School travel assistance

We offer advice, support and assistance to eligible children and young people travelling between home and school/college in accordance with the criteria set in our home to school travel assistance policy.

Before applying

Before applying, it’s good to know the following:

  • It is the parent or guardian’s responsibility to ensure that their children attend school regularly
  • Students who are able to safety travel independently, or with the support of a parent, guardian or other appropriate person, are encouraged to do so
  • Free travel on public transport is encouraged wherever possible
  • All alternative options are explored before travel assistance is provided
  • Students who require travel assistance are offered the most independent and personally enabling solution
  • The type of travel assistance offered is the most effective, efficient and sustainable in terms of cost

You must read the full criteria set in the policy before applying.

You may also find reading the free school transport blog on the GOV.UK website helpful.

Types of assistance

Assistance may be given to those who are eligible by:

  • a free space on our travel training programme to build confidence for the future and support young people to travel independently
  • reimbursement of travel expenses or fuel
  • the allocation of a seat on a vehicle, with pick-up at a meeting point or outside the home


The council provides transport to eligible students aged between 5 and 16, with some discretion to provide transport for those over the age of 16 with special educational needs and disabilities and, in exceptional circumstances, to children under 5.

Eligibility is assessed by:

  • impact of special educational needs and disabilities
  • impact of mobility needs (student or parent)
  • distance between the school/college and home
  • safety of the route
  • low income

The assessment of eligibility will also take into account:

  • the age of the student
  • the students’ need for specialist transport
  • the students’ need for supervision
  • the students’ alternative travel options available
  • whether the student can be accompanied and whether the parent/guardian can reasonably be expected to do this
  • whether the student can independently use any form of travel card, or has access to a bursary fund on the grounds of transport

The council does not provide travel assistance to those who do not attend the nearest suitable qualifying school. For details please review the policy.

Assistance in future years

Travel assistance will only be granted for the length of time stated in the confirmation notice and will be given for no longer than one academic year.

Continuing assistance with home to school/college travel cannot be guaranteed in future years. You must apply each year travel assistance is required.


If a parent or guardian is dissatisfied with the outcome of the application an appeal can be made.

Appeal a travel assistance decision

You must appeal within 20 days of receiving a decision. Any appeals submitted after this date will not be accepted.

You should hear back within 40 working days.


The council is moving many of its services online and that includes our application form, email confirmation notices and email renewal notices. To request these services in alternative accessible formats, please contact the council’s Children and Adults with Disabilities Team.

We listened

During this years’ annual renewal of our travel assistance policy, we asked parents and guardians of children with special educational needs and disabilities for their feedback on using our application form. Read the feedback and changes we made.

To support us with future tests and co-production work relating to home to school travel assistance, please contact

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