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Travelling to school

Travelling To School Panel

As a parent, it's your responsibility to make sure your child gets to and from school. You can request a place at any school for your child, but your child may not necessarily qualify for free school transport. It is important that you check whether your child will be entitled, as most children will not qualify as they can travel independently. You will need to think carefully about how your child is going to get to the school you prefer for the whole time they will be there.

Transport is provided in a variety of ways, minibus, taxi, bus passes and petrol allowance (an allowance which enables you as the parent/carer to take your child to school in your own transport). The council will allocate a form of transport from the information you provide about your child on the application form.

Independent Travel Training is a free scheme to help young people who qualify for school transport to learn how to develop the skills required for safe, independent travel. Travel trainers work with students from mainstream and special schools, pupil referral units, and colleges of further education. This is a referral-only service, please see the relevant link for more details on the scheme.

Who qualifies for assistance with school transport?

Your child is not in walking distance of their nearest school

Walking distance is measured by the shortest available walking route, from the nearest entrance to your home (for example front gate), to the nearest school entrance.  For a child under 8, the walking distance is two miles from home to the school and for a child 8 and over the walking distance is three miles.


You are on a low income 

Your child is primary school age and:

  • attends their nearest primary school (includes a school based on the parent's religion or belief)
  • receives free school meals or you receive the maximum amount of Working Tax Credit
  • their distance from home to school is more than two miles on the shortest available walking route

Your child is aged 11 to 16 (year group 7 to 11) and:

  • attends one of their three nearest schools
  • receives free school meals or you receive the maximum amount of Working Tax Credit
  • their distance from home to school is between two and six miles (15 miles if their nearest school is based on the parent's religion or belief)


Your child has a special need or medical condition

If your child has special educational or medical needs that means they can't walk to school, they won't automatically be entitled to free transport but we can individually assess their needs to see if they are eligible for free school transport.

Your child must attend the nearest school that meets their needs, this may be a special school/unit or a mainstream school allocated by us.  If your child's needs can be met at a mainstream school, transport will only be considered to the school nearest to your home address

If free transport is provided this will be re-assessed on a regular basis.


If you have moved house

Your child may be eligible to get free transport if:

  1. Your child is in years  6,10 or 11
  2. Your child was attending their nearest school before the move
  3. The move wasn't voluntary
  4. The distance is more than three miles from home to school or 2 miles if your child receives free school meals or you receive the maximum amount of Working Tax Credit



How to apply for free school transport

Complete the online form if you think your child is eligible for free school transport.

Apply for free school transport

Apply for a free school bus pass

If you have any questions please email or call 01752 308770.


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Plymouth's Local Offer

The Plymouth's Local Offer explains the support and services that are available for children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) aged 0 to 25 years.

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