Guide to starting school or moving up to junior school

Last updated: 13 September 2023

School transport options

Parents are responsible, in law, for ensuring their child attends school so you should consider the daily journey when applying for schools. If it is not possible to walk to school because of the distance involved, you could consider using public transport or car sharing. Most schools have school travel plans and are working with parents to reduce their car use.

Travel assistance for primary age pupils is generally provided where the school attended is the nearest suitable school and it is more than two miles from your home address for a child who is under eight and three miles for those who are over eight . Most children do not qualify for help with home to school travel and parents are responsible for making the travel arrangements and meeting the cost.

In all cases children are only entitled to transport in the term following their fifth birthday. This is when they become statutory or compulsory school age. If a child starts school before they are statutory school age it is the parent’s responsibility to get their child to and from school each day

Please bear in mind that the order of your school preferences can have an effect on whether free school transport is available. If you do not express a preference for your nearest school you are unlikely to be eligible for free transport to a school further away.

For more information including guidance and policy documents please see our school transport web pages