Under certain criteria, your child may still be able to get help with school travel even if they don’t meet the criteria for the statutory transport. This can be for a fixed amount of time, or reviewed on an ongoing basis.

These types of applications are reviewed on a case-by-case basis, taking into account the individual circumstances and the impact travel assistance will have on the educational outcomes of the child or young person.


What is the criteria?

While this is not the full list of factors we use to review a case and even these listed do not guarantee assistance, we typically look at:

  • Educational outcomes of the child or young person
  • Health and wellbeing of the child, parent/carer and other family members
  • Health and safety risks to the child or others that may apply if they travelled to school without support
  • Extraordinary circumstances that arise from a parent’s work or caring commitments
  • Extraordinary circumstances that arise in relation to a child or young person’s parental or care duties
  • Special need or medical condition that may prevent the child from walking to school or using public transport

Medical conditions

If the child has a medical condition
This is when a child is within the minimum walking distances and we can see written evidence from a GP or hospital consultant saying:

  1. What medical or mental health conditions the child has and how this affects their ability to walk to/from school/further education provider?
  2. The child cannot walk the given distance to/from school/further education provider
  3. How long the situation is likely to last?

If the parent has a medical condition

This is when a child lives within walking distance of the nearest qualifying school (or designated school if it is not the nearest) but the route to school relies on a parent/carer accompanying that child for it to be considered safe, but the parent/carer’s condition prevents them from doing so.

In this case, we will need to see written evidence from a GP, hospital consultant, or other appropriate independent professional confirming that the child requires accompaniment to school along with:

  1. What medical or mental health condition the parent/carer has where they are the only adult responsible for taking the child to school and how this affects their ability to accompany the child to/from school/further education provider?
  2. Confirmation that the sole parent/carer responsible for taking a child to school cannot walk the distance to/from school/further education provider
  3. How long the situation is likely to last?

How do I apply under exceptional circumstances?

In this case, a parent/carer can ask for an exceptional circumstances application from the Travel Co-ordination team by emailing travel.coordination@southampton.gov.uk. The form will set out the process and what information you will need to provide with the application.

If we reject your application again, you can appeal the decision.