Parents and carers have a legal duty and a responsibility to ensure that their children attend school regularly and to make any necessary arrangements to ensure that they attend. In certain circumstances the Council has a duty to provide free home to school transport.
There are two grounds on which children qualify for home to school transport.
Criteria 1 – Distance grounds
To be eligible for free home to school transport on distance grounds, you must live over the statutory distance from your child’s nearest qualifying school. The statutory distances are:
|Age||Statutory distance from home|
|Children who are between 4 and 7 years||Two miles or more miles from the nearest qualifying school, measured by the shortest available safe walking route, provided they attend school all day|
|Children who are between 8 and 16 years (or for children up to and including Year 11)||Three miles or more to their nearest qualifying school, measured by the shortest available safe walking route|
Criteria 2 – Distance and low income grounds
To qualify for free school transport on distance and low income grounds, you must meet the following criteria:
|Age||Statutory distance from home|
|Children who are between 8 and 11 years||Receive free school meals or whose parents receive the maximum level of Working Tax Credit; and attend the nearest qualifying school and live more than two miles but less than six miles from that school.|
|Children who are between 11 and 16 years (school years 7 to 11 inclusive)||Receive free school meals or whose parents receive the maximum level of Working Tax Credit; and attend one of their three nearest qualifying schools and live more than two miles but less than six miles from that school|
Adult Bus Pass
An Adult Bus Pass may be provided for an adult to accompany a child under 8 years old.
For those children whose entitlement to free home to school transport has been confirmed by the Council, there is an option for parents or carers to use their own vehicle to provide home to school transport, if the Council decides that it is a cost effective choice in respect of transport for your child. It is also possible to request that another adult – nominated by you – be allowed to provide the transport for your child, but only with your signed agreement.
Privilege Fare Scheme
It may be possible for parents or carers to pay for travel on a home to school contract bus as a fare payer, but only if there are spare seats available once entitled children have been allocated seats. This is known as the Privilege Fares Scheme.
Post 16 Students
Post 16 students who have a transport need identified in their Statement of Special Needs or Transition Plan may receive additional travel assistance. Post 16 students without a Statement of Special Needs, but who have a medical condition or learning difficulty or disability, may also be considered for travel assistance.
Exceptions and Appeals
It is possible to apply for free school transport on exceptional grounds. These cases are considered on an individual basis, by a council panel.
Children living in temporary accommodation
For families placed in temporary accommodation Home to School Transport is only applicable where full duty to re-house is confirmed and it is established that the housing placement is anticipated to be for less than one school term. Families who are anticipated to be placed in temporary accommodation for more than one school term should make an application for a more local school place.
Family Led Travel Budget
Family Led Travel Budget (FLTB) is a payment provided to parents or carers to facilitate any arrangements for home to school travel in order to ensure attendance and access to education. It allows families to make flexible arrangements and monitor the quality of transport directly.
In order to access a FLTB there are a number of eligibility criteria that must be met:
- child must have an Education Health and Care Plan (EHCP)
- child must qualify for home to school travel under the Home to School Travel eligibility criteria
A FLTB may be allocated as a result of a Transport Exceptions and Appeals (TEA) application.