Bureaucrats refuse girl lift in sister's free taxi

14th February 2003 at 00:00
A NORTH Wales council has refused to let a pupil share the free taxi that takes her sister to school. If she wants a lift, says the authority, she must pay pound;40 a term.

Next September, Fiona Nicholas wants to start at the same secondary as her elder sister, Brenda.

But Flintshire council has refused to let the 10-year-old share the taxi that takes Brenda to Argoed comprehensive, arguing that there is another school nearer to her home. The council agreed to give free transport to Brenda, who has a statement of special needs, after the 13-year-old was bullied at her local comprehensive. As there is no bus covering the four-mile trip, a taxi picks her up each day.

But the Labour-run council will not offer the same service for Fiona, who also has special needs, but no statement. If Fiona is to share the taxi, she must pay pound;40 a term: which her parents, who are on income support, cannot afford.

"The taxi comes for Brenda anyway, and it has spare seats," said Philip Nicholas, the girls' father. "I don't want Fiona to be bullied too. If needs be, I'll keep her off school, and the council will have to supply a home tutor."

Mr Nicholas has written to his local MP, and lodged an appeal with the council. So far, it remains unmoved: "If parents opt for a school other than the nearest to their home, they have to pay for transport," a spokesman said. But, he added that the council would review the unusual case.

Log-in as an existing print or digital subscriber

Forgotten your subscriber ID?

Subscribe

To access this content and the full TES archive, subscribe now.

View subscriber offers

Get TES online and delivered to your door – for less than the price of a coffee

Save 33% off the cover price with this great subscription offer. Every copy delivered to your door by first-class post, plus full access to TES online and the TES app for just £1.90 per week.
 
Subscribers also enjoy a range of fantastic offers and benefits worth over £270:

  • Discounts off TES Institute courses
  • Access over 200,000 articles in the TES online archive
  • Free Tastecard membership worth £79.99
  • Discounts with Zipcar, Buyagift.com, Virgin Wines and other partners
Order your low-cost subscription today