Exceptional circumstances

Sometimes your child may still be able to get help with school travel even if they do not 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. We take into account the individual circumstances and the impact travel assistance will have on the educational outcomes of the child or young person.

What are the criteria?

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 needs or medical conditions 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 that states:

  • What medical or mental health conditions the child has and how this affects their ability to walk to or from school or the further education provider
  • That the child cannot walk the given distance to or from school or the further education provider
  • 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 or carer accompanying that child for it to be considered safe, but the parent or 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:

  • What medical or mental health condition the parent or 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 or from school or the further education provider
  • Confirmation that the sole parent or carer responsible for taking a child to school cannot walk the distance to or from school or the further education provider
  • 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 School Travel Service 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.