Personalised Travel Payment pilot

What is it?

A Personalised Travel Payment (PTP) is a sum of money that we offer to parents and carers with a child or young person who has Special Educational Needs or Disabilities (SEND). This will enable them to make their own arrangements to take their child or young person to and from school. This is an alternative to using other transport, such as a taxi or a minibus, which is provided by us (the local authority).

A PTP is for a child or young person with or without an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP) attending their nearest appropriate special school or other specialist provision, who needs specialist transport. They must meet the general criteria within the home to school transport policy regarding age and distance, which would qualify them for free home to school transport.

During the pilot (trial period), we are looking for approximately 200 families who have an eligible child or young person who are interested in participating in the scheme. We would like to ensure a representative sample of families in a range of individual circumstances and educational settings.

The PTP is available for all eligible young people with SEND aged 16-19 with or without an EHCP. However, as per the Home to School Transport Policy, a parental contribution is required for post-16 transport and this is deducted from the total PTP value for the year, which is then paid monthly.

For young people aged 19-25 with an EHCP, no financial contribution towards transport will be required. This will continue to be the case for these young people up the end of the year in which they become 25 years old, as long as they continue to have an EHCP.

The PTP is a payment based on distance, taking into account the child or young person’s needs, based on the shortest distance by road from their main residence to school/college, measured using the council’s measuring software. We will pay the PTP every month in arrears, based on the number of school days in that month. There is no payment for August.

  • Increased flexibility for families – the PTP allows families in a variety of circumstances to organise their own travel options
  • Families will not be constrained by the taxi or mini bus pick up/drop off time so can enable attendance at after school clubs or other activities
  • Parents and carers could consider shared travel arrangements with another family or within their own family and friends
  • Parents and carers or family members can spend more time with their child or young person
  • By taking their child or young person 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 your child or young person’s needs best and can support them so they arrive at school more ready to learn.
    Less time travelling to and from school for those on shared travel arrangements
  • School staff do not need to do anything – all procedures should be undertaken as normal
  • A PTP may enable their students to take part in more extra-curricular activities, such as breakfast/after school clubs, that were previously difficult because of shared transport arrangements
  • Flexibility in making arrangements with parents – eg build-up timetables, half days, etc
  • With a PTP, children and young people’s journeys are likely to be shorter, meaning they are less tired when arriving at school and more ready to learn
  • School community involvement; parent/carers have an opportunity to engage with the school more whilst dropping off/picking up their child or young person
  • There is a potential for increased school traffic. We will inform the schools, as a courtesy, of the families signing up to the scheme whose children and young people attend that school
You can spend the PTP on whatever transport option you like, as long as your child or young person gets to school on time and travels in a way that enables them to arrive at school more ready to learn.
You will be expected to provide feedback at the end of your participation in the scheme. You must also inform us of any change in your personal circumstances, for example, a change of school or a change of address.

As part of this scheme, you are taking over the responsibility from us to organise your child or young person’s travel to and from school and ensure school attendance. We 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.

The payment has an amount built in for contingency planning, so that families can make alternative arrangements should the need arise. For example, you can organise to share transport with other families in the same school or use the money to pay for bus tickets to and from school for you and your child or young person.

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.

The PTP is a distance based payment. If there are two or more children or young people in a family going to the same school, there would only be one payment offered. However, if two or more children or young people in the family travel to different schools, then we would offer a payment that takes into account the additional distance to get from home to the first school, then the next and back to home.
The PTP scheme is entirely optional. If you are having concerns, we would encourage you to contact us first so that we can try to resolve your issues. However, if you still wish to leave the scheme, then you are free to opt out at any time. We would ask that you give us at least 10 working days’ notice. This gives us time to organise alternative transport but please be aware that we cannot guarantee the same driver, vehicle or passenger assistant as before.

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