Westminster axes school bus service for disabled students
07:00 12 May 2012
Students with severe learning disabilities who cannot travel independently will have to make their own way to school after Westminster Council withdrew their daily bus service.
Brent, Camden, Hammersmith and Fulham, Kensington and Chelsea, and Islington councils provide services for pupils going to and from City of Westminster College’s Queen’s Park campus.
But Westminster last month removed funding for its six students leaving them to sort their own arrangements.
Des Reardon, college director for community services, said the college did its best to persuade councillors that this would not be in the best interests of students and their families.
He added: “Ending this bus service has made it more difficult for current and future students from Westminster who have learning difficulties or disabilities to travel to the college and access vital support and specialist courses that teach them valuable life skills.”
He called for a review of the decision.
The Queen’s Park campus, in Saltram Crescent, specialises in courses for students with learning disabilities.
Westminster has decided to provide funding direct to families, leaving them to organise transport arrangements.
Cllr Rachael Robathan, cabinet member for adults and health, said: “Westminster strives to help people with learning disabilities to integrate with their communities by encouraging the use of local facilities and public transport.
“The council is supporting each individual by reassessing their needs and providing solutions to ensure their ongoing access to college, using a combination of personal budgets, taxis and family support.”