The Ombudsman’s investigation found numerous faults with the way the council dealt with a mother’s application for school transport. It found there was unacceptable delay in dealing with her request, and poor communication when processing it. The report has also criticised the council’s record keeping, and for failing to complete a carer’s assessment of the mother’s needs.
The Ombudsman has the power to make recommendations to improve processes for the wider public. In this case, the council has agreed to implement the findings of its current consultation on transport policy, and ensure applicants are clearly signposted to any revised policy. It has also agreed to review all transitional cases and write to those affected. It will review its policies and procedures around providing escorts, to ensure risk assessments are carried out in good time, and it will review its policies on carer’s assessments to ensure staff are aware when carers need support.
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