SEND information - part of our Local Offer
Independent Travel Training is available for students aged 14 and over with a special educational need or disability who need help to travel independently to a school, college, resource base or work placement.
Independent travel training is encouraged for these students, who often cannot use public transport on their own. After the training, students have increased self-confidence and often go on to make journeys other than to college or resource centres.
We have Independent Travel Trainers working throughout Somerset in schools, colleges and resource centres who provide travel training. There is no charge for this service.
Students can be referred by Travel Trainers who work with groups of year 9, 10 and 11 students in Special Schools, and by requests from others, for example, schools, social workers, the SEN Casework Team, and a parent or carer. Referrals usually come from schools, colleges or social workers but you can also contact us directly if you want your child to be included in the training scheme.
SEND students who apply for travel assistance to further education establishments will be assessed by the SEN Transport Officer and referred where necessary.
After you have been referred a Travel Trainer will get in touch with you. They will arrange an initial meeting with you and your parent, carer or school. They will explain what the training is and discuss any concerns you may have. Your child will be individually trained according to their needs and abilities, and there are no set targets or timescales.
The Travel Trainer will work out the walking route to the bus stop and the bus journey. They will look out for landmarks and anything that may crop up on the journey. The training covers – how to stop a bus, how to ask for a ticket, where to sit, how to behave on the bus and how to solve any problems (for example, if the bus is late or if you miss your stop)
The training is designed to make you feel comfortable and to reduce your anxiety. The trainer will travel with you, to begin with, but once you are more confident the training will be shadowing. You will be met at the bus stop but do the journey alone. The trainer will meet you again at the other end.
Before your child is allowed to travel independently we will make sure a thorough risk assessment is completed. Once you are travelling completely independently the trainer stays in regular contact for a short time to make sure you’re okay are ok.
Contact the team
Contact Debbie Reed, Commissioning Officer for School Transport, Access and Additional Learning Needs Inclusion Somerset – Debbie.Reed@somerset.gov.uk