This case was an appeal against an order of the High Court quashing the decision of the appellant council not to provide transport to school for a child with Asperger's syndrome. The child attended a mainstream primary school. The council believed that the child's needs could be met at other mainstream schools nearer to home. However, it had been willing to specify the school (as the school that the child attended in Part 4 of their statement of special educational needs) if the child's parents took responsibility for transportation. For a time the local authority provided transport without accepting any obligation to do so but later ceased to do so on the grounds that, since there were mainstream primary schools nearer the child's home that were able to meet these needs, it would not be a reasonable use of public funds.
The High Court quashed the decision but the Court of Appeal allowed the appeal. In the judgment of Lord Justice Moore-Bick, the local authority was entitled to express its conclusions as it did and was entitled to refuse to provide transport to enable the child to attend the school. In effect the nomination of the school was conditional on the parents taking responsibility for getting the child to and from school, failing which the local authority confined itself to specifying the type of school it considered would be appropriate for the child. The argument that what the local authority said in Part 4 was insufficient to comply with the Education Act 1996 s.324(4)(a) because it failed to name at least one other mainstream primary school was inconsistent with the language of the Act and contrary to authority.
The case report from the Times Law Reports is available here.