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Training young people with special educational needs to use public transport independently

Young people with SEND can get independent travel training to learn how to travel to school or college by public transport.
How to contact the Travel Coordination Team

During the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, wherever possible please contact the Travel Coordination Team via email at tct@lewisham.gov.uk rather than by telephone. All members of the team have access to this inbox and it will be checked throughout each day. Please include your name, your child’s name, and a contact number in any emails.

What is independent travel training?

Travel training gives disabled, disadvantaged and vulnerable people the skills and confidence they need to travel independently to schools and colleges.

The programme includes:

  • one-to-one personalised travel trainer support
  • increased confidence and self-esteem
  • journey planning
  • road and personal safety skills
  • time management
  • problem solving in unexpected situations
  • emergency strategies.

Additional benefits

These skills can help people access further training, employment and locations that they were previously unable to independently.

Because of the independence young people will get from the training, their parents and carers can benefit from a long-term reduction in care responsibilities. This will help them participate more in employment, education and leisure activities.

Who can access independent travel training

Independent travel training is for children and young people who:

  • are aged 10–25
  • have an education, health and care plan (EHCP)
  • get, or are eligible for, travel assistance to access their school or college.

How the training is delivered

A travel trainer gives the training on a one-to-one basis. The trainer will support the young person through the different stages of training:

  1. Initial road safety and personal safety training
  2. Initial training to the student’s bus stop or train station
  3. Training from home to school or college
  4. Shadowing the journey
  5. Final review/assessment and sign-off

Parents and carers will be involved from the outset. The travel trainer will meet them to:

  • explain how the programme works
  • make sure the training is tailored to meet the student’s needs
  • answer any questions.

Throughout the training, there will be regular reviews and assessments of the young person’s progress, which will be shared with the family.

The trainer will provide a timetable for the training sessions, which will be constructed around the learner’s school start and finish times.

If the school timetable changes (because of a visit or exams, for example) the travel training will be rescheduled. Group travel awareness sessions are arranged with the schools concerned.

Is travel training the right thing for all learners?

All learners referred for independent travel training will be assessed by the programme leader or a travel trainer.

Travel training attempts to identify the best option for the learner. Travel training might not be appropriate if there are no viable public transport options available in the learner’s area or the proposed route is too challenging for the particular learner at that time.

Around 80% of learners complete the training and become independent travellers on their chosen route. However, travel training is not about passing or failing. The timing for training might not have been perfect or the learner may have had to deal with other issues. These learners stay on file and can re-enter travel training at a later date.

Additional training

Each young person is different and some need longer to complete the training than others. There is no time limit for travel training.

The travel trainer will contact the family three and six months after the training finishes to check on how the learner is getting on and to identify any further training needs.

The family can contact the travel trainer at any time for advice or to ask for additional training. If there is a change in circumstances, such as a house move, travel trainers will try to provide travel training at the earliest opportunity to meet the new need.

Cost

Travel training is free and has no impact on any benefits you claim.

If you get travel assistance

Training normally takes place one day a week over the period of a term, unless the trainer identifies that the young person needs more intensive work.

If a learner gets travel assistance, they should use their normal mode of transport to get to school on days where there is no travel training.

If the learner completes the training and becomes independent on the route, they will start using public transport instead of the taxi or mini bus we provide.

It is important to stress that each case is determined by the needs of the learner.

How to apply or make a referral

  • Anyone can refer someone for travel training.
  • Complete the referral form below in as much detail as possible and email it to travelcoordination.team@lewisham.gov.uk.

TravelTrainingReferralForm

Pdf, 207.1KB

Download

After you make a referral

  • We will review the referral form and assess the information provided.
  • A travel trainer will organise a meeting with the family and the young person to discuss the programme in more detail and complete the assessment (including any necessary risk assessment).
  • If the young person is identified as suitable for independent travel training, training will be scheduled with the travel trainer.