Special educational needs transport
We offer free home to school transport for all children of compulsory school age (5-16 years) who meet the entitlement criteria.
It is also our policy to offer:
- Free transport to children who start school at 4 years old, if they will be 5 years old before 31 August that school year
- A subsidised transport scheme for students aged 16-19 years, using existing local bus or train services, or education transport contract vehicles the County Council operates
- For students aged 16-25 years who have learning difficulties or disabilities, we’ll provide subsidised specialist transport where we think it’s necessary
Young people who have an EHC plan will be entitled to travel assistance to attend sixth form or college if they are attending the nearest establishment that can meet their needs, that is named as such in the plan, and if they live over the qualifying three-mile distance.
The EHCP Coordinator will notify Travel and Transport who will assess the student’s entitlement to travel assistance. If entitled, we will write to you and ask you to complete an application form. If not entitled, we will write to explain why. The deadline for us to receive applications is 31 May, for any travel assistance to begin at the beginning of September.
All students are expected to undertake travel independence training, to enable them to use public transport, unless they are assessed by the County Council as being unlikely to benefit from such training. Therefore all applications will be passed to the Travel Independence Training Team (TITAN) to make this assessment, working with students, parents/carers and other professionals. Any travel training will take place over the summer holidays with a dedicated travel training ‘buddy’.
We will keep you up to date with the progress of your application. All travel assistance is provided subject to a financial contribution, which must be paid in advance, unless the young person will be over 19 on 1 September.
If your child is aged 5-16 we will provide transport if you have a statement of SEN or an education, health and care (EHC) plan that says they need help to attend school.
They will need to go to the school that is identified in their statement or plan as the nearest one that can meet their needs.
If you choose for your child to go to a different school then you will take full responsibility for transport.
If your child will be continuing at a special school beyond the age of 16, travel assistance will continue to be provided, subject to a review of needs and potential travel training.
You will need to pay the standard parental contribution, as shown on the Cost and payment page.
Parents are responsible for their children before they board the vehicle and after they alight at the end of the day. This includes ensuring they have a pass to travel, if using a service which requires one.
Children of primary school age (Years R–6) and children with special needs should be collected from school transport by an appropriate adult, eg a parent/guardian, and parents should ensure that they or someone else can be at the drop-off point. If there is no adult present at the drop-off point, the child will not be left, which may mean that the school transport continues its route with the child on board whilst the parent/guardian is contacted.
As part of the assessment of a student’s travel needs, we’ll consider whether they might benefit from our Travel Independence Training (TITAN) scheme – training to help them use public transport services or contract buses.
As part of the training your child will be assigned a ‘summer buddy’, someone, aged 16-21 years who is employed and trained by us. They’ll work with your child to familiarise them with their journey to and from sixth form or college.
We will withdraw any special transport provision if students or families choose not to take part in the travel training programme or to comply with reasonable arrangements recommended by TITAN representatives.
We provide taxi or minibus transport to a child who is assessed as being unable to travel by public transport or school buses.