Transport for Students with Special Educational Needs
There are no specific statutory provisions relating to the transport of children with special educational needs. Children with special educational needs are covered by the same legislation as other pupils. For details of the home to school transport policy click here. The Authority has a duty to make arrangements for transport up to the end of statutory school age in particular specified cases. Pupils entitled to transport provision would normally live beyond a prescribed distance, or be unable to walk safely to school, and be attending the nearest appropriate school as determined by the Authority.
The Special Educational Needs Inclusion Strategy places a strong emphasis on including pupils with special educational needs in their local primary or secondary school. To ensure we do not disadvantage or discriminate against any pupils with special educational needs attending mainstream, we have moved towards a common policy for all pupils that is fairly and consistently applied across the County.
The placement of a child with special educational needs in a mainstream or special school/unit does not automatically result in the provision of free transport to the school/unit. The SEN Panel will undertake an assessment of the pupil's special educational needs and apply the common and SEN specific criteria to determine whether transport should be provided (click here for the link to the home to school transport policy). In carrying out this assessment the pupil's age and level of ability will be taken into account.
Transport is provided subject to the criteria outlined below if the pupil is attending the nearest available provision of the type which is appropriate to meet the pupil's needs. Where a parent chooses to send their child to a more distant school or specialist provider, then the parent will assume responsibility for the provision of transport and associated costs. Such circumstances will be noted on the statement of special educational needs. Transport is provided between home and school only.
Criteria for transport
Transport may be provided for children with special educational needs to the nearest appropriate school if:
The pupil is aged under 11 years and lives more than two miles from the nearest appropriate school.
The pupil is aged 11 years or over at the start of the school year and lives more than three miles from the nearest appropriate school.
The pupil has a physical or sensory impairment which makes it impossible for them to travel to school by any other means and which prevents them from walking safely to school even when accompanied by a responsible adult.
The pupil has a severe, profound and multiple learning difficulty, or a disability, which prevents them from walking safely to school, even when accompanied by a responsible adult.
The pupil has a disability which places them on the autistic spectrum which prevents them from walking safely to school, even when accompanied by a responsible adult
The pupil has a disability, which prevents them from accessing the transport generally available to take other pupils from that area to the school.
If free transport is agreed to be necessary because of the pupil's special needs, it will be specified by the appropriate SEN Panel. The free transport provided will be subject to an Annual Review. The provision of transport may cease to be necessary as the child grows older and if they become more independent. Such decisions will be taken on an individual basis and will take full account of the pupil's needs.
Post 16 Transport
Following a period of consultation, a new scheme is being introduced from September 2012. For students with learning difficulties and disabilities moving into year 12, if your learning difficulty or disability means you are unable to use public transport or walk to school or college, we will continue to arrange suitable transport to the closest suitable learning provider offering the course, regardless of the distance. Low income students will now be required to pay £380 towards the cost, and for non low income you will be required to pay £500, which can be paid by instalments. The defintion of low income students for those moving into year 12 is those where theparent/carer is in receipt of income support, income based job seekers allowance, income based employment and support allowance, child tax credit but not working tax credit with a household income of less than £16,190, guaranteed pension credit, or support under part VI of the Immigration and Asylum Act) or the maximum level of working tax credit. Proof of receipt will need to be provided with your application form - a copy of your recent award notice for benefits being received, a letter from home office detailing support as an asylum seeker, or copy of the Tax Credit Statement TC602.
If you are able to walk or use public transport you can apply for asistance but we will only support you if you meet all they other requirements laid out for other year 12 students -for more information on those terms and conditions see our post 16 transport pages.
For those in year 13 and above the old scheme will continue to be applied. Assistance will be provided to the closest suitable learning provider offering the course, with transport appropriate to your needs. If you or your parent are in receipt of receives income support, guaranteed pension credit, income based job seekers allowance or income based employment and support allowance, no contribution is required towards the cost. For students who do not meet the low income criteria, a contribution of £500 is payable towards the cost, which can be paid by instalments.
Applications forms for travel from September 2012 are below, and should be returned by 20 July in order to have the best chance of transport being available at the beginning of term.
Year 12 application for transport Word version
Year 12 application for transport PDF version
Year 13 and above application for transport Word version
Year 13 and above application for transport PDF version
If you wish to apply for assistance between now and the end of term in July 2012 please email firstname.lastname@example.org
People with certain learning difficulties and disabilities may be eligible for a Disabled Person’s Concessionary Bus Pass. This allows free travel at any time of the day, any day of the week across Staffordshire. You may also be able to get a companion pass too if a carer or companion needs to travel with you. For more information visit our bus pass pages, your local library or call 0300 111 8000.
If you don't meet the requirements for a Disabled Person's Concessionary Bus Pass you could apply for a Your Staffordshire Card. This allows travel at £1 per journey on any public bus that starts or ends in Staffordshire and is available to all Staffordshire students aged between the ages of 11 and 20. For more information see our web page or visit your local library.
Escorts will be provided on special needs transport if:
The pupil is under 5 years old
The SEN Panel decides that the pupil has a disability, which makes it necessary to provide an escort.
The pupil has an emotional/behavioural difficulty which gives rise to concerns about the well being of the pupil or other pupils or staff.
Schools have a responsibility to ensure that escorts are fully briefed about the needs of the pupils. A Handbook for escorts is available from the school and schools have responsibility to ensure that all escorts receive training on their roles and responsibilities.
It is not the escort or driver's role to administer medication for any pupils in their care, unless it has been agreed and signed off in the pupil's care plan.