Frequently asked questions
Children not attending the catchment or nearest school
A school has a better Ofsted rating than our catchment school and is better suited to my child's needs. Will I get free transport?
No, we’re only responsible for transport to the catchment or nearest appropriate school. Any mainstream school can make provision for a child’s individual needs, calling on additional resources as necessary.
An 'appropriate' school is a school that provides education appropriate to the age, ability and aptitude of a pupil, as determined by us, rather than the best school available. Please see Who can get free school transport for further details.
My child is very settled at their existing school but we have moved out of the catchment area - can we get school transport?
No: we’re only responsible for transport to the catchment or nearest school – please see Who can get free school transport for further clarification.
We appreciate there may be exceptional circumstances as to why a family have moved out of the catchment area and that a child may be settled at school, but in these circumstances it’s your responsibility to ensure your child attends school.
My child was given their second or third preference school as the local school was full. Will I receive transport?
If our admissions service confirm that they couldn’t allocate your child a place at their catchment or nearest school, and this was your first preference, then we may provide transport to your second or third preference school if it's the next nearest school with a place and you live over the qualifying walking distance.
I believe my nearest catchment school is full. Will I receive school transport to another school?
No, we’re only responsible for providing school transport to the catchment or nearest appropriate school. The only time we provide transport to an alternative school is when:
- The catchment or nearest appropriate school is full, at the time of application
- Our admissions service authorise us to provide transport to an alternative school
For more details please see section 5.4 of our Home to School and College Transport Policy.
My child gets free transport because the catchment school was full. Will their younger sibling also get free transport to this school?
No: we’re not responsible for the younger sibling's transport to get to this school because it is not their catchment or nearest school. However, we may do for primary age pupils, if there is room in the existing vehicle with the older sibling and there is no additional cost to provide the transport.
This is not a legal requirement so we could stop transport for the younger sibling if a space is required in the vehicle for someone who is entitled under policy. If we do require space the place can be withdrawn at a week's notice. You must always be mindful of how you will get your child to school if your child is not attending their catchment or local school.