Special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) transport - guidance for parents and carers

1. SEND guidance

What you can expect from us if your child receives transport assistance due to SEND

  • We will help keep your child safe by requiring all drivers and passenger assistants to undertake mandatory child protection, safeguarding and disability awareness training, as well as an Enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check in order to qualify to hold a contractor’s ID Badge prior to working on Council contracts. You may ask to see the driver or passenger assistant’s Buckinghamshire Council ID badge at any time.
    • Drivers who work for bus or coach operators will carry badges with yellow edging.
    • Drivers and passenger assistants who work for taxi operators will carry badges with blue edging.
    • Drivers and passenger assistants who work on wheelchair accessible vehicles must wear badges with red edging.

If a driver or passenger assistant cannot produce their badge, do not let your child travel in the vehicle and let us know immediately on 01296 387439.

  • We will ensure that your child’s travel needs are shared with the operator and they will make sure transport crews are fully aware of your child’s travel needs assessment.
  • The school transport operator will arrange a meeting for you, your child and the transport crew before the transport starts. The operator will be in touch with you to set this up. Where emergency transport provision has been arranged, this meeting may take place by telephone.
  • We will provide transport between your child’s registered home address and the agreed school/setting. The transport will not be able to go to another address e.g. childminder’s house.
  • If driver, passenger assistant or vehicle have to change at short notice because of breakdown or illness the operator should let you know as soon as possible.
  • Drivers will follow all driving and traffic regulations including but not limited to those prohibiting the use of mobile telephones when driving.
  • Our operators will transport a reasonable amount of luggage and medical equipment where required for passengers (e.g. one small suitcase, regular school bag, and for boarders only, standard-sized airline suitcase) and these personal effects must be stowed away safely by the driver.
  • Transport crews can carry required prescribed medication on board but will not administer it. Medication must be in a clearly marked container with clear instructions for administration by trained paramedics, in case of emergency.
  • Due to route planning, it is not possible to change pick-up and drop-off times to take into account your family commitments, but it may be necessary to change times if other children are added or taken off of a route.
  • Transport operators aim to provide the same driver and passenger assistant for consistency for our passengers, but due to breakdown or illness this may not always be possible. Should you have any concerns about changes made by operators please contact us.
  • We will ensure that all operators who work on Council contracts are checked to ensure they have business continuity plans, correct insurance, and relevant operating licences.
  • We will monitor our contracts with operators to ensure that the service provided is safe, reliable and meets your child’s needs. If you have any questions about the quality of the service you receive we will investigate and respond to you as quickly as we can.

How you can help us

  • Please make sure that your child is ready five minutes prior to the agreed pick-up time each morning. Operators are instructed to wait up to five minutes after the agreed pick-up time but will then leave. If this happens, it will be your responsibility to get your child to school.
  • There may be times when operators are unavoidably delayed. Please allow for up to ten minutes delay in these cases. If the delay will be longer than ten minutes, the transport crew should contact you, if safe to do so.
  • Please accompany your child to and from the vehicle and fit their seatbelt and/or car seat. Taxi transport crew are not authorised to enter your house, and drivers and passenger assistants should not leave their vehicle or other passengers unattended.
  • If your child travels in a wheelchair, the driver and passenger assistant are responsible for fastening the tie-down restraints securely, but we ask that you secure the lap belt.
  • The driver may ask for your help to encourage your child to wear their seatbelt. If your child refuses to wear their seatbelt the driver will refuse to transport your child as it is illegal and unsafe, and you will have to arrange alternative transport until a review of their travel assessment can be completed. Please contact us if you have any concerns.
  • You must be at home to meet your child when they return home from school. If you are not at home when your child is returning from school, then the driver or passenger assistant will notify us to seek advice. If you cannot be contacted, then we may redirect the transport to a place of safety where your child can be kept in a safe environment until you can be located.
  • If you know that you will not be at home at the pick-up and drop-off times, you will have to make alternative arrangements to transport your child to and from school.
  • Please let us know as soon as possible if there are any changes to your child’s needs which could affect their transport provision e.g. change of timetable at your child’s school or college, medical changes, etc.
  • If transport is not required on a particular day, please try to give your operator at least one working day’s notice of the cancellation.
  • In the event of a 'snow day' you should monitor the school closures webpage to ensure the school/setting is open. If in doubt, please contact your transport operator for advice.
  • If you are moving house within Buckinghamshire, please notify the SEN Team at least six weeks before you move. If your child’s address changes, the SEN Team will determine whether you remain eligible for home to school transport from the new address. The SEN team can be contacted by calling 01296 382269 or by completing their online contact form.
  • If we receive a new referral from the SEN Team for your new address, it will take up to 15 working days to put new transport arrangements in place.


If you would like to discuss your child's transport arrangements, please contact us using the Client Transport Contact Us form.


Version 2.1(November 2021)