Leeds Labour councillors make cut to school transport for vulnerable young people. Unite Community says think again

Cutting school transport for young people with special educational needs and disabilities is NOT an OK way to implement cuts. It is discriminatory with regard to the right to access education, and will cause considerable distress to the young people affected; the idea of “transport training” as an alternative shows a worrying failure to understand or learn about the issues affecting some of these young people, and places the onus on the individual to cope and become “normalised” rather than having an equal right to have their actual needs met. The decision relies on further intensifying the exploitation of unpaid labour of parents and other unwaged carers – mainly women. It is absolutely typical of the reasons why 86% of the austerity cuts have fallen on the shoulders of women – a fact we rightly claim to find unacceptable. By what right do we expect them, as mothers and parents, to put aside their own needs, in some cases their own incomes and jobs, to take up the slack of our collective responsibility to see that everyone’s care and support needs are met? These young people and their parents are amongst those with the least voice, and with no statutory rights in this matter – we cannot allow this to be a reason for sidelining their needs.

Please read the article, share it and talk to your councillors, MPs and other organisations about it. And please try to get along to the demo and show your solidarity! Leeds Town Hall, 12 – 2pm, Saturday 28th April.

safe_image (1)Members of DEAL LEEDS who are opposing cuts to their children’s school transport

Labour-controlled Leeds City Council has decided to cut universal school transport provision for post-16 year old young people with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND). The cut will be implemented from this September. Unite Community is deeply concerned about this decision and urges the Council to reverse it in order to protect a very vulnerable group.

The Council says that only SEND students ‘with the most complex needs’ will be provided with a full transport service, while others will receive ‘travel training’ or help with transport costs such as taxi fares. But, parents say, most of those affected also have very complex needs and strongly disagree with the Council’s view. Parents also state that the mileage rate on offer will not cover the full cost of travel and that escorts will not be provided as at present…

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