Some key information depending on your circumstances:
- If your child is due to start school or transfer to the next phase of education in September then please do not use this form
- If you received the outcome of your school place application by email, you will be sent another email within 6 weeks if your child is entitled to free school transport
- If your child is entitled to free school transport you will be informed of the travel arrangements in August before the start of the new academic year
This form has 7 to 9 pages – depending on your selections – and will take about 10 minutes to complete.
If you wish to apply for a paid seat please fill in the online form below. The form has 7 pages and will take about 8 minutes to complete.
Please see our other web pages for more information about School Transport.
School transport and Special Educational Needs and Disabilities
You can find more information about Special Educational Needs and/or Disabilities (SEND) school transport eligibility on our page.
Qualifying for school transport
We provide free school transport to pupils between the ages 4 and 16 who
- attend the nearest, or transport area school for their home address
- live over the statutory walking distance from that school – 2 miles for children under 8 and 3 miles for children aged 8 and over
If you live within the statutory walking distance of the school it is your parental responsibility to make sure your child attends school. The ‘transport area’ is the school catchment area as at September 2012.
School transport entitlement to a particular school can change, depending on the year group the pupil is in and where the nearest school for that year group is in relation to their home address.
If a pupil is assessed as not being entitled to free school transport, it is the parent’s responsibility to re-apply for transport in a subsequent year group if they think entitlement may have changed. Parents will not be told about a change in entitlement.
The raising of the participation age
The Government requires young people to participate in education and training once they have finished their compulsory secondary education. This is a ‘quick guide’. The law does not increase the statutory school leaving age. Our policy says that only pupils of statutory school age are eligible for free school transport.
For more information about transport to school or college for pupils in year 12 or 13, visit our Over 16 student transport page.
For pupils from low-income families, free school transport is available under certain circumstances:
- pupils aged between 8 and 11 whose nearest school is between 2 and 3 miles from their home
- pupils aged between 11 and 16 who live between 2 and 6 miles from their school and attend one of their three nearest schools
Low income is defined as any child who qualifies for free school meals or families receiving the maximum level of Working Tax Credit.
Entitlement to free school meals is based on:
- Income Support
- Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance
- Income-related Employment and Support Allowance
- Support under Part VI of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999
- The Guarantee element of State Pension Credit
- Child Tax Credit, provided you are not entitled to Working Tax Credit and have an annual income (as assessed by HM Revenue and Customs) that does not exceed £16,190
- Working Tax Credit ‘run-on’ paid for 4 weeks after you stop qualifying for Working Tax Credit
- Universal Credit
We regularly review benefit information to make sure your child still qualifies for a reduced rate or free transport.
Transport in exceptional circumstances
Please apply using the application form stating your exceptional circumstances. If you are applying under exceptional grounds, evidence will be required to support your application. Please read the School Travel Policy before applying. For details of the evidence required, email email@example.com for more information.
Pupil referral unit
Transport is also provided to pupils attending a pupil referral unit if they live over the statutory walking distance from the unit. In some exceptional cases transport is provided if there is evidence that they cannot walk to school, even if they are appropriately supervised.
Transport on religious grounds
As of September 2018, there is no longer statutory assistance to support children attending a denominational church or faith aided school for reasons of religion or faith alone.
If you are applying for low-income travel assistance on religious grounds, you will be requested to provide proof that the child regularly attends church in the same religion or faith as the school you have chosen. This must be evidenced by a declaration signed by the parish priest or minister, or another local official of the named religion. The minimum attendance at services is at least once a month for a period of no less than 6 months.
We regularly review benefit information to make sure your child still qualifies for low-income travel assistance on grounds of religion or belief. Please see the information above on low-income families.
What happens next
We will assess your application once we have received confirmation from the school that your child has been granted a place. This can take up to 10 working days.
When your application has been assessed, we will let you know if your child is eligible. We will tell you about the transport arrangements and send you a bus pass for your child, if applicable.
Some differences based on your circumstances:
- if your child is starting school for the first time or starting at a new school in September, we will automatically assess your child’s eligibility when you apply for their school place
- if you applied for your child’s school place using a paper application form, the eligibility for school transport will be included in your outcome letter
The school place outcome letters and emails are sent out on 1 March (or the next working day) for secondary and upper school places and 16 April (or the next working day) for starting school, junior and middle school places.
If you applied for your child’s school place online and they are entitled to transport, you will receive a second email within 20 working days of your school place outcome email. You will be told about your child’s travel arrangements before the start of the next academic year. If you do not receive a second email this means your child has been assessed as not entitled to free school transport.