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Free home to school transport
Getting your child to school on time and safely can be a challenge. Depending on where you live, your income and your child’s age, your child may qualify for free home to school transport. If they have special educational needs (SEN) or a disability they might also be eligible. Find out if your child qualifies.
Free home to school transport - does your child qualify?
Local authorities (LAs) must provide free home to school transport for children if they:
- are between 5 and 16 years old
- are attending their nearest suitable school
- live further away from the school than the statutory walking distances (2 miles for pupils under 8, and 3 miles for those aged 8 plus)
Children also qualify for free transport - no matter what distance they live from the school - if they are unable to walk for any of the following reasons:
- they have SEN
- they have a disability or mobility problems
- there is no safe walking route
Safe walking routes are those which usually include road crossings, good lighting and well maintained pavements and footpaths. LAs are required to assess the suitability of walking routes.
Apply for home to school travel support
You can find out more and apply for school travel support online. Follow the link below and enter details of where you live, and you will be taken to the relevant page on your LA's website.
Children from low income families
A 'low income' family is one whose children are entitled to free school meals or whose parents receive the maximum Working Tax Credit.
Primary school children from low income families qualify for free school transport if they:
- are aged 8 to 11
- go to their nearest suitable school, and live more than 2 miles away
Secondary school pupils (11 to 16 years old) from low income families are entitled to free school transport if they go to:
- a suitable school between 2 and 6 miles away from their home address, as long as there aren't 3 or more suitable schools nearer to home
- the nearest school chosen on the grounds of religion or belief, and the school is between 2 and 15 miles away from their home address
Children with SEN or disabilities
If your child has a statement of SEN and has transport requirements written into it, your LA must provide them. The link below takes you to the page on your LA’s website with more about school transport for children with SEN or disabilities.
Help with transport costs for over-16s
If your child is over 16 and in further education or sixth form, your LA may be able to help with transport costs. Each LA has its own policy on help with transport for the over-16s.