Page last updated at 16:39 GMT, Thursday, 10 July 2008 17:39 UK

Mum's police check for school run

Jayne Jones and son Alex
Alex Jones takes 32 drugs each day for his epilepsy (Photo: Merthyr Express)

A mother has been told she cannot travel to school with her severely epileptic son because she has not been police checked.

Jayne Jones, of Aberfan near Merthyr Tydfil, used to travel with her son Alex, 14, in the council-provided taxi when she feared he may have a fit.

But Merthyr Tydfil council has told her this must stop until she has undergone a Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) check.

The council said this was a standard requirement for escorting children.

Mrs Jones, 41, who is Alex's full-time carer, said: "I still don't understand why being his parent and being trained to use his drugs, I'm not allowed in the taxi.

"I would be in no contact with any children other than my own child.

"It would be a case of me going to school and catching a bus home and that's it.

"I really don't understand it."

Mrs Jones said she was in the process of being CRB-checked but was not allowed to travel with her son until it had been completed.

My husband and I are the only ones trained to give or use any medication for Alex
Jayne Jones

Alex, who requires 24-hour care, has cerebral palsy and epilepsy.

Mrs Jones said he required 32 anti-convulsant drugs each day and had an operation on Boxing Day last year to try to control his epilepsy.

He has been fitted with a Vagus Nerve Stimulation device which sends an electrical pulse to the brain at regular intervals.

These signals help control electrical signals in the brain that cause seizures.

Alex attends Greenfield school near Merthyr Tydfil and travels in a taxi with a driver and an escort.

But Mrs Jones said the driver and escorts were not trained to use Alex's medication.

"My husband and I are the only ones trained to give or use any medication for Alex," she said.

"If you use any kind of anti-convulsant drugs, you have to be trained to use them, they can't be handed over willy-nilly to anybody.

"If we can't get in the cab with him, then he's being put at risk."

Mrs Jones who also has another son, 8-year-old Lucas, said the experience had impacted on her whole family.

"What's important to us is Alex's wellbeing - Lucas knows which drugs Alex needs to stay alive - he's very caring.

"What we need now is to resolve the matter before September hopefully," she added.

A spokesperson for Merthyr council said: "We cannot comment on particular cases but can confirm that CRB checking is a requirement of our transport provisions in relation to adults travelling on home-to-school transport in the capacity of an escort.

"This is a standard requirement and has been for several years.

"Any adult acting as an escort will, in the public gaze, be viewed as acting with the full acquiescence of the council and hence with its implied authority.

"For the protection of the council and all vulnerable persons in its care it's essential all those endowed with an authority, implicit or explicit, should meet the security requirements within the transport contract provisions."

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19 Jul 07 |  Northern Ireland
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07 Oct 05 |  Lincolnshire


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