Personalised Travel Scheme
What is it?
The Personalised Travel Scheme (PTS) is a pilot scheme that offers a sum of money to parents and carers with a child or young person who has Special Educational Needs or Disabilities (SEND) to enable them to make their own arrangements to take their child or young person to and from school. This is an alternative to other Local Authority provided transport such as a taxi or a minibus.
You can join this scheme at any time and, if you find it is not working, leave at any time, as long as you give us a month's notice to make alternative travel arrangements for your child, if necessary. You are eligible for the scheme if your child attends a special school or specialist setting and would be eligible for free transport to that setting as per the County Council's home to school and college transport policy.
How is the payment calculated?
The payment is based on the mileage for four journeys per day (unless the child is boarding) measured using the shortest distance by road from home to school/college. The payments are made monthly, in arrears, automatically into a nominated bank account.
What are the potential advantages?
"I can plan the journeys around college, rather than plan college around the taxi"
- Increased flexibility - the PTS allows families in a variety of circumstances to organise whatever travel option works for them.
- Potentially less time spent travelling to and from school than on a shared taxi with multiple pickups.
- Families will not be constrained by the taxi or mini bus pick up and drop off times so the child or young person can attend after-school clubs or college timetables.
- Parents and carers could consider lift-sharing arrangements with another family.
- Parents and carers can spend more time with their child.
- By taking their child to and from school, parents and carers may feel more involved or included in their school community, for example speaking with other parents and carers and school staff at the start and end of the school day.
- Peace of mind - parents and carers know their child's needs best and can support them so they arrive at school more ready to learn.
What can I use the money for?
You can spend the PTS on whatever transport option you like - you can drive them yourself, pay another family member to drive them or even use the money to pay for public transport - as long as they get to school on time and travel in a way that enables them to arrive at school ready to learn.
What if I can't get my child to school?
As part of this scheme, you are taking over the responsibility from Norfolk County Council to organise your child or young person's travel to and from school and ensure school attendance. Norfolk County Council will no longer be responsible for organising home to school transport and will not organise transport at short notice or in emergencies. We strongly recommend that you organise back-up arrangements.
However, if you incur unforeseen travel costs (such as paying for a taxi if your car breaks down), then you can claim this money back from us, up to an agreed threshold (usually £500).
Will the PTS affect my benefits or be subject to tax?
This will depend on your own family income and what benefits you are in receipt of and we strongly advise that you check your own individual circumstances. The Local Offer website has a page for organisations offering money advice, or contact the HMRC helpline.