The Court of Appeal has dismissed a challenge to a local authority’s school transport policy and upheld the first instance judgment of Swift J. The local authority proposed to withdraw the provision of school transport for most 16-18 year olds with special educational needs and disabilities and to replace it with personal transport budgets which would in most cases be insufficient to cover the cost of the transport currently provided. The Appellant, represented by Jenni Richards QC (leading Ciar McAndrew from Monckton Chambers), argued that the local authority’s approach discriminated against her and other 16-18 year olds on grounds of age and was contrary to Article 14. Dismissing the appeal, the Court held that the “manifestly without reasonable foundation test” was not limited to cases involving welfare benefits and that the local authority’s decision was not manifestly without reasonable foundation or otherwise disproportionate. The Appellant intends to seek permission to appeal from the Supreme Court.
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