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(UK) Stoke-on-Trent: Nonverbal autistic 6 y.o. misses 8 days of school; no transport

Sept 18, 2023, Daily Record: Mum blasts council after son misses first eight days of school due to transport row

Central England

Carter Birks, six, is autistic and non-verbal and requires transport to get him to and from his specialist school.

A boy has missed his first eight days of school - because the local council hasn't provided transport to get him there. Carter Birks, six, is autistic and non-verbal, while also suffering from hypermobility.

The youngster needs transport to take him four miles from his home in Longton, Stoke-on-Trent, to Merryfields School, an additional support needs establishment, in Newcastle-under-Lyme, reports Stoke-on-Trent Live.

Carter's mum, Stephanie Jones, says she applied to Stoke-on-Trent City Council for the lifeline transport back in August and was told that Autocab would be providing the service.

But the lad has spent his days at home, rather than school, after no vehicles arrived to take him….

Autocab claims it has received a "significant volume of enquiries from concerned parents" who had been told by the authority that the firm would provide transport for these kids. Autocab says it has not been told to take Carter, or other kids, to school.

The city council failed to respond to Stoke-on-Trent Live's request for comment. However, it is understood that Carter should have a disclosure-checked chaperone to transport him to and from school from today….

Autocab has been part of the council's home-to-school transport service since 2016. It comes as the council cut £570,000 [$706,000] from its special needs school transport provision earlier this year.

Autocab boss Waqas Yaqub said: “We have been receiving a significant volume of enquiries from concerned parents who have recently received correspondence from Stoke-on-Trent City Council regarding Autocab's role in transporting their children for this academic term. "Regrettably, in several instances, we did not have any correspondence from the council regarding these students, necessitating us to direct these parents back to the council for clarification….


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