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Transport for children of school age

Home to School Transport

Home to school transport can be a major factor for parents and carers when choosing a school. This article sets out in brief the Local Authority’s (LA) responsibilities and includes references to the law, LA policy, government guidelines and other publications.

Does my child qualify for free home to school transport?

The Local Authorities policy on home to school and college transport sets out who is eligible for free home to school transport including the arrangements for children with Special Educational Needs and/or disabilities. The policy complies with the law including the Education Act 1996 and government guidelines.

For more information on home to school transport and to check if your child might be eligible please visit:

Free Transport Information page including the Eligibility Checker - East Riding of Yorkshire Website (external council website)

My child has SEN/an Education, Health and Care plan – will they qualify for free transport?

Children with Education, Health and Care (EHC) Plans may qualify for free home to school transport if:

  • they are attending their nearest suitable school and it is beyond 2 miles if below the age of 8 or beyond 3 miles if aged between 8 and 16.

or

  • the child cannot reasonably be expected to walk to school because of their mobility problems or because of associated health and safety issues related to their Special Educational Needs and/or Disabilities.

Children/young people with an Education, Health and Care Plan do not have an automatic entitlement to free home to school transport, even if they attend a special school.

If you would like your child to attend a school that is not their nearest suitable school which can meet their need, the LA could agree to name this school in your child’s EHC plan however this normally will be on the condition that you are responsible for transport costs.

For pupils who are eligible to free home to school transport the LA makes necessary travel arrangements. The transport can be provided in a number of different ways, including:

  • a dedicated school bus
  • a travel pass for use on public transport
  • a taxi
  • a Personal Transport Budget.

Transport arrangements for children with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities

The Local Authority aims to make travel arrangements for children with special educational needs as stress free as possible. The LA will endevour to:

  • make drivers and passenger assistants known to parents
  • avoid unnecessary changes of contracts/staff/transport
  • agree care plans for pupils with health needs, carry these on vehicles and ensure staff have suitable training
  • ensure journey times are as reasonable as possible
  • provide a transport solution which accounts for the individuals needs. Specific arrangements for specialised transport will be discussed on an individual basis.

Where can I get further information about school transport services?

If you would like any further explanation or any other help/advice, please contact us:

Email: transport.requests@eastriding.gov.uk

My child is not entitled to free transport, can they travel on a school bus or taxi?

It may be possible to purchase a pass for use on the bus or taxi if it is contracted by the authority for home to school transport and they have spare seats.

Visit the East Riding of Yorkshire Council website to apply for a school travel pass (external website)

What can I do if my child does not qualify for free transport, but there are special circumstances that I believe should be taken in to account?

The executive director of Children Families and Schools may agree to the council meeting the full costs of transport or paying part of the costs if they feel that there are special circumstances which justify making an exception.

You have to make your request in writing setting out your reasons. You should include all relevant information about your children and your family circumstances and enclose any supporting documentation.

A form and guidance notes are available from the School Organisation team on:

Email: schoolorganisation@eastriding.gov.uk

What do I do if I am unhappy about the executive director's decision?

If the Director refuses home to school or college transport assistance you can lodge an appeal. All appeals are considered by the council’s Appeals Committee.

Pick-up and drop-off flexibility

Parents and carers will be informed that home-to-school transport cannot be organised around work or other commitments; all timetables are planned around the child or young person’s school start and finish times. It is important that there is a parent or carer available at the end of the school day when the young person returns home.

Transport welcome discussions where there is a change in circumstance or the needs of the child or young person, or if the current transport arrangements are having a detrimental impact on the child or young person’s ability to access and engage with education.

Different types of transport support available

Once a transport support eligibility is identified the council has a responsibility to follow established best practice in provision of support in the most appropriate and cost effective way.

Outlined below are the methods available to residents of the East Riding of Yorkshire:

East Riding of Yorkshire Council school bus pass

Where appropriate the most common way in which the council meets school transport needs is through provision of a bus pass. Many of the most popular provisions offer access to a school service bus, only accessible to students of the education provider. On some routes seats on a public service bus may be purchased by the council where it is seen as a more efficient use of council resources.

More information can be accessed through contacting the School Transport team on (01482) 395444.

Passenger Assistants

There is no specific duty on the council to provide Passenger Assistants for the children or young people carried on home to school transport. However, fulfilling a duty of care to passengers and others may involve the provision of a Passenger Assistant.

A Passenger Assistant may be provided to accompany a child or young person with significant needs arising from a medical condition or a disability and where there is an exceptional need for care or supervision.

For more information about passenger assistants contact the school transport team on (01482) 395444.

Personal Transport Budgets

Personal Transport Budgets (PTB) may be used as an alternative approach to transport for those eligible for home to school or college transport. However, a PTB may not always be possible if it is not an efficient use of council resources.

A PTB allows families to arrange home to school or college transport in a way that suits them. This can be bespoke, allowing families to make flexible arrangements. It provides freedom for the family to choose their preferred transport arrangements and, be able to monitor the quality of their child’s transport directly. A PTB could be used to overcome barriers that may ordinarily prevent parents/carers from getting their child to school/college. Whilst the council may have some suggestions on how a PTB could be used, parents/carers may have other ideas (we call these proposals), which the council will be happy to consider.

PTBs are part of the council’s Home to School and College Transport Policy. Further details can be found here on the council’s website on School/college Transport Information including Home to School and College Transport Policy.

Transport Passports and relevant information exchange prior to first travel

In order to promote calm and safe travel arrangements for all passengers, the council has introduced a document called a Travel Passport, which is individual to each student.

This provides an opportunity for parents, children and young people to share information in relation to individual requirements. The aim is for the provider to know important information specific to the individual being transported. The more information that is available to the driver and or passenger assistant, the better insight they will have with a view to enhancing everyone’s travelling experience.

Furthermore, at the time of confirming travel arrangements with parents, this is also an opportunity for parents or carers to decide if they would like to liaise directly with the driver and or passenger assistant to pass on any useful information prior to travel. The driver and or passenger assistants’ telephone number will be provided to allow this to happen.

These are available on request from the School Transport team via transport.requests@eastriding.gov.uk.

When it doesn’t work

It is hoped the transport arrangements in place are working well, but in the event of any concerns arising, parents and carers are encouraged to approach the council at the earliest opportunity to allow us to address any concerns and make adjustments where deemed necessary.

The council wants to work together with parent and carers to reach an amicable solution, and working together to reach a solution will hopefully minimise any unnecessary stress to families and their children.

To discuss any concerns please contact transport.requests@eastriding.gov.uk.

Talk to us on (01482) 396469*
or send us your thoughts here
*Monday to Thursday 8.30am to 5pm, Friday 8.30am to 4.30pm
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