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 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 local authority to provide travel assistance.

How you will know if your 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 doctor, consultant or medical professional will be required.

Apply for school transport and travel assistance

Travel assistance is provided for children 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 and 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.

Check if you are eligible for travel assistance and make an application. Please read our Apply for school transport page before you apply.

If your child is not entitled to travel assistance – For information about how to appeal against this decision please visit School transport decision reviews.

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. We will also consider applications from students with SEND aged 19 to 25.

Travel assistance will only be provided from a designated stop. We cannot provide assistance to and from respite addresses – even if the young person is in the care of the local authority.

Where appropriate, all students are expected to work with our independent Travel Trainers to receive training to allow them to travel independently in the future. Refusal to participate in this scheme may result in withdrawal of transport. All applications will be passed to the Independent Travel Training Team to make this assessment.

Post 16 students with Special Educational Needs and/or Disabilities (SEND) who qualify for assistance will be charged a contribution towards the cost of transport and this will increase each subsequent academic year in line with the Love the Bus County Ticket for students.

For the academic year 2020/21 the Love the Bus County Ticket has been suspended due to COVID-19, so the contribution fee of £810 is based on the previously agreed price with operators. The contribution fee cannot be calculated pro-rata so the amount is the same regardless of the days that transport is accessed.

Travel assistance is only provided travel at the beginning and the end of the normal school or college day. It is not possible to arrange support with travel around specific start and end times, so students will need to fill such time with self-study.

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

Apply for travel assistance

All questions on this form must be answered in full otherwise your application may not be processed. This form applies to this academic year, and you will need to re-apply for subsequent years. This form has 5 pages and will take about 4 minutes to complete.

All students will need to re-apply for each academic year that travel assistance is required. If you have not applied by the deadline of 30 June, we cannot guarantee transport will be in place for September. For more information, please see the Post 16 Local Policy Statement below.


Don’t forget – Residents of Somerset who are disabled or cannot drive for medical reasons are entitled to a concessionary bus pass which provides free or reduced-cost bus travel at certain times of the day and is encouraged to use Better Journey Cards to let the driver know they may need additional help. This is a separate provision to travel assistance for further education and the use of one does not exclude the use of the other.
Document preview

Travel policy statement for young people aged 16 to 18 in education, further education, continuing learners aged 19 and those young people aged 19 to 24 (inclusive) with learning difficulties and/or disabilities

PDF, 198KB
Document preview

Travel policy statement for young people aged 16 to 18 in education, further education, continuing learners aged 19 and those young people aged 19 to 24 (inclusive) with learning difficulties and/or disabilities

PDF, 198KB
Document preview

For full-time further education students aged 16+ years with special education needs and/or disabilities.

PDF, 77.5KB

Last reviewed: May 30, 2023 by Gemma

Next review due: November 30, 2023

Back to top