County faces judicial review challenge over school transport policy changes and vulnerable pupils

Leicestershire County Council has been taken to judicial review over proposed changes to its school transport policy for vulnerable pupils.

It decided in March to remove transport for eligible pupils aged 16-18 and instead provide their families with payments to arrange their own travel.

Law firm Irwin Mitchell, which is acting for the affected Drexler family, said the council also removed discounts some families receive on transport.

Irwin Mitchell will argue on the family’s behalf that the county council’s plans breach both human rights law and the Equality Act 2010.

Article continues below...

Steven Baylis, an associate at the firm, said: “Access to transport is key to many people with disabilities receiving the education they require.

“The family would rather not be in this position but feel they have been left with little choice but to bring this legal case because of the county council’s reluctance to enter into meaningful talks about finding a solution.”

Kirstine Drexler, 16, for whom Irwin Mitchell is acting, is severely disabled and uses council transport services for the 26-mile round trip from her home in Markfield to a special school.

A Leicestershire spokesperson said: “We can confirm that a judicial review is taking place, but we are unable to comment because of the live proceedings taking place.”

Mark Smulian