Spectrum bosses will meet School Standards Minister Nick Gibb later this month to raise concerns over a loophole in safeguarding vulnerable children.
They’ll highlight school transport safeguarding issues and flag the absence of standardised or accredited training at a private meeting at the Department of Education.
Children with SEN and additional needs, including those in care and with foster parents are entitled to free taxis to and from school in England. Although the pupils spend up to ten hours a week in their company, there is no legal requirement for drivers or pupil escorts to be trained in safeguarding.
Spectrum Courses founder, Jane Saggers, says: “We are delighted to be meeting the School Standards Minister and will be asking him to make standardised training regulatory for all drivers and passenger assistants who transport these vulnerable children.
“At the moment there is a serious safeguarding loophole and a serious lack of understanding of these pupils’ needs. I am grateful to our local MP Tom Pursglove for his continued support and for arranging this meeting.
“Our new courses, accredited by CPDUK, will improve safeguarding, understanding and also make drivers and pupil escorts aware of the important role they play for these pupils.
“The course will also save local authorities huge costs in training in each county area, and our meeting, the day before the Chancellor’s Autumn Statement, is timely.
“The Children and Social Work Act 2017 currently going through parliament is proposing changes in safeguarding and we want to ensure that pupils with special needs and additional needs are considered a priority.”