Cost of getting to school for children with special needs leaves mum feeling "stressed and alone"

Mum Jodie and daughter Alika

Jodie Branston is mum to 16-year-old Alika, who's due to start college next week. Yet, because of the cost of transport, she might not be able to go.

Alika is 16, and has ADHD, autism and sensory needs, and hopes to one-day fulfil her dream of working with animals. Her new college is 19 miles away - with no bus service. The cost of taxis will amount to £9,500 a year, and with Leicestershire County Council offering £2,500 - Jodie fears she simply can not afford to pay the difference. She has appealed, but with a week to go until the end of the summer holidays, time is running out for an answer.

Jodie is part of a social media group with others in similar situations. Parents of young people with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) in Leicestershire have been left uncertain over how their children will get to school due to delays over the funding for their transport.

Children with SEND are entitled to free school transport if they cannot walk to school, but some parents still have to pay for a portion of the transport themselves. With a week to go until the end of the summer holidays, parents of some post-16 special needs students are still waiting to hear how much money they'll be awarded.