Section 56: Complaints about transport arrangements etc for persons of sixth form age
157.This section inserts section 509AE into the Education Act 1996, which makes provision about sixth form transport complaints. A sixth form transport complaint is a complaint about how an LEA have carried out (or failed to carry out) their transport responsibilities in relation to people of sixth form age. It can be made by a person who is, or will, be of sixth form age at the relevant time, or the person’s parent.
158.Section 509AE(1) allows LEAs to revise transport policy statements to amend transport provision or financial assistance arrangements as a result of a sixth form transport complaint, if they deem this to be necessary. Section 509AE(2) requires them to do so if the Secretary of State directs them to as a result of a sixth form transport complaint. Section 509AE(3) states that any LEA who amend their statement following a complaint must publish the revised statement as soon as practicable, along with a description of the changes. Under section 509AE(4) the Secretary of State need not consider whether to use direction making powers in response to a sixth form transport complaint unless it has already been brought to the attention of the LEA concerned and the LEA have had a reasonable opportunity to investigate and respond.
159.Section 509AE(7) provides that where an authority have published their sixth form statement and their transport policy statement for adult learners in the same document, the requirement in section 509AE(3) to publish a revised statement is to be read as a requirement to publish a version of the document that includes the revised statement.
160.Paragraphs 7 to 9 of Schedule 2 amend the Secretary of State’s direction-giving powers to make clear that they are subject to section 509AE.