SEND Independent Travel
Many UK local authorities run Independent Travel Training initiatives aimed at enabling SEND pupils to travel on their own. However, these schemes can be expensive, labour intensive, and have their coverage limited to a small proportion of the pupils who could potentially benefit. In addition, centralised independent travel initiatives can fail to convince the ultimate decision makers, the parents, to allow their children to travel on their own.
HomeRun provides a fully scalable solution that enables local authorities and the parents themselves to help progress suitable SEND pupils to travel independently.
See the below case study highlighting the effectiveness of our solution and the life-changing benefits it can provide for families:
LETS START AT THE BEGINNING...
Our story is a serendipitous one that started while working with a leading independent school. The Head Teacher asked if we could customise our mainstream Independent Travel Feature to help him and his wife assist their son Adam, who has a diagnosed condition of Autism.
Adam is 15 years old and was diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) from the age of 2 years old. His condition fits in the middle of the spectrum and is significantly more severe than Asperger's Syndrome.
Adam has always had an interest in cars, roads and travel. He attends a secondary school just a few miles away from his home, and despite having received independent travel training multiple times from his local authority, until recently he was still travelling with assistance....
Meet The Parents...
Adam's father, Lewis, is the Head Teacher of a leading Independent Prep School in London. Adam's mother, Nafisa, predominantly stays at home to care for him.
"Although Adam had undergone various travel training initiatives at his school, I still did not feel comfortable enough to let him travel on his own... I was just too worried about his safety, in particular, stranger danger and crossing roads… my predominant concern was the thought of what would we do if he got into trouble? How would we know... how would we find him…"
Nafisa, Adam's Mother
How HomeRun Helped Adam
As HomeRun already helps parents of mainstream pupils make the decision to let their children travel on their own to school, we always had in mind that we would look to assist with SEND Independent Travel. Therefore we made a few customisations and helped to setup Lewis, Nafisa and Adam onto the system. After just one week, Adam was travelling independently to school.
"Adam always wanted to travel by himself and HomeRun gave us the confidence to finally let him start. The fact that we could see where he was at all times and know when he had reached school safely made a huge difference and helped us finally make the decision.
HomeRun was really simple to set up, we just followed the instructions and were up and running in minutes. I took Adam on a few trial journeys while using the HomeRun monitoring feature and then he went on his own for the first time and has been doing so ever since."
Lewis, Adam's Father
Adam is travelling independently to school every day. He walks for 7 minutes combined and takes a single bus along the way. He tracks both his morning and afternoon journeys on the HomeRun app.
"Adam enjoys the routine of tracking his journeys with HomeRun and hasn’t missed a single journey in over 2 months. He also likes using technology and is fascinated by statistics. HomeRun’s journey dashboard is of particular interest to him as it shows him fun metrics of his commutes..."
Walk 2 mins
Bus 10 mins
Walk 5 mins
WOW! Adam Has Reached
250 Journeys with HomeRun
Walk 3 mins
Bus 22 mins
Walk 5 mins
Bus 27 mins
Walk 2 mins
To School and Beyond...
Adam is now not only travelling to school on his own, but is also making more complicated journeys. Even more so since he has starting attending a new college which is over 6 miles away from his home.
Adam is travelling on his own taking two long bus journeys with a change in Croydon's busy town centre. He continues to track them on HomeRun.
"We would never have considered him making that journey by himself previously. We now plan on letting him travel on his own to more and more places and maybe even use the underground as well...."
"HomeRun provided the help we needed to allow Adam to travel independently. Since then he has already become so much more empowered and liberated. Its wonderful for us to see him so confident.
We genuinely feel more hopeful about his ability to live a fuller life and his job prospects are greatly improved as well. Adam has a better future ahead of him now."
Lewis & Nafisa, Adam's Parents
Travelling independently to school is a catalyst for increased confidence, empowerment and independence for children. These qualities result in children with special educational needs living a fuller personal life in the future with greatly enhanced job prospects and reduced dependency on the state.
Parents of SEND pupils are best placed to assist their children's independent travel training wherever possible. They are the ultimate decision makers in whether their child can travel on their own and their input and comfort is the key factor.
Many local authorities' budgets are being stretched to breaking point by the growing costs of providing SEND transport. Greater urgency is required to transform current practices, and provide parents with options that reduce their dependence on a system that is in danger of failing them and their children.