The requirements for the Education Authority to provide transport assistance are set out in the Department of Education’s Circular 1996/41 – School Transport
Paragraph 8 of the above Circular recognises that transport assistance can be provided in cases which it considers to be exceptional.
It is not possible to provide an exhaustive list of those circumstances that are considered exceptional; however, grounds such as enforced relocation, severe mental health concerns or persistent/serious bullying by a fellow passenger would be considered. The domestic or working arrangements of a family cannot be considered.
When making an application parents must provide sufficient written evidence that demonstrates the exceptional nature of the case. Each application is considered upon its individual merits and the Education Authority reserves the right to request additional information and/or to conduct further investigations or inquiries.
Parents are encouraged to read this guidance prior to submitting an exceptional circumstances appeal, Appendix A- examples of exceptional circumstances guidelines.
The Exceptional Circumstances Panel convenes on a monthly basis to consider all applications and deliver a decision as quickly as possible. Insufficient information at the time of submission will delay consideration of your appeal.
A written outcome will normally be sent to you within 10 working days of the Panel.
A copy of the full policy guidelines and appeal process can be located here.
Please note that if upheld the EA is not required to make special provision over and above existing transport policy where this would result in unreasonable expenditure of public funds.
If your Exceptional Circumstances appeal is unsuccessful there is no further right of Appeal on these grounds to the Education Authority.
If you feel that the appeals procedure has not been administered correctly you can contact us through the comments/complaints process at https://www.eani.org.uk/contact/comments-suggestions-and-complaints
Until you receive formal notification from the Authority regarding the outcome of an appeal all transport arrangements for your child/children remain a parental responsibility.