Oakdale mum of disabled children faces school transport battle

Hayley Thomas and her fight to get home-to-school transport for her two disabled children. DETERMINED Hayley with her children from (lt-rt), Kiara, Krista and Todd at their home in Oakdale (5170378)

SICK WITH WORRY: Hayley Thomas with children (from left) Kiara, Krista and Todd

First published in News

A VALLEYS mum who claims she struggles to get her two disabled children safely across the road after school has spoken of her frustration at being unable to get home-to-school transport for them.

Mum-of-five Hayley Thomas said she feels sick with worry from lunchtime onwards at the thought of collecting her son Todd, seven, and daughter Krista, five, who both have autism, from Rhiw Syr Dafydd Primary School in Oakdale. She says there is a risk they could run out in the road.

Mrs Thomas, also mum to Krista’s twin sister Kiara, Jordan, 16, and Nicole, 15, said she sent medical notes from two consultants to Caerphilly council as part of her application for them to provide home-to-school transport for Todd and Krista, who are registered disabled with statements of need and have 23 and 15 hours per week of one-to-one support in school respectively. Mrs Thomas’ request was refused on the grounds the medical information was “not specific enough” and the school should make reasonable adjustment.

She appealed on March 3 and was awaiting the outcome as the Argus went to press. “I don’t want a row with this school, they have been brilliant with the children,” said Mrs Thomas, 38. “But I have to ensure my children’s safety.

“I have gone through the council’s criteria documents and provided everything.”

Dropping the children at school is not a problem as they get up early and can go to breakfast club, said Mrs Thomas, but the end of school is challenging as both children have sensory processing disorder (SPD). he school tried escorting Todd and Krista out of a different exit at the end of school but Todd became stressed and this solution did not work, she said.

A spokesman for Caerphilly council said: “The local authority and school have been very proactive in looking at a range of solutions to address parking issues on the school site.

“Mrs Thomas’ concerns are being investigated by council officers to establish if adaptations can be made to assist in the safe access/egress to and from school by Mrs Thomas and her children. The local authority is in regular contact with Mrs Thomas with regard to this issue.”

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