Mainstream school travel support

This applies to children aged from five to 16 years old. They will also be living further than the statutory walking distance from their nearest most appropriate school (see point three, below).

What are the criteria for school travel support?

Your child must meet all the criteria to be eligible for school travel support. They must:

1. Be of compulsory school age

Compulsory school age is the term following your child's fifth birthday until the end of the school year in which they turn 16 years of age.

In most cases, school travel support will not be available for children travelling to nurseries or other Early Years settings if they are below the compulsory school age. However, if your child is in Reception class, they can apply if they meet the other criteria.

2. Attend the nearest catchment school

The child must be attending the nearest catchment school, or another school that is nearer to your home than the nearest catchment school.

Where parents name the designated catchment school as one of their three preferences, and a place is not available, school travel support may be offered to the next closest school. This only applies where the other qualifying eligibility criteria are also met.

3. Live the appropriate distance from home to school

The distance from home to school must be more than:

  • Two miles, if the child is five to eight years old
  • Three miles, if the child is five to 16 years old

The walking distance is measured by the nearest available walking route from where the property meets the adopted road, public footpaths, bridleways, and other pathways to the nearest available entrance to the school grounds.

Where all the routes to the schools in question are beyond the statutory walking distances, the route to the schools will be measured by the nearest available road route, passable for a suitable motorised vehicle, when determining whether a non-catchment school qualifies as a nearer school.

Applying under extended rights

This applies if the child is entitled to Free School Meals, or if their parents are in receipt of the maximum level of Working Tax credit or Universal Credit (with an earned income of no more than £7,400).

In this case, the distance from home to school must be:
  • More than two miles, if they are between eight and 11 years old
  • Between two and six miles, if they are between 11 and 16 years old, and there are not three or more suitable schools that are nearer
  • Between two and 15 miles, if this is their nearest and preferred school based on grounds of religion or belief

When submitting your application, you will need to provide us with evidence of your qualifying benefit and/or faith.

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