We calculate the location of a home address using the property seed point. This is as defined by the National Land and Property Gazetteer.
We measure the distance using the shortest walking route from your child’s home address. This is to the nearest open gate to the school main site. It is calculated based upon the school gates, road and pathway network held at the time on the Geographical Information System (GIS). This may change over time as the network is updated and new gates, roads and paths are added or old ones removed. We will use the calculated shortest walking route to determine which is the closest school (or 3 closest when under low income grounds). We will then use the calculated shortest available walking route distance (if this differs) to determine if travel assistance is to be provided.
Note: A sibling or previous occupant of the property may have got help with travel. This does not guarantee that we will agree future travel assistance requests.
If your child already receives travel assistance and you move, you must:
- Let your school know the new address.
- Return the travel pass to the Transport and Connected County team.
- If your child is attending the catchment or nearest suitable school with a place available for your new address and you live beyond walking distance, make a new application for help with travel.
- If your new address is within Staffordshire, your move was sudden and due to exceptional circumstances, and your child was attending the catchment or nearest suitable school for your last address (but it is no longer the catchment or closest school for the new address) we may consider offering help with travel. Make an application and attach evidence of what you consider to be your exceptional circumstances.
Note: Applications for pupils in years 10 and 11 get a higher level of consideration but we consider each application on its own merits. We consider all the circumstances and supporting evidence provided. There is no guarantee that we will provide assistance for any particular case.
If your child moves to another school other than due to a house move, we would not offer help with travel unless they meet the general criteria.
Moves to alternative establishments
If your child moves to an alternative establishment such as a Pupil Referral Unit, the service responsible for the move should see if help with travel is possible.
A child may become ‘dual registered’. This is where they spend part of the week at their registered base and part at another establishment. We would consider travel assistance only to the main registered base. The registered base handles funding. They would have to agree to authorising travel assistance to any other establishment.
A school may arrange a ‘managed move’. This is where a child remains on the roll at their registered school but they attend another school. Their registered base would be responsible for arranging and paying for help with travel. They would have to agree it is necessary.
Moves due to claims of bullying
If your child has moved school because of bullying we can only consider travel help if you provide:
- Written confirmation from the Head Teacher of the original school that they made all efforts to address the issue. They must confirm that it is in the best interest of the child that they should transfer to a new school.
- Written recommendation from at least one other professional. This could be an Education Welfare Worker or Educational Psychologist. They would have to recommend that your child should transfer.
The school your child moves to must be the next nearest school to the home address with an available place and if they live over the walking distance from the school they may get help.
We consider each request on its own merits. We will take into consideration any extra costs involved.
Please note that the allocation of a school place on medical grounds does not mean that a pupil will be automatically entitled to home to school travel assistance on medical grounds.
If a child who is attending their correct catchment or nearest suitable school is unable to walk to school due to a medical condition and/or disability (even when accompanied as necessary) and you are unable to make your own alternative travel arrangements, we may offer assistance. You should complete the general travel assistance application form and provide supporting written evidence from a medical professional detailing why the medical condition and/or disability prevents the pupil from completing their journey (even if accompanied), and confirming the likely period of incapacity. You should also provide details of what alternative travel arrangements you have tried/considered and why they are not suitable. We generally do not consider work or other childcare commitments as sufficient exceptional circumstances on their own to make travel arrangements.
For children of primary school age, travel assistance may also be considered if both parents’ medical conditions and/or disabilities prevent them from accompanying their child on their journey to school. Again, the pupil needs to be attending the catchment or nearest suitable school and an application should be made in writing and providing the additional information outlined above.
Where travel assistance is provided under medical grounds the case will be reviewed on a regular basis and continued supporting medical evidence will be required.
If your child is attending the catchment or closest school and the journey is less than walking distance, we may give help with travel. This would be if the route has been assessed as unavailable for a pupil (accompanied as necessary) and there is no other alternative route below the walking distance.
If you wish to apply for travel assistance on this basis please make an application. We will arrange to forward to you a map of the route for you to provide details of which areas of the route you consider are unavailable for an accompanied pupil and why (taking into account the assessment criteria below). This information will be taken into account when the assessment is made.
When considering a walking route, we assume someone accompanies your child. You may be working at the time your child will travel to and from school. It is your responsibility to make other arrangements for someone to go with your child to school as you feel necessary.
Additional information on walking route assessment criteria is available on the document below:
Please note that new walking route assessments requests received in the summer term will be completed as soon as possible but are generally carried out towards the end of the autumn term, with the authority aiming to make a final decision by the end of the calendar year in which the request is made. You would remain responsible for arranging and funding your own travel whilst the assessment process is carried out.
Children attending their catchment or closest middle school who live between 2 and 3 miles from the school will have free home to school transport during years 5 and 6.
We would withdraw their travel assistance at the end of year 6. This is because they will no longer be above the 3 mile distance criteria applied from year 7 onwards.
There is no entitlement to free travel assistance for children under statutory school age. However you may be able to purchase a temporary vacant seat if available.
- Pupils who repeat a year will be considered for travel assistance as if they are a year younger.
The following are some examples of when free travel assistance is unlikely to be provided-
- to/from breakfast or before or after school clubs or activities
- to/from work experience, taster or open days
- to/from part-time provision off the school site organized by the school e.g. to vocational classes at a college
- movement between educational establishments/sites
- to/from temporary addresses
- to/from child minders, friends or other family members addresses
- to students on exchange visits – the receiving family are responsible for arranging and paying for any transport required
- to/from dental, clinical, medical or hospital appointments
- at a differing time due to detention or after school activities
- due to parental work or childcare arrangements
- to/from any site other than the registered main base of the school at which the pupil is registered
- due to family financial circumstances except where the income assessed criteria are met
You must provide written details of any exceptional circumstances you want us to consider when applying.
Please note: requests for help due to individual family work commitments, childcare arrangements or convenience to parents are generally not considered exceptional circumstances on their own .
Applications for pupils in years 10 and 11 get a higher level of consideration but we consider each application on its own merits. We consider all the circumstances and supporting evidence provided. There is no guarantee that we will provide assistance for any particular case.
We provide free travel between your child’s permanent home address and their registered school. Home to school travel assistance will not be provided to a school at which your child is not a registered pupil.
Children cannot travel to or from other addresses to suit childcare or parental work arrangements. We cannot transport them from other family member's or child minder's addresses.
A child may spend time during the school week at more than one address. We will assess eligibility for free travel from the main address. This is the address held by the school. You must produce proof showing this is the address used for claiming child benefit. In exceptional circumstances we may consider entitlement to travel assistance from another address.
We may offer a discretionary payment of travelling expenses in the form of a mileage or cycling allowance.
We pay this at the end of each term, once the school has signed the claim form to confirm the child’s attendance. We will not backdate any payments. If a child qualifies for help we will pay expenses from the date we have agreed the application.
Note: there may be two or more children from the same address attending the same school or same site. If we have agreed to a mileage allowance we will only pay one allowance as we expect them to travel together. We will reimburse you for two return journeys between home and school each day attended.
If a bus or contracted route becomes available, we may withdraw this payment. In this case we would replace it with a pass for public or contracted transport.