Somerset County Council

School transport and Special Educational Needs and Disabilities


Please read the information below carefully before applying for travel assistance for your child.

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Will my child receive travel assistance? 

If your child is of statutory school age and has an Education, Health and Care Plan (previously known as a statement of special educational needs), the Local Authority will provide travel assistance if they attend the nearest, appropriate school for their age and needs, and live beyond the statutory walking distance of 2 miles for pupils under 8 and 3 miles for those aged 8 and over.

We will also consider providing travel assistance if the school is within the statutory walking distance but the child has an Education, Health and Care plan or a long term disability and there are exceptional grounds that mean it is necessary for the LA to provide travel assistance. 

How will I know if my child is entitled under exceptional grounds?

If your child lives less than the statutory walking distance from their school, travel assistance would only be considered if they are attending their catchment or nearest school.

It would have to be agreed that the child cannot make their own way to school (even with a responsible adult accompanying the child). Evidence from the child’s GP, consultant or medical professional will be required. 

What travel assistance is given?

Travel assistance is provided at the beginning and end of the official school day from a defined pick up and setting down point, not necessarily the home address. Journeys outside of the official school day remain the responsibility of the parents/carers.

We will phone you and carry out a risk assessment to clarify any needs that should be taken into consideration. We will then tell you about the transport arrangements.

What if my child is not entitled to travel assistance?

Appeals can be made to the School Commissioning Team as outlined in our Education Travel Policy. Further details will be included in your refusal letter.

Post 16 Travel Assistance Entitlement

We provide transport help for students aged 16 to 19 with special educational needs, such as a physical or mental disability, who cannot make their own way to their further educational establishment.

Transport is provided to students who cannot live independently or in lodgings to be nearer their college and who cannot be taken by their parents or carers.

Post 16 students with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) who qualify for assistance will be charged a subsidised fee towards their transport.

When we receive an application from a student with SEND going to an FE college, we consider these things 

  • Whether the student is applying for transport to their nearest relevant further educational establishment offering their chosen or comparable course 
  • Whether the student can use a public service vehicle (the lack of a public service vehicle is not in itself a reason for individual transport being provided) 
  • Whether the student is a Somerset resident 
  • The age and needs of the student and the benefits they will get from the course and 
  • The length of the journey 


We will also consider applications from students with SEND aged 19 to 21 and, in exceptional circumstances, from students over 21.

To apply for transport assistance to a further educational establishment because of SEND, please download an application form (see Information and resources). You can get an application form from your sixth form school or college. You must fill in the application form with the help of a representative of the sixth form school or college, who must also sign the form.

For most students with special educational needs travelling to and from a school or college, transport is provided at the beginning and end of the school or college day, but individual needs and timetables may be considered.

For further information please see the special educational needs transport booklet which can be downloaded from this page.


Contact: Admissions and Entitlements Team
Address: County Hall, Taunton, Somerset, TA1 4DY
Phone: 0300 123 2224
Fax: 01823 356113
Opening Hours: Monday to Thursday 8.30am to 5pm, Friday: 8.30am to 4.30pm, Saturday and Sunday closed.



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