Home to school travel and transport assistance - SEN

For  most 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 who the council will make arrangements to provide travel assistance for. The Local Authority (LA) has noted the DFE good practice guidelines for home to school transport for children with Special Educational Needs.

Eligibility for travel assistance

Travel assistance may be available 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.

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 distances shown 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 our SEN transport policy for full details of the eligibility criteria and travel assistance options. 

Further information 

  • Consideration will be given to the school being proposed by the council. 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 council to provide transport.
  • We will continue to provide assistance as long as the child's needs are such that given all his/her circumstances, they continue to require travel support to access their education and still qualifiy 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. This can be found in our SEN Transport policy at Appendix 1 and through our SEN transport team.

Apply for travel assistance

Applications for a new academic year commencing in September will temporarily close each year from the beginning of the preceding July to the 3rd full week of September.  During this time you may still submit a transport application, however, we will unable to process this within the usual 20 working day timeframe.

Complete travel assistance application.

Contact: SEN transport team

Tel: 0208 461 7538