Free school transport

Children with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND)

Children who cannot walk to their nearest suitable school because of SEND or their mobility needs may qualify for free school transport.

We will assess your claim for free school transport based on:

  • distance from school
  • if the walk is unsafe even if accompanied
  • the child's needs, including mobility, medical needs, behaviour and vulnerability

We will consult you, the child's teachers and health and care professionals.

Transport will be provided by the council if your child's education, health and care plan (EHCP) requires it, but having an EHCP does not automatically mean your child is eligible.

To find out if your SEND child qualifies for free school transport contact your named Education, Health and Care Coordinator.

Your transport options

If the SEND team decide that your child is eligible for free school transport, we will contact you. You will be able to apply for one of these 2 options:

  • a personal transport budget
  • council-arranged transport

Personal transport budget

You could apply for a personal transport budget. This is money paid monthly, so the money is available throughout the school year as you need it. Personal transport budgets give you freedom, choice and flexibility to arrange school transport for your child in a way that suits your family best.

Personal Transport Budgets are a popular choice with families as they have many benefits over the traditional transport that the Council provides. You can find out more about personal transport budgets.

There might be circumstances where a Personal Transport Budget is not appropriate, for example where the Council can arrange transport for you at a lower cost. This will be assessed as part of the application process. The Council will make the final decision based on all the available information.

Council arranged transport options

If we arrange your child's transport, we will work with you to decide on the best transport option based on:

  • age
  • needs
  • length and type of journey
  • whether other transport options are available, suitable and cost-effective
  • how far your child has progressed with their independence training

Read more about school transport for young people with SEND.

More information