Leo denied a lift to school despite daily struggles

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A Stratford mum, whose four-year-old son struggles to walk, is urging the county council to reconsider its decision not to provide him with specialist transport to school.

Paige Bolger was shocked to discover that the county council had turned down an application for her son Leo for free specialist transport, despite the difficulties he faces with walking.

Paige says Leo, who is autistic, walks more at the level of a 2-year-old and the 1.7-mile journey to Welcombe Hills School, would take him around 2 hours to complete each day.

After Leo was forced to miss three days of school, Paige says her partner was forced to leave his job to enable him to drive Leo to and from Welcombe Hills.

Despite appealing the decision, Paige says she has been told by the council verbally that this has been unsuccessful and is awaiting a formal letter confirming the result.

Paige said: “How can they judge my own child that they have never seen? We see the daily struggles he goes through. This is not helping Leo at all, he doesn’t like change or loud noises so the sound of cars going past will be very distressing for him. I just think it’s so unfair.

“I was so shocked when he didn’t get the transport, I don’t know how he didn’t get it. Leo has already missed three days of school so my partner has had to quit his job so he can take him in, we just thought it was so unfair that he would be missing out, but that will lead to financial complications for us.

“I live in Bishopton and it’s 1.7 miles to Welcombe Hills. Leo is autistic and struggles to walk, he’s four years old but he walks like a two-year-old, he’s not as developed physically. It will be a two-hour walk each day for him. I’m upset that they won’t accept that Leo needs transport when they’ve not even seen him.”

A spokesperson for Warwickshire County Council, said: “Leo Balsom’s application for free transport was refused as the distance from home to school is less than the statutory walking distance of 2 miles. Ms Bolger has lodged a Stage 1 appeal which is currently with the Appeals Officer for consideration. Ms Bolger will receive a full response in due course.”

 

  • 1jamessmith1

    ref ‘After Leo was forced to miss three days of school, Paige says her
    partner was forced to leave his job to enable him to drive Leo to and
    from Welcombe Hills.’

    Are we sure? This represents a very calous employer.
    Why couldn’t the Mom either deliver or collect the child from school?
    Parenting is meant to be a partnership?

    • Liz Guilfoyle

      James. Would you like to swap places with this boys parents and see how much stress we go through with children with special needs? We have to fight for what we should be entitled to. We’re not given anything for free. Maybe the mum doesn’t drive! We don’t get special treatment when we go to work. Not all bosses are understable that we have a special child we have to care for.. Maybe you should get yourself DBS checked and offer to take Leo to and from school with one of his parent’s being the safety escort. Don’t forget to have your car insurance updated and a safety inspection on your car..