Mother banned from four-year-old son's school taxi (From East London and West Essex Guardian Series)
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Loughton mother banned from four-year-old son's school taxi
A mother has been told she would not be permitted to accompany her four-year-old son in a council-funded taxi to school.
Sarah Barnet, a full time nanny of Avenue Gate in Loughton, was unsuccessful in her efforts to get her son, Archie, into several of the town’s primary schools.
He has now been offered a place at Hillhouse Primary School in Waltham Abbey, which is six miles from his home.
But Miss Barnet was told she would not be allowed to travel with Archie in a taxi provided by the council due to the cost.
Miss Barnet said: “Essex County Council told me they could provide a taxi to take him to school but I wasn’t allowed to go with him.
“There is no way I will leave my four-year-old son in a taxi by himself it’s ridiculous.”
An Essex County Council spokesman said: “Transport is provided for children to be taken to and from school and this is not extended to parents being able to travel.
“To do so would incur additional costs for the authority and its residents.
“There would also be a problem with child safeguarding if the taxi was picking up multiple children.
“Parents might not be comfortable with an unknown adult accompanying their child.
“If we were to allow parents to travel with children where would we draw the line?”
All the taxi drivers used for such journeys by Essex County Council undergo a criminal record background check and comply with child safeguarding laws.
As an alternative to using a council funded taxi parents can be provided with a fuel allowance, as long as the cost was not more than that of the taxi.
Miss Barnet is set to appeal the decision.
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