Surrey County Council v Ministry of Education: 1953

The council had a scheme whereby for those who lived more than the walking distance from a school, only transport from their homes to the walking distance would be free. The scheme failed because transport has to be to and from school. A local education authority is bound to provide free transport to school wherever a parent would have a defence to a charge of not ensuring the child’s attendance. ‘The case put forward on behalf of the minister is that, if section 55 stood alone, and apart from anything else in the Act, that is a possible construction and a possible view; but it is argued that if that view is adopted it will result in a scheme which will not prevent the parent from taking advantage of the provisions of s.39(2)(c) if proceedings are taken against him for truancy; and it is said that a scheme with such results is obviously not a suitable arrangement within the words of s.55. Mr. Williams agreed that if the scheme would leave it open to the parent of a child residing outside the three-mile radius to take advantage of that excuse, it would not be considered a proper scheme within the meaning of section 55’.


Lynskey J


[1953] 1 WLR 516


England and Wales

Cited by:

ApprovedRegina v Devon County Council, ex parte George HL 1989
A child lived 2.8 miles from school. The journey was rural and unlit. Whe he was 8, the education authority withdrew free transport saying it was practicable for a parent to walk with him.
Held: The decision whether to offer support was that . .
CitedJones, Regina (on the Application of) v Ceredigion County Council Admn 22-Jun-2004
The parents lawfully chose to send their child to a Welsh language school. The authority refused to provide free transport on the basis that a nearer school was available even though it was not a Welsh language school.
Held: Provided the . .
CitedRegina v Islington London Borough Council, ex parte G A (a Child) Admn 20-Oct-2000
The child was severely disabled and was to be schooled as a weekday boarder 75 miles from home. He sought assistance with the travelling expenses when his condition worsened and the arrangements became more burdensome.
Held: It was not open to . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.


Updated: 18 April 2022; Ref: scu.199245