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Free School Transport

1. Free School Travel Assistance

Parents are responsible, in law, for ensuring their child attends school so you should consider the daily journey when applying for schools. If it is not possible to walk to school because of the distance involved, you could consider using public transport or car sharing. Most schools have school travel plans and are working with parents to reduce their car use.

Travel assistance for pupils is generally provided where the school attended is the nearest suitable school and it is more than two miles (under 8) or three miles (over 8) from your home address. Most children do not qualify for help with home to school travel assistance and parents are responsible for making the travel arrangements and meeting the cost.

For secondary aged children you can check if your child would be entitled to free school transport by using our Free School Transport tool . This checker measures the length of the journey to school and includes any extra entitlements currently permitted under the Council’s School Transport Policy.

For primary aged children please contact us

Some points to note:

We only provide free transport to catchment schools or grammar schools where they are also the nearest school. All secondary schools are ‘suitable schools’ for transport purposes.

School places are allocated using direct distance whereas for transport eligibility purposes we measure the route following the road network. You can use the transport checker to find out which is your nearest secondary school for transport purposes.

Occasionally we will arrange transport to a school that is not your nearest school. We consider this where you have included the nearest school as a higher preference and have not been allocated a place there.

  • If you do not name your nearest school amongst your preferences we will not provide free transport to a school further away.
  • If, when you applied for a school place, you could have applied for a nearer school which had vacancies, but chose not to, your child is unlikely to be eligible for free transport.

Please do not assume that because an older sibling is already in receipt of free transport that a younger child will receive free transport to the same school. Eligibility may change as a result of changes to the road network or school gate locations or the order you express the school preferences.

Free transport on the basis of Low Income is available for children eligible to claim free school meals or where a parent is in receipt of the maximum level of Working Tax Credit. See here for more information.

You may also be entitled to free transport to your nearest school, if you live under 2 or 3 miles (depending on age) from the school and the route has been designated as an unsafe walking route, or if your child has difficulty in walking to school and this is confirmed by a medical specialist. You can ask about this by using the Contact Us Form if you think this is the case.

This summary is based on the Home to School Transport Policy as at August 2018. Both the council policy and the national transport legislation and guidance may change, so it is not possible to assume that this will always be the case.

 Paid for home to school transport

Spare places on school bus services provided for entitled pupils can be purchased on a first come first served basis. You can find out more information about paid for’ places here

 More information

For full details of Home to School Transport policy document

Print entire guide

Last updated: 7 September 2018

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