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 travel assistance. The Local Authority (LA) has noted the DFE good practice guidelines for home to school transport for children with Special Educational Needs.

Entitlement to travel assistance

For children of statutory school age 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, travel assistance may be available. 

The council expects children of primary school age to be accompanied by parents, guardians, carers, and it is a parental responsibility to make such arrangements as are necessary.  

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 mapping system is used, which is based on the nearest available walking route to school. The above distances are not prescriptive and we use our discretion to consider the individual circumstances of each applicant, where it is necessary to help the child access their education. 

Please see the council's SEN transport policy for full details of the eligibility criteria. 

Further information 

  • 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 travel assistance to access their education and still qualifies under our transport policy.
  • A transport officer carries out the initial assessment. If necessary, additional advice may be sought from relevant agencies or professionals.
  • Currently assistance is provided through a variety of offers detailed in the SEN transport policy. We decide the best match to the child's needs with reference to the resources available.
  • There is an appeal process if travel assistance is not agreed because your child does not qualify under the normal mileage criteria. More information can be provided by the SEN transport team.

Apply for travel assistance

When an Education Care and Health plan has been completed and if travel assistance is necessary.

Please note that applications for the 2020-21 academic year will temporarily close between 1 July 2020 and 18 September 2020. During this time you may still submit a transport application, however, we will unable to process this within the usual 20 working day timeframe

Please complete the travel assistance application.

Contact: SEN Transport team

Tel: 0208 461 7538