Education travel assistance options
Once a child or young person has been assessed as eligible to receive travel assistance to their education provision, there are a variety of options available to the council to deliver such assistance. The council reserve the right to decide and propose the most suitable form of travel assistance for the child or young person. If you have a preferred option, please ensure that this is referred to on your application.
These options include
The council provides transport in contracted vehicles to enable pupils to access their education provision. In the majority of cases, the SEN transport team will work with a framework of transport providers to secure a seat on a shared transport vehicle with other pupils. Solo transport is only considered in exceptional circumstances.
You can request to receive a mileage payment in order to transport the child or young person to and from their education provision. The SEN transport team will assess whether this is a cost-effective option for the local authority and may award payments if no existing contracts are operating that could accommodate the pupil.
The mileage payment is normally calculated at 45p per mile for two return journeys to and from the education provision each day ( four single trips daily). This is paid in arrears and is subject to attendance and receipts.
It is unlikely that a mileage payment will be granted where this exceeds the cost of a personal transport budget and consequently payments are capped at £2000 per annum. Where there are two or more pupils from the same family attending the school, only one claim for mileage payment is allowed.
Personal transport budgets
A personal transport budget (PTB) is a payment designed to help parents make their own arrangements to facilitate the pupil accessing their education provision.
A PTB is primarily available to pupils with an Education, Health and Care Plan who have been assessed as eligible to receive travel assistance in accordance with Bromley’s education travel assistance policy. In exceptional circumstances and where it is financially beneficial to Bromley Council, mainstream pupils may be offered a PTB on the same basis as pupils with EHCPs – this is entirely at the discretion of the council and will only be available where it can be demonstrated to be the most cost-effective use of public resources.
PTB payments are made on the basis of the straight-line distance between the child or young person's home and their main school in the bands shown in the table.
|Band 1||Less than 5 miles||£2000 annual budget|
|Band 2||Between 5 and 10 miles||£4000 annual budget|
|Band 3||Over 10 miles||£ 6000 annual budget|
Where a pupil receives a PTB partway through the school year, the total payment will be offered on a pro rata basis to account for the reduced timescale that the parent will be responsible for transport arrangements.
Where a pupil is accessing education on a part-time basis, or they are making use of boarding facilities, their PTB payments will be offered on a pro rata basis to account for the reduction in journey frequency (in most cases for learners who board, mileage payments offer more benefit than the PTB).
The PTB is reviewed on a regular basis taking into account the pupil’s attendance at the education provision and the transport arrangements that may be provided by the council that are in place at the current time. The pupil’s attendance will be monitored and payments for any days that they are absent will be deducted from a later PTB payment. There is no guarantee that a PTB will continue to be paid where the pupil’s attendance is seen to be low or where there is more cost-effective transport which can be accessed.
Parents will be required to enter into a contract with Bromley Council in which they agree to ensure the pupil can access the education provision in a safe and legal way and arrive in a fit state to learn in return for the PTB payment.
PTB payments are made in 11 monthly instalments. No payment will be made in July to allow Bromley Council sufficient time to confirm that a reduction is not required in the final monthly instalment to account for low attendance. The final payment will be made in August to account for transport that parents have provided in July of that school year. Payments are paid directly into a parent’s bank account on a specific date each month to be advised at the time the PTB is set up, where this falls on a weekend or public holiday payments will be made the previous working day.
Payments will be calculated from the date that the parental agreement form is signed and received by the team. Payments are not backdated, and no refunds are provided if the application for a PTB is processed within six weeks of receipt of the application.
A PTB can be offered to up to two pupils within a family, however, the additional pupil will only be granted 50 percent of the entitlement. Any subsequent pupil would not qualify for PTB.
Independent travel training
Independent travel training (ITT) is available to pupils with an EHCP and who meet the criteria to receive free home to school travel assistance. It provides them with the necessary training to access public transport to travel to and from their education provision.
It is expected that CYPs will undertake ITT where possible. Not engaging in this where appropriate, may affect whether any alternative travel assistance may be provided.
Bromley Council are passionate about helping young adults develop independence in a safe and meaningful way. Travel training is a great first step in this process and no learner will be expected to travel on public transport until they are demonstrably confident and capable to do so.
Parents can be assured that once trained and travelling independently, additional support will be made available to learners in the event that there is a change in school or route and if accessing public transport is no-longer suitable arrangements will be reviewed.
Parents will be able indicate if they are interested in ITT when completing their transport application process and it will form part of the transport discussion during annual reviews.
For further information on independent travel training, please email ITT@bromley.gov.uk.
Vacant seat payment scheme (VSPS)
The payment scheme has been devised to help support families who may wish to choose an alternative school to that which is closest to their home and able to meet their child’s needs. In most circumstances where this arises, families will have planned to make their own arrangements for their child to access their preferred school.
To assist families in being able to exercise their choice, the council will allow (where appropriate) parents to purchase a vacant seat on vehicles operating to their preferred school (if there is one available). A contribution of £400 per annum will be applied to access the vehicle.
Parents are advised that the seat is not guaranteed and may need to be withdrawn in the event that a legally entitled scholar needs the seat. In such circumstances, parents will be given a minimum of one calendar months’ notice to make alternative arrangements and will be refunded on a pro rata basis.