A Wallingford mother is urging the community to sign a petition calling for enhanced transport safety for special education needs (SEN) children after her friend's child was “restrained” by a transport assistant.

The petition asks for cameras on board transportation to ensure children’s safety and “allow for the review of incidents involving students who may not be able to speak, report, or defend themselves”.

Amy White, whose son takes local authority-arranged transport to a specialist educational facility, is concerned for the welfare of all children who require use of such transportation.

Ms White said: “This transport is a need, not a luxury and I have been told horror stories of children receiving inadequate treatment.

“Cameras on board would protect both them and the driver. It’s not an unreasonable ask – why is it not in place already?

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“Both parties are strangers to one another and trips can take at least half an hour one way.”

Ms White’s fears have been exacerbated by an experience her friend’s child suffered at the hands of a transport assistant on board an assigned service.

She said: “A dear friend of mine found out her child was being restrained. The assistant was bragging about it and then whistle blown by a colleague.

“No action could be taken as they denied it and the child is nonspeaking so couldn’t be questioned. Had there been cameras, this incident would have had a different outcome.”

Since being launched, the petition, which is free to sign, has amassed over 14,000 signatures. At 100,000 signatures it can be considered for debate in Parliament.