Free school transport

Distance from school

Most children are not eligible for free school transport. Children between 5 and 16 years old may qualify for free school transport if they go to their nearest suitable school and live at least:

  • 2 miles from the school if they're under 8
  • 3 miles from the school if they're 8 or older

For secondary schools, you can use our free school transport distance checker to find out whether your child qualifies for free school transport because of distance from the school. For primary schools contact us (select the 'Primary Admission to Reception' option).

Nearest suitable school

This means the nearest school with places available that provides education appropriate to the age, ability and aptitude of the child and any SEND they may have. This does not include private schools.

We measure the nearest suitable school from your home address, using the most direct walking route.

To be eligible for free school transport to a school that is not your nearest suitable school, you must include the nearest suitable school as one of your preferences when you apply. It does not have to be your first preference. This is so that if we cannot offer your child a place at the nearest suitable school, we can offer them free transport to the next nearest school. If you don't include the nearest suitable school in your preferences, then you will need to arrange transport to your preferred school.

Older siblings who get free school transport

Each application is considered separately. If your child has an older sibling who gets free school transport to the same school, it does not mean that the younger sibling will automatically be eligible.

We measure distance to school by walking and driving routes. These may alter, as they are updated every year with changes to the transport network. This means the younger sibling may not be eligible.

Getting free school transport because of distance from school

You do not have to apply for free school transport on the basis of how far the walk to school is. If your child qualifies, we will offer you free school transport automatically when you get your offer of a school place.

When you receive your free school transport offer letter, you will need to accept your offer.

Terms and conditions apply

View the terms and conditions. This is in line with our home to school transport policy.