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Low income families

Who's eligible?

Pupils in year 7 to 11 who are:

  • entitled to, and registered for, free school meals 


  • in receipt of the maximum level of working tax credit - in this case your working tax credit calculation within your award notice will say 'deduction due to income £0.00' 

Income-assessed travel assistance would be provided to either:

  • one of the three nearest suitable schools to where they live when it is more than 2 miles, but less than 6 miles from home


  • Parents may have a preferred school due to their religious or philosophical beliefs. The nearest suitable school would have to be more than 2 miles but less than 15 miles from home and evidence of religious or philosophical beliefs must be provided (see below)   

We will use the calculated shortest walking route to determine the nearest 3 nearest schools (this may not be an available route). We will then use the calculated shortest available walking route (if this differs) to determine entitlement to travel assistance.

What proof do you need?

Claiming on the grounds of working tax credit

You must send proof of receipt of maximum working tax credit with your application form. This would be a copy of all the pages of your most recent tax credit award notice form TC602. If you are in receipt of the maximum amount of working tax credit the 'deduction due to income' figure will be £0.00

You can request one from Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs.

Documents need to be in a digital format that can be uploaded onto the application form. You can use a scanner or take a photo of a document with a smartphone.

Claiming on the grounds of free school meals

We will check our records to confirm that you are registered as eligible for free school meals. If you attend a non-Staffordshire school please provide a copy of a letter from your school to confirm the receipt of free school meals.  

Information about eligibility and an application form are on our free school meals pages.

Claiming on the grounds of philosophical or religious beliefs

We need evidence on how and why a school meets your philosophical or religious beliefs. The term 'belief' has to be more than an opinion or idea held by the parent. The law requires that a belief must be genuine.You must be able to prove evidence of adherence to faith if it is a denominational school (for example for a Catholic school, a copy of your child's Catholic Certificate of Baptism or Certificate of Reception).  

These do not meet the criteria for travel support on faith or philosophical grounds:

  • The wish to have a child educated at a particular category of school. For example an academy school or grammar school.
  • The wish for the school to teach a child in a particular language.
  • A belief that a child should be privately educated.
  • Objections to rules requiring pupils to wear a school uniform.
  • The belief that a particular school will provide a better level of education .

How do I apply?

The quickest and easiest way is to apply online.

It may take up to 20 working days after we get your application to arrange transport. You will have to make and pay for your own travel arrangements during this time. 

Your data

Any personal data collected through your application for school travel is handled securely and in accordance with the Data Protection Act 1998.

We will use the information to process your application for school travel.

We use personal information about children and families to enable it to provide relevant services to them and to carry out specific functions for which it is responsible.

For more detailed information please see our data information pages and our data protection and fair processing notice.

Will there be a reassessment?

We will make an annual re-assessment of eligibility. If claiming on the basis of receiving the maximum amount of working tax credit, you must provide a copy of your TC602.

You may have received a TC603 form as your tax credit renewal notice. If so you must then request a TC602 award notice from Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs as ongoing proof.

What if my circumstances change?

If your child no longer meets the eligibility criteria, we will withdraw travel assistance at the end of the academic year. You would then become responsible for making your own arrangements to ensure your child attends school.

What if I change address?

If you move to a new address your child may not now qualify under the low income criteria. In this case we will withdraw travel assistance immediately. You would then become responsible for making your own arrangements to ensure your child attends school.

Please note: as your circumstances may change there is no guarantee that we will provide free travel throughout the rest of your child’s education.

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