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Overview

Getting a particular school place does not give you the right to free transport.

If your child attends a school which is not the catchment or nearest school with places available, or to which they are not entitled to travel assistance under the income assessed transport criteria you will have to arrange and pay for your child's travel.

Am I entitled to free travel assistance?

Children in classes reception up to year 11 are entitled to free home to school travel assistance if they meet these three criteria:

  1. They live in Staffordshire
  2. They live beyond walking distance from the school where they are registered (and which is a non fee paying school).
  3. They live in the catchment area, or are at the nearest suitable school with places available. A suitable school provides education appropriate to the age, ability, and aptitude of the pupil, and any special educational needs that the pupil may have. This is recorded in an Education, Health and Care Plan, or Statement of Special Educational Needs. This could be within or outside of Staffordshire, a two or three tier school, and a faith or non-faith school.

Assistance may also be provided if:

  • A pupil lives below walking distance from the nearest or catchment school, but the route has been declared unavailable (see the FAQ's page) and there is no other alternative route below the walking distance.
  • Under the low income criteria for income assessed travel assistance.
  • When attending the closest or catchment school and a medical condition or disability prevents the pupil from making the journey even when accompanied (see our FAQs page).

If you are not eligible there are other alternatives.

Further information on how eligibility is determined can be found on the FAQs page.

Special educational needs

There is also an additional entitlement for some children with special educational needs.

What is walking distance?

Walking distance is defined as:

  • Up to 2 miles for children in year 6 and below.
     
  • Up to 3 miles for children in year 7 to year 11.

How do I apply?

Information on how to apply and the application form are on the how to apply page.

What type of help will be offered?

Travel assistance is only assessed and provided between one main home address and the registered base. We will provide assistance for one return journey at the beginning and end of the normal school day to match the school governing body approved session times.

It is your responsibility to make any necessary arrangements for your child's transport:

  • for any other times
  • to or from any other location

We will determine which type of travel assistance we can offer. We may change the type of help provided to make the best use of available resources. 

In the event that we have provided free travel assistance in error, the service will be withdrawn giving notice which we consider reasonable in the circumstances.

How is travel assistance provided?

Travel assistance will take the form of one of the following:

  • A pass for public transport (by bus or train). Pupils may need to change vehicles to complete their journey. For students with learning difficulties and disabilities we may offer independent travel training to help them to use public transport.
     
  • A place on a school bus or other vehicle hired by us. Pupils may need to change vehicles to complete their journey.
     
  • Payment of costs with a mileage allowance or personal travel budget. This is so you can make your own arrangements. For further information on mileage allowances, please see the FAQ.

You may find the following information leaflets useful:

Where will the bus stop?

We can't pick children up from their front door. They have to go to one of the stops on the bus route. They may need to walk up to one mile.

You need to decide if your child needs to be accompanied and to make any arrangements you feel are necessary.

Raising the participation age (RPA)

Young people must now continue in education or training until they reach 18.

This change does not mean that free travel assistance will be provided beyond year 11 as they do not have to stay at school.

For example they can choose to:

  • Work full time and study part time.
     
  • Be involved in part time training whilst volunteering.
     
  • Continue full time study at school or college. 

Local service operators in Staffordshire

Below is a list of local service operators for any pupil wishing to purchase bus passes directly from the operator. 

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