Funded school transport assistance

1. Free school travel assistance

You should check if your child is eligible for free home to school transport to your preferred school before you apply for a place at the school. If you don't apply for a place at your child's nearest school (geographically nearest to your home), you may not be eligible for free home to school transport to a school further away.  If applying for a secondary school you can check your nearest school here (Free School Transport tool). For primary schools contact us.

Free home to school transport is available if your child:

  • is between 5-16 years old (of statutory school age)
  • is attending their nearest suitable school (see definition below)
  • lives further away from the school than the statutory walking distances (2 miles for pupils under 8, and 3 miles for those aged 8 and above)

Your child may also qualify for free transport to the nearest suitable school if they are unable to walk for any of the following reasons:

  • they have Special Educational Needs
  • they have a disability or mobility problems
  • there is no safe walking route


Nearest suitable school

The nearest suitable school is normally considered to be the geographically nearest school to a child’s normal home address.  We are unlikely to provide free school transport to a school further away unless you can demonstrate you had applied for a place at your nearest school and any other schools nearer than the school you have been allocated.  The nearest suitable school for transport purposes is decided at the point your child is allocated their school place.

The nearest school is determined based on walking/driving distances, not direct line which is how admissions decisions are made. 

Most children do not qualify for travel assistance and parents are responsible for making the travel arrangements and meeting the cost.


Primary schools

If your child is of primary school age, please contact us.


Secondary schools

For secondary aged children check if your child would be entitled using our Free School Transport tool

Please do not assume that an older sibling who is already using free transport will automatically mean that a sibling will be entitled to transport to the same school. In order to determine distances for transport eligibility we use a transport network provided by Ordnance survey.  The checker is updated in August each year to reflect changes in the transport network and any updates could affect eligibility decisions from one year to the next.


Grammar schools

For a child who is qualified for grammar school, upper/all-ability schools are included when determining which is the nearest suitable school, for transport purposes.  Therefore if an upper school is the nearest school for a grammar qualified child we are unlikely to provide free transport to a grammar school.


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Last updated: 8 September 2020

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