mileage allowances are not normally available and can only be considered where there is no suitable travel option.

There is a separate process for considering suitability of travel assistance offered, please refer to appendix two of the Policy for further details.

Decisions will be time limited and reviewed accordingly.

Please be aware that between August and October, there is generally a backlog of appeals waiting to be heard and it is important that you apply for travel assistance as early in the year as possible to avoid any delays.