Yet another example of barmy bureaucracy comes to BSS, this time via Bonetired.
The son of Bonetired's good friends is currently studying for his GCSE's. He's an intelligent, hard working young man who hopes to progress to 6th form college next year to study for his A levels. The kind of young man we all want to encourage to continue in education and do well.
There's just one issue. This particular boy happens to have Muscular Dystrophy, a severe muscle wasting disease which affects more than 70, 000 babies, children and adults in the UK. In this particular case the pupilt concerned has done well in mainstream education with just a small support package for his physical needs, so well he's just been made a prefect at his school. His travel to and from school is provided by the local authority in the form of specially adapted taxis and all has been working well.
If this boy stays on at school for his post 16 education the local authority will continue to provide and fund transport. However, if he transfers to a sixth form college also funded by the same local authority they will cease to provide any assistance with transport.
Utterly insane, except in the wacky world of local authority funding fights.
The reasoning is thus: if he remains in a school for his 6th form education the funding for transport continues to be provided by the children's education department. If he transfers to a 6th form college the funding also transfers to adult services who will not fund the specialist transport he needs.
This is typical of the battles disabled people and their families face every day in the UK. Squabbles over which department is responsible for funding are completely nonsensical when that funding all comes from the same money pot in the first place, ie the taxpayer, let alone from the same local authority!
In this particular case the parents will have to fight the local authority to provide that transport funding as it is impossible for the boy to stay on at school for 6th form, his school having no post 16 education. The legal argument will be interesting as those under 19 in full time education are technically considered to be children for purposes of benefits and child tax credits . If they remain children then an adult section of the local authority will argue it won't have to provide for them because they are children. However, if they are in adult education ie sixth form college the local authority can argue they are NOT children and therefore have to be funded by the adult department who won't provide funding because, you guessed it, they are children.
Am I alone in thinking that if all this nonsense was removed from the system there'd be enough money to actually fund the services in the first place rather than wasting all that money fighting about who's responsible for each particular service?
If anyone can help Bonetired's friends with their forthcoming battle with their local authority please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will pass the information to Bonetired.