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School transport

Free school travel

A free travel pass is only available for your child if:

  • they attend their catchment area school
  • your child is under 8 years of age and lives more than 2 miles from the school
  • your child is 8 years of age or over and lives 3 miles or more (shortest walking distance) from your nearest appropriate school

If you have chosen a different school, a free pass may not be available.

If you move out of the area served by your child's school, free travel may be available at the discretion of the Head of Access and Inclusion until your child completes an examination course already started, for example in years 10 and 11.

Free passes are not available in other cases of leaving the area.

The Local Authority has a duty to ensure that suitable travel arrangements are made, free of charge, for certain, 'eligible children' in their area where it is considered necessary to facilitate their attendance at relevant educational establishments.

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Pre-school age children

A pre-school age child attending a specialist provision as a result of a Statement of Special Educational Need or for a Special Education Needs assessment is entitled to free transport if required as a result of their Special Education Need.

Arrangements for the transport provision should be addressed when the final Statement of Special Educational Needs is confirmed. The transport needs of children being assessed, should be arranged at the point of agreement to the placement at the specialist provision. 

A pro forma setting out the child's transport needs would then be completed at the school, and forwarded to Education and Cultural Services.

A child of nursery age that is attending a Child Care Nursery may be provided with assistance at the discretion of the social work team at Children's Services. Any requests for transport assistance should be made directly to the social worker who will pursue the request.

Children under 16

We have a duty to make sure that suitable travel arrangements are made, free of charge, for certain, 'eligible children' in their area where it is considered necessary to facilitate their attendance at relevant educational establishments.

Eligible children are:

  • children/students who are unable to walk to school by reason of their special educational needs, disability, or temporary medical condition
  • children /students who are unable to walk in safety to school because of the nature of the route
  • children /students living outside statutory walking distances (3 miles for children aged 8 or over, or 2 miles for younger pupils), attending their nearest qualifying school which has places available, where no suitable alternative arrangements have been made (for example, where their nearest school is within the statutory limits but has no places available, requiring them to travel to an alternative outside those limits)
  • children / students from low income families, i.e. those entitled to free school meals, or whose parents are in receipt of their maximum level of Working Tax Credit

This applies to:

  • primary pupils aged between 8 and 11 from low income families attending a qualifying school more than 2 miles, but no more than 6 miles from their home
  • secondary pupils aged between 11 and 16 from low income families attending 1 of their 3 nearest qualifying schools more than 2 miles but less than 6 miles from their home, from September 2008
  • secondary pupils aged between 11 and 16 from low income families, from September 2008 attending the nearest suitable school preferred on grounds of religion or belief, where they live more than 2 miles, but not more than 15 miles from that school

In North Tyneside pupils attending special schools and units attached to mainstream schools who are unable to make their own way to school due to their special educational needs and/or live further than the minimum distance of 1 mile.

A pupils' home address is considered to be the one that is registered for the purpose of claiming Child Benefit/Working Tax Credit.

Methods of transport

We can provide or arrange transport in a number of ways, for example:

  • by providing pupils/students with passes to use on public transport
  • by providing buses for use by school pupils/students
  • if circumstances warrant, by arranging for them to travel in taxis or hired cars
  • pay a cycling allowance where the parent agrees for their eligible child to cycle to and from school instead of using public transport
  • provide an escort to enable an eligible child with or without special educational needs to walk a short distance to school in reasonable safety, instead of making arrangements for a taxi to take them to and from school
  • pay a mileage allowance to a parent driving their eligible child to school

All mentioned arrangements above require the relevant parental consent.

Post 16 student travel support and independent travel

Please complete the application form if you are:

  • a student aged 16-18
  • attending a full-time course at a college of further education
  • living in North Tyneside and your home address is more than 3 miles (by walking distance) from the nearest college providing the course

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Special educational needs

Wherever possible, pupils/students with special educational needs will be treated in the same way as those without such needs.

Wherever possible, a child, young person or young adult with special educational needs will also be encouraged to travel on public transport, especially when this is considered to be a factor in developing their independence, life and social skills.

The provision of Home to School/College transport for pupils with statements of special educational needs will be provided in line with the Home to School / College Transport Policy. This applies to pupils attending both mainstream schools and day special schools up to 19 years of age.

Pupils living outside of the minimum distances but who are following an independence programme including making their own way to school are eligible for a free bus pass for use on public transport to facilitate free travel to and from school.

Transport will be provided for pupils attending special schools and units attached to mainstream schools who are unable to make their own way to school due to their special education needs and/or live further than the minimum distance of one mile.

Pupils living within the minimum distances set out in the Home to School / College Transport Policy would be expected to make their own way to and from school unless prevented from doing so as a result of their special educational need. It is recognised that for certain pupils/students, independent travel is not possible. Such pupils/students must be considered individually and according to their individual needs.

An escort is provided, when necessary, to ensure pupils' safety and to supervise them during the journey. This may require the escort to sit with pupils/students, for example, in the rear seat of a taxi or it may be appropriate for the escort to sit in the front. This will be in response to the pupils'/students' needs.

Pupils/students attending a residential provision as a result of their statement of special educational needs would be provided with free transport at the beginning and end of each term.

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