Terms and conditions of travel
Updated: 2 September 2020
We have a legal duty to provide free transport between home and school for children who are entitled under the county’s Home to School Transport Policy. It can also offer transport to other children.
We can also offer transport to other children if there are spare places on vehicles already arranged to meet the needs of the children entitled to free transport, or in the absence of suitable public transport. We can use public transport for large numbers of children making similar journeys. These are known as the 'Paid-for Travel Scheme' and work on a first come, first served basis.
The use of the words 'student' or 'pupil' applies to all children on transport.
The council reserves the right to amend the School Transport policies, with the latest versions being on the website.
Terms of travel for all students
- If your child leaves the school or moves address, you must notify us and return any bus pass.
- There will be a charge of £13, payable to Buckinghamshire Council, for new, lost, damaged or updated school bus pass.
- The pickup and drop off point for taxis or minibuses may be a central point that pupils will have to make their way to and may be subject to change based on the most efficient management of the transport. Notice of any change to these will be 7 days, where possible.
- You accept responsibility for your child whilst they travel to and from school on the transport provided.
- You also accept that you are responsible for your child until they are accepted on to the school transport each morning and alight in the afternoon.
If you are in any doubt of your child's ability to safely walk between home and the bus stop / pick up point then you should ensure they are accompanied. It is noted that in many cases it is not necessary or possible for parents to accompany their child(ren) to the bus stop/ pick up point.
It is essential that your child knows what to do in the event they have forgotten their bus pass and are not allowed to travel, or if the vehicle does not arrive for some reason. This could be returning home, telephoning you as the parent/carer, or another arrangements made with your child(ren).
- The council does not accept and expressly disclaims any and all liability of any kind, for any and all delays in home to school transport services, for any reason whatsoever that may be encountered at the start or end of the school day.
- The council accepts limited financial liability where a transport service fails to run at all for any reason that is proved to be the fault of the transport provider. This limited liability is limited to a refund of the price for the individual morning and/or afternoon journey(s) as applicable, as set by the council's Paid-for Travel Scheme. Any claim for a refund must be made through the school transport 'Contact us' form. This must be done within 5 days of the date when the failure occurred. Late applications will only be accepted if there are exceptional reasons and the Council’s decision on this will be final.
- Parents or carers of children who have a statement of Special Educational Need, or Education, Health and Care Plan who are on dedicated SEN Transport must ensure they are at home at pick up in the morning and for drop off in the afternoon. Transport crews are not allowed to leave the child without the appropriate handover.
Terms of travel for paid-for place students
- Please take note of any deadlines for the receipt of payment that may be advised to you and are available on the Paid-for school transport page. Failure to pay by the required date will result in the place being offered to another child.
10. If you still require a paid-for place on transport following a failure to meet the payment, you will need to apply again online. You will re-join the waiting list which works on a first come, first served basis.
If you have opted to pay by monthly Direct Debit, you must ensure you are able to pay all 8 payments. If payments are not kept up, your child’s place will be taken away and you will be required to pay the remaining period of the term that you have cancelled payments in.
If you need more flexibility with transport e.g. only needed for the first 2 terms, then the alternative shorter termly payment methods should be considered instead.
If transport is offered, it is the parent’s or carer’s responsibility to ensure payment is made (or a Direct Debit set up) in advance of the period their child is travelling. Passes are not valid before the period chosen and paid for.
11. Paid-for places are not guaranteed. This is because we may receive more applications than the number of seats that are available. Please note that in order to keep a paid-for place you must keep up to date with your payments.
12. The default offer of a paid-for place is on a bus (based on the preferences in the application form and available space); unless ‘TAXI’ is specified as a preference on the form. Where space is not available on a bus, but a taxi/ minibus that operates in the area does have space this may be offered instead, with parents informed of the boarding point as happens with the buses.
13. The council's Transport Service recognises the importance of these arrangements to the families concerned. We will do our best, once a paid-for place has been offered, to keep it for the child during their time at that school.
A guarantee cannot be given that a paid-for place will not be withdrawn at some future date. The council reserves the right to withdraw transport from a paid-for place pupil where any of the following apply:
- the place is needed for an entitled pupil
- the route is subject to change with a reduced capacity in order to reduce costs
- the route ceases to run because no entitled pupils are being transported
- for any other reason
Where a paid-for place has to be withdrawn for any of the above reasons, parents/ carers will receive no less than 7 days notice to enable them to make alternative arrangements.
Withdrawal of paid-for places will be on a last on, first off basis.
14. The council’s refund policy is set out in the cancellation/ refund policy (PDF).
15. School transport closure and route disruption information will be posted on our webpages at www.buckinghamshire.gov.uk/school-transport and you agree to use this service in the event of a delayed or cancelled day of transport.
16. Transport Services will use your (parent/ carer) email address as the main form of contact regarding your paid-for place on transport. You must ensure your email address is kept up to date. Failure to do so may result in your place being lost.
Covid-19 provisions from September 2020
17. Although schools are returning for the autumn term in September 2020, there may be future closures in light of Covid-19 local outbreaks.
18. If students are unable to attend school on a regular consecutive basis lasting more than 2 weeks as a result of a school’s decision to restrict student attendance due to Covid-19, we will be offering credit against future travel payments. If this occurs, we will contact you to provide further details.
19. Credit against future payments will not be provided for changes in school opening times/days where transport is still provided, such as a situation where a child is only able to attend school part-time owing to temporary school attendance requirements during a Covid-19 local outbreak.
Conditions of travel for all students
- Transport may be withdrawn for a child whose behaviour is not acceptable on the journey.
- Following an instance of bad behaviour, the parent/ carer will receive a written warning letter.
- If the child continues to misbehave on transport, they will be given a five-day ban, followed by a ten-day ban and finally, the transport provision can be withdrawn permanently.
- It will then become the responsibility of the parent/ carer to ensure their child’s attendance to school.
- If the incident is considered serious enough then the Council reserve the right to withdraw the child from transport immediately. When warning notices are issued to parents/ carers it is expected that they will check with their child that behaviour is appropriate.
2. If travelling on a bus, pupils must carry their bus pass at all times as they will be required to show them when they board the vehicle. Failure to produce a valid bus pass when boarding will result in the pupil being denied travel.
Defaced, out of date or passes issued to other users or for other services will be retained by either the driver or other Transport Service staff. Pupils on taxi transport are not usually issued with passes. Pupils must not attempt to board any taxi unless a seat on that taxi has been approved (either as an entitled passenger or as a paid-for passenger). Children not eligible to travel will not be able to board. Please see clause 7 below.
If your child loses their bus pass a 5-day bus pass can be given from the school office/ school reception. This can be used whilst you order a replacement bus pass for your child. If the bus pass is lost before boarding transport in the morning, transport will need to be arranged by the parent/ carer at their own expense.
3. Pupils are requested not to eat or drink on the transport for health & safety reasons.
4. Pupils must not smoke on school transport vehicles.
5. Pupils are expected to comply with the driver or passenger assistant’s instructions.
6. Vehicles must be left tidy by pupils at all times.
7. If your child is caught travelling without a valid bus pass and/ or payment is owing a fine of £100 will be given for every journey your child is caught:
- This will be reduced to £75 if paid within 28 days of the letter unless the Integrated Transport Service has received prior notification and have authorised travel.
- The penalty does not entitle the student to travel on Home to School services and an application for ‘Paid-for’ transport must be made to the Integrated Transport Service.
- View our Paid-for Travel Scheme application process and online form
- Applications for paid-for transport will not be considered until all outstanding penalties have been resolved.
Contact Transport Service for:
- bus boarding and alighting points
- Paid-for Travel Scheme
- 16+ SEN travel renewals
- bus passes
- complaints about the application of the Paid-for Travel Scheme
- the running of the transport
Integrated Transport Service
Walton Street Offices
Tel: 01296 387 439 (open from 8am term time and 9am non-term time)
Please contact Admissions and Transport Team for:
- eligibility and entitlement for free home to school transport
- exceptional circumstances
- complaints about the administration of the school transport policy
Admissions and Transport Team
Walton Street Offices
For SEN / EHCP enquiries please contact your linked SEN Officer.