If you think the council has made a mistake about a decision on your child or young person’s eligibility for transport, you can appeal. There are two stages to our appeals process: 

Stage One

Review of the decision by a senior officer in the service. This will not be anyone involved in the original decision.

Stage Two

Review by an independent Appeal Panel of council officers.

What happens next

If you are still not satisfied after both internal appeal stages, you can take your case to the Local Government Ombudsman. 

The stages are explained in more detail below, along with guidance on how to get advice and support with your appeal if needed. 

Please note that while the council cannot always agree to all requests and applications, we are committed to treating all parents and carers with sensitivity and respect at all stages of the appeals process. If you feel we have not met this standard at any stage of the process, please do let the Home to School Transport Service Manager know.

If you are not satisfied with the response, details of how to make a complaint to the council are below. 

Grounds for appeal

You can appeal decisions about: 

  • your child’s eligibility - how the council’s policy has been applied to your application for transport
  • the transport arrangements offered
  • how the council has measured the distance from home to school
  • the road safety of the route

If your circumstances have changed significantly, (yourself or your child), please re-apply using our online application form rather than using this appeals process. 

Pending your appeal decision, the council’s existing decision will be applied.  

Stage one: Review by a senior officer 

If you’re not happy with a decision on transport for your child or young person, send an email to to challenge the decision. It helps if you can use the word ‘appeal’ in the title of your letter/email, but it’s not essential.  

We need to hear from you within four weeks of the date the original decision was sent to you. Please tell us what you think is wrong and what you think ought to happen to put it right. Send us any evidence you think we should consider.

This might include any letters, reports, or representations from your child’s school, from your GP and/or a medical professional or from your social worker if you have one. 

If you need support with the paperwork or any aspect of your appeal, you can ask the team for help or contact Amaze, an independent charity commissioned by the council to provide support for parents and carers of children with special educational needs and disabilities.

Amaze's contact details are: 

If there is any clarification needed about your appeal at this stage, the senior reviewing officer may want to speak to you personally over the phone, at a time to suit you.

If you need a translator, let us know in your letter/email and we can arrange this for you at no charge.

Within 20 working days of you sending us your appeal letter/email, a senior officer will: 

  • conclude an investigation 
  • review the original decision 
  • send you a detailed written outcome of their review.  

This will explain:  

  • the decision following the stage one appeal
  • how the review was conducted, and if anyone else was consulted
  • what factors were considered
  • the rationale for the decision reached
  • information about how you can escalate their case to stage two if needed

The aim of the process is to reach a resolution of the appeal while applying the law and the council’s policy fairly to all.  

We expect that most appeals will be dealt with much sooner than this timetable suggests, particularly if there is time pressure. If your case is complex, we will let you know when we expect to decide.  

Stage Two: Review by a Local Authority Appeal Panel 

How you can escalate your case to stage two 

If you believe the stage one review decision is wrong, please let us know as soon as possible, and at least within four weeks. The council will set up an independent Stage Two Appeals Panel to investigate. 

The Panel will be made up of council officers, but they will be independent of the original decision-making process. The panel will be experienced in matters relating to safeguarding, risk assessment and safety. Again, the aim is to resolve the appeal and to apply the council’s policy fairly to all.  

The panel will look at existing reports and will also provide an opportunity for you to make additional representations, which you could do verbally over the phone or via an online meeting or in writing. If the Panel feel they would benefit from some further information to help them decide about your appeal, they may ask for:

  • a short telephone call with you
  • an online meeting
  • or to meet with you in person - you will not have to meet in person if this is not your preference

Officers from the Home to School Transport Service will also be invited to make any additional representations, again either verbally or in writing. 

You can ask a friend or representative to help and support you as needed. 

The panel will be set up as soon as possible, but not later than 40 working days after you lodge your stage two appeal. 

How a stage two appeal outcome is communicated 

A decision will be sent to you via a letter or email within a week of the meeting, explaining fully the rationale for the decision and covering: 

  • the decision of the stage two panel
  • how the review was conducted, and if anyone else was consulted
  • which factors were considered
  • the rationale for the decision reached
  • how to appeal to the Local Government Ombudsman if needed

Appealing to the independent Local Government Ombudsman

There is a right of complaint to the Local Government Ombudsman. This only applies if you consider that there was a failure to comply with the procedural rules or if there are any other irregularities in the way the appeal has been handled.

If you consider the decision of the independent panel to be flawed on public law grounds, you may also apply for a judicial review.  

Home to school travel & transport: review/appeals process 

  1. The Transport Officer (TO) declines the home-school travel application or offers travel arrangements the parent considers unsuitable.
  2. Parents and carers have 20 days to appeal the decision made by the Transport Panel on the basis of:
    • Entitlement
    • Distance measurement
    • Route safety
    • Consideration of exceptional circumstances
  3. Stage 1 - within 20 working days - review by a senior officer. The senior officer reviews the TO decision and sends the parent a written notification of the outcome including:
    • detailed reasoning for the decision that was made
    • notification of the option to escalate to stage two - an appeal panel 
  4. Parent challenges the senior officers decision - within 20 working days
  5. Stage two - within 40 working days - review by an appeal officer. An independent appeal panel, excluding the TO's and the senior officer, hears written or verbal representation from the parent and HTST service. The appeal panel in independent of the process to date a suitably qualified.
  6. The independent appeal panel sends their decision letter to the parent within 5 working days, including how to escalate the case to the Local Government Ombudsman (LGO).



Helpful resources

Some useful resources include:

Contact the Home to School Transport team


Phone: 01273 295 301 

Post: Home to School Transport Team, Brighton & Hove City Council, Hove Town Hall, Norton Road, Hove, BN3 3BQ.