Review into the changes to SEND transport

Last updated: 15 November 2022

Our management action plan has been published in response to the SEND Transport Lessons Learnt Review.


In February 2022, the redesign of special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) transport caused significant and distressing impacts to many pupils, parents and carers across the county.

The decision was taken by the Chief Executive, General Counsel and the Corporate Director of Finance (who all have statutory duties to ensure the lawful conduct of the council’s business) to commission an independent review of events so that lessons could be learned and implemented quickly and meaningfully.

The review highlighted the ‘serious flaws’ within the council in the way the redesign of school transport was handled and states that if the correct governance arrangements and processes had been followed or complied with then the service failure might not have occurred. It concluded that there needs to be a greater emphasis on good governance and that this, along with the impact on those who receive services, must be at the forefront of all future council decisions to make sure similar situations do not happen again.

The review was conducted by the council’s Internal Audit Team in accordance with International Standards for the Professional Practice of Internal Auditing.

It focused on 11 areas, setting out key observations, lessons learned and conclusions for each area. These included:

  • the impact on children and families
  • the communication with parents and carers about the changes
  • how decisions were made
  • the processes that were followed
  • governance arrangements
  • the communication between the departments responsible.

Read  the SEND Transport Lessons Learnt Review Report (PDF, 387.6 KB).

Management action plan

Our management action plan details the steps that we will take to learn from the lessons detailed in the SEND Transport Lessons Learnt Review.

We have already made some changes to our school transport processes which saw a much smoother start to the new school year in September for families who required transport.

We will continue to work closely with partners, including Kent Parents and Carers Together, so the views and experiences of families continue to shape the improvements made to our services.

Members will agree a schedule for scrutiny of the plan and progress made in future meetings.

Read the Lessons Learned Update from the Governance and Audit Committee meeting on 15 November.

Read the management action plan.