Post-16 transport statement 2022-23
Transport policy statement for young people aged 16-18 in further education, continuing learners aged 19 and those young people aged 19 – 24 (inclusive) with learning difficulties and/or disabilities.
Department Responsible: Families and Communities
Contact details: firstname.lastname@example.org
Final version post consultation: 21 April 2022
Latest version: 6 June 2022
Local authorities do not have to provide free or subsidised post 16 travel support but do have a duty to prepare and publish an annual transport policy statement specifying the arrangements for the provision of transport or other support that the authority considers it necessary to make to facilitate the attendance of all persons of sixth form age receiving education or training.
All young people carrying on their education post 16 must reapply for travel support.
‘Sixth form age’ refers to those young people who are over 16 years of age but under 19 or continuing learners who started their programme of learning before their 19th birthday (years 12,13,14).
Local authorities also have a duty to encourage, enable and assist young people with learning difficulties / disabilities to participate in education and training, up to the age of 25.
This policy uses the term ‘Post 16’ to include both learners of sixth form age and those with learning difficulties / disabilities up to the age of 25.
This document specifies the support that Staffordshire County Council (the council) considers necessary to facilitate the attendance of Post 16 learners receiving education or training.
Education or training refers to learning or training at a school, further education institution, a council maintained or assisted institution providing higher or further education, an establishment funded directly by the Education Skills Funding Agency, learning providers delivering accredited programmes of learning which lead to positive outcomes and are funded by the council, for example, colleges, charities and private learning providers.
Aims and Objectives
For local authorities in England, provision of travel assistance for students of sixth form age is not a statutory requirement and it is up to the local authority to decide what arrangements it considers necessary.
We aim to provide support to those young people who need it the most whilst working within Government guidelines and supporting a sustainable public transport system across the county whilst building independence and life-long travel skills. The post 16 travel statement is published each year, following a period of consultation allowing students, parents, schools, colleges and neighbouring authorities to comment. This consultation is generally carried out between February and April each year and published on the website.
Please note the Raising of the Participation Age has not created any new entitlement to free or subsidised post-16 travel assistance – students are not required just to stay at school or college but can work, volunteer or take part in an apprenticeship whilst continuing their education.
Always check all your travel options before you make a decision – consider your journey to and from school or college when choosing where to attend, and that receipt of travel assistance in previous years does not guarantee any assistance post 16. Most students who need to make travel arrangements will be able to make use of public transport, and public bus and train companies offer travel passes at competitive prices which may be your cheapest option – contact them directly for details and cost. For help with planning a journey contact Traveline on 0871 200 2233 (you will be charged for this call) or visit the Traveline website. For details of your nearest bus stop and routes see our bus travel pages. Some schools and colleges also operate their own transport – contact them directly for information.
We support those beginning a course aged between 16 to 19 who are low income, and those with an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP) who require specialist travel assistance due to a learning difficulty or disability, through the Staffordshire Post 16 travel assistance scheme as detailed below.
The Council does not make any general arrangements for free transport or the payment of any travelling expenses for adults (those above the age of 19) under section 508F of the Education Act 1996 as it considers that these are unnecessary for the vast majority of adults.
In all cases travel assistance is considered/provided from only one permanent home address to the one main base where the student is registered.
Transport and travel support
Please note that the support detailed below may change as a result of Covid19.
Concessionary tickets for young people 16 – 25 from public transport providers
To find and buy the public bus current ticketing option that best meets your circumstances please contact directly the bus operators in your area.
The Knot ticket
The Knot ticket can be used on buses operated by Arriva, First, Select, Midland Classic, D&G/Chaserider and National Express/Travel West Midlands. This covers around 90% of the Staffordshire bus network and allows unlimited travel all day for £7 on any of those operator's buses within the specified area. For more information contact the bus company directly.
Stoke on Trent Smart ticket
Information correct as at 27 February 2022 - The Smart multi-operator bus pass allows you to travel on buses provided by different operators across North Staffordshire with just one ticket.
You can travel with any of the bus operators listed below, on any bus route, at any time of day across Stoke-on-Trent, Newcastle-under-Lyme and North Staffordshire within the boundaries of the scheme.
Smart tickets cannot be used to travel to or from areas outside of the boundary, but you can use it to travel up to the boundary and pay the additional fare to your final destination.
Smart tickets are valid on the following bus operators' services –
- Arriva Midlands
Students at Stoke on Trent College, Newcastle-under-Lyme College or Stoke on Trent Sixth Form College can also buy special student tickets - please visit the Smart ticket website for more information.
The ticket covers travel to and around:
- Baldwin's Gate
- Blythe Bridge
- City Centre (Hanley)
Boundaries of the ticket's coverage are
- A34/Chase Lane
- Bathomley Road, Domsville Farm
- The Black Horse, Endon
- Castle Inn
- Caverswall Square
- Cheadle Road/Bowling Green
- Cheddleton Road/Heath Avenue
- Dales Green Corner
- Dilhorne Road/Spring Gardens
- Draycott, New Plough
- Fairhouse, Coach And Horses
- Gorstyhill, Broughton Arms
- Hanchurch Crossroads
- Hilderstone Road/Black Lake Inn
- Lakeside Tavern
- Lask Edge Chapel
- Madeley Church
- Mow Cop Church
- Red Bull Crossroads
- Rough Close, George And Dragon
- Sandy Lane
- Talke, Linley Road/West Avenue
- Top Road/Butterlands
If you’re aged 16 or 17, you can now enjoy 50% off standard Anytime, Off-Peak, Advance and Season tickets – as many times as you like. A 16-17 Saver railcard is just £30 and is valid for one year or until your 18th birthday, whichever comes first. For more information visit the 16-17 railcard saver webpage.
Travel support from schools and colleges
Schools and colleges may also offer their own transport arrangements. For up to date information, prices and application forms contact the school or college directly.
Below are the mainstream Staffordshire schools providing post 16 education –
- Abbot Beyne School
- Alleyn'es Academy
- Biddulph High School
- Blessed William Howard Catholic School
- Blythe Bridge High School
- Cannock Chase High School
- Cardinal Griffin Catholic College
- Chase Terrace Technology College
- Cheslyn Hay Academy
- Codsall Community High School
- Erasmus Darwin Academy
- Great Wyrley Academy
- John Taylor High School
- Kong Edward VI High School
- King Edward VI School
- Kingsmead School
- Kinver High School
- Landau Forte Academy Tamworth
- Leek High School
- Moorside High School
- Nether Stowe School
- Norton Canes High School
- Paget High School
- Painsley Catholic College
- Paulet High School
- Sir Graham Balfour High School
- St John Fisher Catholic College
- Stafford Sports College
- Staffordshire University Academy
- The Cheadle Academy
- The de Ferrers Academy
- The Friary School
- The JCB Academy
- The Kings School
- The Weston Road Academy
- Thomas Alleyne's High School
- Westwood College
- Wolstanton High School
- Wombourne High School
Staffordshire special schools and colleges providing post 16 education -
- Blackfriars Academy
- Newfriars College
- Queen's Croft High School
- Saxon Hill Academy
- The Fountains High School
- The Meadows School
- Two Rivers High School
- Walton Hall Academy
- Wightwick Hall School
- Staffordshire further education colleges -
- Burton and South Derbyshire College
- Buxton and Leek College
- Newcastle and Stafford Colleges Group
- South Staffordshire College
The 16-19 Bursary Fund
The 16 to 19 Bursary Fund provides financial support to help young people overcome specific barriers to participation, so they can remain in education. A bursary is money that you, or your education or training provider, can use to pay for things like:
- clothing, books and other equipment for your course
- transport and lunch on days you study or train
There are 2 types of 16 to 19 bursaries (information correct as at 21/2/22):
- A vulnerable bursary for young people in one of the defined vulnerable groups below:
- in care
- care leavers
- in receipt of Income Support, or Universal Credit in place of Income Support, in their own right
- in receipt of Employment and Support Allowance or Universal Credit and Disability Living or Personal Independence Payments in their own right
- Discretionary bursaries which institutions award to meet individual needs, for example, help with the cost of transport, meals, books and equipment
Schools and colleges are responsible for managing both types of bursary. Young people who want to apply for support from the bursary fund should contact their chosen school or college to make an application.
Young parents / Care to Learn
If you are a young parent under 20, Care to Learn can help pay for your childcare and related travel costs, up to £160 per child per week, while you’re learning.
Care to Learn can help with the cost of:
- childcare, including deposit and registration fees
- a childcare ‘taster’ session (up to 5 days)
- keeping your childcare place over the summer holidays
- taking your child to the childcare provider
Types of childcare
The childcare provider must be Ofsted registered and can be a:
- child minder
- pre-school playgroup
- day nursery
- out of school club
If your child needs specialist childcare, the provider must also be on the Care Quality Commission’s register for specialist provision.
If you want a relative to get Care to Learn for looking after your child, they need to be both:
- providing registered childcare for children they’re not related to
- living apart from you and your child
Childcare payments go directly to your childcare provider. Before your childcare provider can be paid:
- your childcare provider needs to confirm your child’s attendance
- your school or college needs to confirm that you’re attending your course
Payments for travel costs go to your school or college - they’ll either pay you or arrange travel for you.
Payments will stop if:
- you stop attending your course
- you finish your course
- your child stops attending childcare
You can get Care to Learn if:
- you’re a parent under 20 at the start of your course
- you’re the main carer for your child
- you live in England
- you’re either a British citizen or have a legal right to live and study in England
- your course qualifies
- your childcare provider qualifies
Type of course
Care to Learn is only available for courses in England that have some public funding. This includes courses that take place in:
- school sixth forms
- sixth form colleges
- other colleges and learning providers, including Foundation Learning
- your community at Children’s Centres
The Residential Support Scheme
Whilst not assisting with transport costs the Residential Support Scheme does provide financial support with accommodation costs for students (aged between 16 and 19) who need to live away from home to study because their course is not available locally
Residential Bursary Fund
You may be able to get a bursary towards the cost of accommodation from some specialist residential colleges under the Residential Bursary Fund. Each specialist college has its own eligibility criteria, which often includes parental income.
Local Authority support
Staffordshire post 16 travel assistance
General terms and conditions applying to all post 16 student
- The course must be funded by the local authority - transport support is not given to students paying fees for their tuition or attending a course as part of a paid apprenticeship.
- Transport support is given to your catchment school or the nearest training provider with places available for the course/courses you wish to study (or that named by the Authority as the nearest appropriate in an Education, Health and Care Plan).
- The school/college must be between 3 and 15 miles away. The distance will be measured by us using the shortest driving route. The distance criterion will be waived for students where their learning difficulty or disability prevents them from walking to school or college or from using public transport
- When considering if a course is available, we take into account – the end qualification awarded, not the individual units taken; the training provider having a place available to offer to you on that course; you meet the entry requirements demanded by that training provider; that the location meets any requirements you have as a result of any learning difficulty or disability you may have.
- Suitability of transport will be determined by us– this will be based upon balancing reasonable costs and reasonable travel/waiting times and enables you to access your learning place during school/college days at the school or college general start/finish times. This could mean that you may not receive transport assistance for the quickest or most convenient transport.
- The contribution rate is fixed regardless of the number of days travelling, the distance travelled or cost to the Council
- For students with a learning difficulty or a disability, the need for specialised transport and the type of transport required due to an inability to walk or use public transport will be based upon information obtained from the school, college, or Education, Health and Care plan and any other appropriate professional(s).
- Students using this transport scheme are expected to make their own way to the nearest pick up point/bus stop/train station up to 1 mile away from the home address or destination if required.
- Any public bus pass issued under this scheme will provide travel at a minimum during term time only between home and your place of learning.
- Transport assistance is not given to attend work placements or work experience.
- We will provide transport to your registered base only, to enable attendance for the general start/finish times of the academic day. Transport to other sites or work placements, is not covered by this scheme. Transport to your registered base outside standard hours to attend activities that are not essential to passing your course is not covered by this scheme.
- Any travel pass issued under the scheme remains the property of Staffordshire County Council and must be returned if a student leaves school or college. Should you lose your pass a charge will be made for a replacement.
- Please be aware should payment not be made per your agreed payment method (in full, termly or instalments), transport support will be withdrawn following a notice period, and the same payment method will not be offered the following year.
- Unacceptable behaviour such as fighting, bullying or foul language whilst using transport may result in the pass being withdrawn. Parents will be held responsible for any damage caused and may be charged for it.
- It can take up to 20 working days for the pass to be issued. Claims for payment of travel costs before 20 working days after receipt of your payment and photographs where applicable will not be accepted. No backdated claims for payment will be accepted. If a travel/petrol allowance is being paid, we will confirm to you in writing the date that payment will commence.
- However long your course is, you must make a new application for transport assistance each year.
- You must notify the Authority if you change address or your course of study.
- If you have any dispute regarding our decisions, please put your complaint in writing following our appeals process
Support for all students who are capable of walking or using public transport (accompanied as necessary) – known as the ‘post 16 support scheme’
Support is offered to a student -
- If they or their parent is in receipt of a benefit that leads to the receipt of free school meals - these are Income Support, Income Based Job Seekers Allowance, Income Related Employment and Support Allowance, Child Tax Credit but not Working Tax Credit and the household income is not more that £16,190, the Guarantee Element of State Pension Credit, support under part VI of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999 or Universal Credit with an annual net earned household income of no more than £7,400, or receives the maximum level of Working Tax Credit and
- Have their 19th birthday on or after 1 September 2021 or continuing a course begun before the day of their 19th birthday (see definition) and
- Is a full-time student (16 hours or more timetabled sessions per week) - the course can be at entry level or at level 1, 2, or 3. Travel assistance is not given to higher education courses (level 4 and above, such as Foundation Degrees or Higher National Diplomas). and
- Is studying a course that is funded by the Staffordshire County Council – travel assistance is not given to students paying fees for their tuition, or studying as part of a paid apprenticeship and
- Is studying at the nearest school, college or Local Authority funded training provider offering the course, or catchment school, which is between 3 and 15 miles away and
- The student is a resident of Staffordshire (please note for students who are resident within the city of Stoke on Trent, you will need to make an application for support to Stoke on Trent City Council, telephone 01782 234598)
- In return for a contribution of £543 towards the cost we will provide a pass for public transport or a seat if one is available and can legally be sold on an existing route contracted either by Staffordshire County Council, the school or the college. The price is reviewed each year and can be paid in instalments.
- Students may be required to travel up to one mile to or from the pickup/drop off point to complete your journey
For information, the average gross cost per student to Staffordshire County Council of providing travel assistance for the academic year 2020-21 was £972 for a student attending a mainstream school
LA support for Learners with special travel needs due to special educational needs or a disability
The following applies for students with special educational needs or a disability:
- Is a Staffordshire resident and
- Have their 19th birthday on or after 1 September 2022 or continuing a course begun before the day of their 19th birthday (see definition) and
- Is a full-time student (16 hours or more timetabled sessions per week) - the course can be at entry level or at level 1, 2, or 3. Travel assistance is not given to higher education courses (level 4 and above, such as Foundation Degrees or Higher National Diplomas). and
- their learning difficulty or disability prevents them from walking to school or college or from using public transport
- The student is attending the nearest suitable school, college or Local Authority funded training provider offering the course as specified by the Local Authority and named in the Education, Health and Care Plan, regardless of the distance to travel
- Support will be offered to low income students for a contribution of £543, or to non-low income students for a contribution of £688. Low income is where the student or their parent is in receipt of a benefit that leads to the receipt of free school meals - these are Income Support, Income Based Job Seekers Allowance, Income Related Employment and Support Allowance, Child Tax Credit but not Working Tax Credit and the household income is not more that £16,190, the Guarantee Element of State Pension Credit, support under part VI of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999 or Universal Credit with an annual net earned household income of no more than £7,400, or receives the maximum level of Working Tax Credit
- Staffordshire County Council may be able to provide travel assistance through the offer of a personal travel budget. Under this scheme the student will be responsible for making their own travel arrangements.
For information the average gross cost per student to Staffordshire County Council of providing travel assistance for the academic year 2020-21 was
- £7022 for a student with learning difficulties and disabilities attending a school
- £5404 for a student with learning difficulties and disabilities attending a college
In addition to the above conditions, the following also applies to students with an Education, Health and Care plan beginning a new course over the age of 19 and under the age of 25:
An assessment is made as to why it is necessary for the council to make travel arrangements. The decision is based upon information provided by the parent/carer and previously provided within any Social Care and Health Assessment or Education, Health and Care Plan. We will consider, amongst other things –
- What other arrangements you have considered or tried and why they are not suitable.
- If there is a family member/carer who is able to transport the student and why it would not be a reasonable arrangement to make.
- If the student is in receipt of higher rate mobility component of the Personal Independence Payment or Disability Living Allowance, the purpose of which is to assist those who have mobility problems, with severe difficulty walking or who need help getting around outside. We would normally expect this benefit to be fully utilised and if there are any factors limiting its' use you should provide details of them.
- If there is a 'Motability' vehicle which the student may or may not be driver. If a decision has been made to not use the 'Motability' vehicle to support the student to reach their education placement, we would normally expect the carer/student to make their own appropriate alternative arrangements or provide details as to why that is not possible/reasonable.
- Any other exceptional circumstances that you consider need to be taken into account and consider any recent supporting evidence that you provide.
- Please note that we would not generally consider work or childcare commitments on their own as an exceptional reason for travel assistance to be provided.
- Should it be deemed necessary for the authority to arrange a vehicle for travel assistance support there will be no charge to the student. However, if support is agreed is via the payment of a mileage allowance or personal travel budget, a contribution is required towards the cost.
What is a new course and what is a continuing course?
Our definition of a new course is one where the named qualification, learning aims, outcomes, unit/course code or title of the course differ to the previous year. For example, an A level in maths delivered over 2 years (the qualification being awarded only at the end of completion of the second year) is considered a continuing course.
Where a student follows a programme of study such as a level 1 course the first year, and progresses on to the level 2 the next, or completes a series of courses where the outcomes differ each year and there is no requirement to progress to the second or further years to successfully complete each year, this is not considered a continuing course.
Support for students who live in rural areas*
The county council provides financial support to a limited number of bus services and encourages operators to publish timetables that are suitable for school/college start and finish times. Where public transport is available, purchasing travel passes on public transport or buying into transport arranged by a school or college themselves, may be your cheapest option
Students with a journey time of over 75 minutes may be entitled to assistance (see below). This is in addition to the options and support detailed elsewhere in this statement and is available to all students but will be of less benefit to those in urban areas.
Where you live in a rural area, you can also provide supporting information you wish to be considered to make your case, for example, the rural nature of your home address and how this affects your journey and why you or your parents/carers are not able to make your own travel arrangements.
Where a student in a rural area does receive post-16 travel assistance from the county council, families will make the same financial contribution as other students in urban areas taking shorter journeys. Those in rural areas may also be entitled to a mileage allowance to the nearest suitable public transport.
*For information, the government has published the 2011 Rural-Urban Classification for Output Areas in England RUCOA_leaflet_Jan2017.pdf (publishing.service.gov.uk), which defines areas into one of four urban or six rural categories.
Support for students where the journey is over 75 minutes
Good practice from the Department for Education suggests that students may reasonably be expected to travel up to 75 minutes each way. Travel time includes time spent walking to/from stops, waiting times, driving, travelling on college- or school-arranged transport and using public transport or trains (or a combination of these). The 75 minutes does not include the waiting time between arrival at school/college and the general school/college start and end time.
If we agree to assist, this would generally be in the form of a payment of a mileage allowance per day attended for the journey from home to the nearest appropriate bus/train stop, plus provision of a public bus pass or passes. A contribution towards the cost would be required at the same rate as detailed in our post 16 transport statement (for 2022-23 this would be annual fee of £688 for non-low income students, reduced to £543 for low income students).
Applications for support in other circumstances
Applications can be made for travel assistance outside the policy, based upon individual, exceptional circumstances. Should you wish to apply on this basis please make an application using the online form and provide full details of -
- what you consider are your exceptional individual circumstances and why you consider those circumstances require assistance from the County Council;
- why you or your parents/carers are not able to make your own travel arrangements;
- all other relevant supporting information you wish to be considered to make your case (for example the rural nature of your home address and how this affects your journey).
Please note, in all cases we do not generally consider work, other childcare commitments, or parental convenience as an exceptional reason alone to provide assistance. We also generally do not provide assistance if the learning provider is less than 3 miles and more than 15 miles from the home address (the distance will be measured by Staffordshire County Council using the shortest driving route). The upper and lower distance criteria may be varied due to the needs of the student’s learning difficulties or disability.
Should you leave your course and require a refund you must return your pass to Transport & the Connected County. Refunds will not be made until the pass has been received. An administration fee of £10 may be deducted.
Staffordshire County Council is committed to enabling its residents to become as independent as possible. To this end, the County Council offers Independent Travel Training. This is a lifelong skill which can have positive impacts beyond the home to school or college journey. It promotes independence and choice, develops confidence and social skills and it opens up further education and employment opportunities. Training is tailored to the skills and the pace of the individual.
The Travel Trainers work in partnership with schools and parents/carers to enable the individual to achieve their goals. Travel Training involves route planning, using a variety of travel options, road and personal safety, dealing with emergencies and applying for the appropriate travel pass. For more information please speak to your child’s school or college or email the Travel Training team at email@example.com
Staffordshire does not offer any specific travel assistance for apprenticeship or traineeship students. Please contact your learning provider or work placement for more information.
Those not in education, employment or training (NEET)
No specific arrangements are made directly by the Council for students who are NEET. Local bus companies offer a range of passes and should be contacted directly for further information.
LA support in other circumstances
Travel assistance may be available under the Staffordshire Post 16 travel assistance scheme if there are special reasons why it should be necessary to attend a learning establishment further away from home. For eligible students we will offer travel assistance between your home address and your accommodation general location on the same basis as to which the placement funding has been agreed (e.g. termly boarding, weekly boarding, 38 week placement) providing all other entitlement criteria are met.
Students using schemes operated by schools or colleges or buying a public service pass directly from the operator or via the college, should contact them directly for details of what transport support they offer or valid areas for tickets to be used outside of Staffordshire.
Additional eligibility criteria
The Staffordshire Post 16 travel assistance scheme is for students who are resident in Staffordshire only. Students living outside of Staffordshire should approach their own local council.
Under the Staffordshire County Council schemes, if the nearest suitable learning provider offering the course is in another local authority area then students will still qualify for assistance providing all other entitlement criteria are met.
Students who reach the age of 19 whilst continuing a course remain eligible until the end of that academic year for transport support (different arrangements apply for those with learning difficulties and disabilities please see ‘LA support for Learners with special educational needs or a disability’)
Applying for LA transport support
Students who wish to apply for travel assistance from Staffordshire County Council must make an application each year. Details of how and when to apply will be available from our website
The Local Authority has adopted a 2 stage review and appeals process for those both under and over 16. There are separate forms to request a post 16 support scheme decision review, or for a review of decision of support for those with Special Educational Needs or disabilities.
Should the two stage process be completed and be unsuccessful, no further reviews or appeals will be held during that academic year unless there had been a material change of circumstances or further new supporting evidence is being provided.
After having completed the two stage process and your appeal has not been upheld you may want to consider contacting the Local Government Social Care Ombudsman or the Secretary of State for Education.
Please note the responsibility to supply any supporting information for an application or review/appeal rests with the applicant. This will include information from outside agencies, which the applicant feels supports their request.
Details of concessionary fares, discounts, subsidies, passes or travel cards including any charges available for Post 16 young people.
Passes purchased directly from public service operators, schools and colleges will have different arrangements regarding costs, timings and how and when to apply, and they should be contacted directly for more information.
People with certain disabilities are eligible for a bus pass which provides free public bus travel at any time within Staffordshire and between 9.30am and 11pm weekdays or all day at weekends and bank holidays outside of Staffordshire. Please visit the disabled person's concessionary bus pass webpage for further information, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0300 111 8000. Anyone who is eligible for a bus pass but who cannot travel unassisted may also be able to get a 'companion pass'. This will allow their carer to travel free with them within the Staffordshire County Council area.
Students who have been issued a pass under the Staffordshire County Council post 16 travel assistance scheme are normally limited to travel on school days only. Passes issued for a seat on a contracted vehicle are limited to the one morning and one afternoon journey to and from school during term time. Any transport between sites during the day is not covered by the scheme, but the school or college may be able to offer assistance.
A printable version can be downloaded below.