Some 5-16 year olds in Norfolk will qualify for free travel. This depends on how old your child is, which school they go to and where they live, and whether they have any special educational needs or mobility issues.
All applications are assessed against the criteria set in our home to school transport policy.
Your child will be entitled to free school transport, if they:
We will also provide transport for children who are unable to walk to school due to mobility problems or a severe medical condition. This is unless they live close enough to school to be able to make their own way, using a wheelchair or suitable alternative.
We do not provide midday journeys for children attending school part-time.
Free school transport may also be available for families receiving certain benefits.
For children aged eight years and over, who attend their nearest catchment or appropriate school, the qualifying distance will remain two miles if either:
Children of secondary school age will be entitled to free transport if they:
When you apply, you must include a scan, photocopy or screenshot of a recent letter from the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) showing that you are entitled to one of the following benefits:
If you only have a Tax Credit Annual Review Notice for the current financial year, because you notified the DWP that your circumstances haven’t changed since your last full Tax Credit Award, you must send a photocopy or scan of all the following information:
We cannot return original documents. Anything you send us is scanned and/or securely destroyed.
In 2015, the Government increased the age at which young people must continue in education or training to 18.
Although young people must now remain in education or training until they are 18, the government has not increased the age range of free transport available to eligible young people in line with this. Free transport is still only available to eligible children and young people up to age 16.
The standard home to school transport policy applies to free schools.
Travel assistance to free schools can only be considered if a pupil is attending their nearest school or a qualifying school under the low income legislation, provided other criteria such as the minimum distance to be entitled are met.
If travel to school will be solely dependent on one means of transport, eg by car, it is very unlikely that we could help in an emergency, even in exceptionally difficult circumstances.
Apply for a spare seat – updated news on our discretionary travel scheme for 2020/21
We may be able to offer your child a spare seat on existing school transport under our discretionary travel scheme if they:
However, new government rules mean we can't take any payment from parents for transport on vehicles that have more than 22 seats and which are not accessible to people who are disabled.
Therefore we're having to severely restrict the number of seats we can offer under this scheme – for many routes we won't be able to offer any discretionary places.
The following rules will apply from September 2020:
Clearly this means there will be a reduced number of spare seats available. Even if the bus isn’t full, we cannot offer any more spare seats if the 20% limit has been reached on a vehicle that is not accessible.
We've tried to contract-in accessible vehicles but these are not generally available and costs are significantly higher even where they are. The local authority only has a legal duty to provide transport for those who are entitled to free school transport. Therefore we can't incur additional cost for ineligible children as we don't have the budget for that.
Each year when you apply for a discretionary place on school transport you are reminded that this place can't be guaranteed and that you should have an alternative means of getting your child to school if the seat is no longer available. That is even more so the case now.
There are also more issues to consider with the current coronavirus situation, in that we're not able to have as many children travelling on a school bus at the same time.
While spare seats under the discretionary travel scheme are technically available, we won't be offering any until we are sure that the restricted capacity on each vehicle allows it. This is very unlikely to be before the schools go back in September, and more likely to be not until the end of that month.
See our School Transport Policy for information about the priority order for allocating spare seats.
We'll do our best to offer a discretionary place, as per the terms and availability outlined above. However, we may not get back to you until the end of September with a decision, so it's important you have a plan in place to get your child to school.
You may find the alternative travel options listed here helpful.
Pupils attending their appropriate school who do not qualify under the general policy for free transport may also be able to get help if:
See sections 5.2 and 5.3 of our transport policy for more information
Email email@example.com If you have questions about your child’s eligibility for free school transport.
In some cases parents will provide their own transport to and from school instead relying on us to make transport arrangements. These arrangements are only agreed for eligible pupils if contracted or public transport is not available and it is the most cost-effective option.
The level of allowance is based on the mileage for two return journeys each day and on the condition that the driver is acting as a volunteer.
The current fuel allowance is 50p per mile.
Payments are calculated on mileage for two return journeys a day.
Allowances are paid monthly in arrears on receipt of a claim form authorised by the establishment to confirm attendance.
Submit your claims to:
Travel and Transport
Norfolk County Council
Contact the county council where you live for help.
If your county council can’t help, you can apply to Norfolk County Council under the discretionary travel scheme. You’ll need to pay fees for any assistance we provide.
We don’t provide transport or assistance for pupils to get to work placements or activities outside of normal school hours.
Talk to the person who arranged the placement or activity about travel arrangements.
We do not have to provide transport for pupils to attend induction days.
We may authorise transport if requested by the school and there is space on existing contracted services.
Please note if a travel pass is authorised for induction days this may not be the same service allocated to a pupil from September. Also, even if the same service, a new timetable may be in operation.
If the transport is a public service, then pupils are expected to pay the daily fare to the operator.
If transport is required for induction days please contact your school.