Travelling to school
There is statutory guidance about travelling to school from the Department of Education to all Local Authorities. This means that Local Authorities must consider it when making decisions.
The guidance outlines that Local Authorities must make transport arrangements for all eligible children of compulsory school ages (5 – 16 years) who travel to receive education in a local authority area.
A local authority is not required to arrange travel for an eligible child where:
- suitable free travel is provided by someone else, for example, their school or the
local transport authority (for example, Transport for London); or
- a parent chooses to make their own arrangements for the child’s travel to and
from school (this does not prevent the parent from later requesting free travel to
Local authorities must make free-of-charge travel arrangements to facilitate the attendance at school of eligible children resident in their area.
A child is eligible if they are of compulsory school age, attend their nearest
suitable school and:
- live more than the statutory walking distance from that school; or
- could not reasonably be expected to walk to that school because of their special
educational needs, disability or mobility problem, even if they were
accompanied by their parent, or
- would not be able to walk to that school in reasonable safety, even if they were
accompanied by their parent.
There are ‘extended rights’ to free travel to school for children from low-income
Statutory Walking distance
- A child under the age of 8 is eligible for free travel to their nearest suitable school, if it is more than 2 miles from their home.
- A child aged 8 years or over is eligible for free travel to their nearest suitable
school if it is more than 3 miles from their home.
SEN, disabilities and mobility problems
A child is eligible for free travel to school if:
- they attend their nearest suitable school, and
- it is within the statutory walking distance of their home, and the statutory walking distances are prescribed by section 444(5) of the Education Act 1996.
- they could not reasonably be expected to walk there because of their
special educational needs, disability or mobility problem, even if they
were accompanied by their parent.
Local authorities will need to assess eligibility on the grounds of special
educational needs, disability or mobility problems on a case-by-case basis. The
assessment should take account of the child’s physical ability to walk to school and any
health and safety issues related to their special educational needs, disability or
mobility problems. It may take account of whether they would be able to walk to school
if they were accompanied.
Extended rights eligibility
The extended rights eligibility is where a pupil is entitled to free school meals or their parents are in receipt of maximum working tax credit (universal credit) and one of the following applies:
- The nearest suitable school is beyond 2 miles (for children over aged 8 and under 11).
- The school is between 2 and 6 miles (if aged 11 – 16 and there are not three or more suitable nearer schools).
- The school is between 2 and 15 miles and is the nearest school preferred on the grounds of religion or belief (aged 11-16).
Where can I get more information?
You can read North Lincolnshire’s SEND Home to School Transport Policy.
You can also read the Department for Education Travel to school from children of compulsory school are guidancehttps://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/1165730/Travel_to_school_for_children_of_compulsory_school_age.pdf .
You can also contact SENDIASS who can you provide you with:
- further information, advice and support about home to school transport