Parents of autistic teenager bring legal challenge claiming their son is being denied full benefit of free school transport
THE parents of a child with autism have brought a legal challenge claiming their son is being denied the full benefit of free school transport.
The teenager, following consultation with medical and educational professionals, attends what his parents say is the nearest school capable of meeting his special educational needs.
The High Court heard the school he attends is not the most convenient but, given his needs, it is the most suitable.
The boy's family applied to the Minister for Transport for transport so he could attend that school.
The application, and a subsequent appeal, were disallowed last October on the basis that it was not simply the nearest school, counsel for the family said.
The family say they were refused the support sought and were offered concessionary transport at a cost of €350 per year.
The mother said she and her family have been trying to sort out the issue for several months, but to no avail.
The case is against the Minister for Transport, the National Council for Special Education, and the School Transport Appeals Board.
The parents seek an order quashing the decision to refuse to provide free transport for their son.
The respondent's interpretation of the rules under the scheme is incorrect and contrary to law, it is claimed.
Permission to bring the challenge was granted by Mr Justice Richard Humphreys who said the case could come back in January.