Home to school travel and transport assistance - SEN

For large numbers of children, getting to school will be a reasonable and safe walking experience. There will, however, be a small number of children with profound and complex educational needs for whom the Council will need to make arrangements to provide transport or travel assistance. The Local Authority (LA) has noted the DFE Good Practice Guidelines for home to school transport for children with Special Educational Needs.


For children who are required to travel beyond the relevant walking distance to reach their specialist provision school because the LA is unable to make arrangements at a suitable school nearer to home, there is an automatic entitlement to transport assistance. The walking distances apply equally to all children, whether or not they have special educational needs. They are as follows:
  • 2 miles from school for children aged under 8 years
  • 3 miles from school for pupils aged 8 years and over
Distance is measured taking the nearest available route. A computer aided data map system is used, which is based on the nearest available walking route to school. The above distances are not prescriptive, the Council is obliged to consider the individual circumstances of each applicant. A child is entitled to transport assistance if the LA feels it is necessary to help the child attend school.


  • Consideration will be given to the school being proposed by the Local Authority (LA). Parents should be aware that if they express a preference for a school further from home than another suitable school, there is no duty upon the LA to provide transport.
  • The LA will continue to provide assistance as long as the child's needs are such that given all his/her circumstances, she/he continues to require transport to get to school and still qualifies under the LA Transport Policy.
  • The Transport Officer carries out the initial assessment. If necessary, additional advice may be sought from relevant agencies or professionals.
  • Currently assistance is provided through: car mileage payments to parents; school buses and taxis. The Transport Officer determines the best match to the child's needs with reference to the resources available.
  • There is an appeal process if transport is not agreed because your child does not qualify under the normal mileage criteria. Further details can be provided by the transport officer.

Next Steps

When a statement has been completed please contact the SEN transport team for application advice. 

SEN Transport team

Tel: 020 8461 7526