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 Service 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.
Pre-school age children
Pre-school age children attending an education nursery do not qualify for transport assistance except in cases of the child having an Education, Health and Care Plan. Where the child is undergoing an assessment in a specialist provision which may lead to an Education, Health and Care Plan, provision of transport assistance would then be at the discretion of the Head of Commissioning and Asset Management or their representative in accordance with the policy as it applies to children with Education, Health and Care Plans. Provision of transport may also be considered for pre-school children attending specific assessment provision.
Arrangements for the transport provision should be addressed when the final Education, Health and Care Plan 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 Transport Request Form setting out the child's transport needs would then be completed at the school, and forwarded to the Access Team.
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:
- pay a mileage allowance (40p per mile) to a parent driving their eligible child to school
- 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
All mentioned arrangements above require the relevant parental consent.
Post 16 student travel support
Students aged 16-18 residing in North Tyneside and attending a full-time course at a college of further education and travelling 3 miles or more may be eligible for up to 50% reimbursement of their fares.
- 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 (walking distance) from the nearest college providing the course
To apply for this please complete the Post 16 Student Travel Support Application Form.
Transport for Post 16 Students Special Educational Needs
Students who have had an Education, Health and Care Plan up to the age of 16 or where appropriate up to 19 who wish to attend a Further Education College as a direct continuation of their education may be eligible for free transport if it is appropriate to their needs and specified within an Education, Health and Care Plan.
Some placements for Post 16 students with special needs are made at specialist establishments outside the further education sector. These specialist placements are usually agreed for up to two years. Cases for transport will be considered on an individual basis.
A student with special educational needs or disability may continue to receive help past 21 years of age if on a continuing course of study commenced before the age of 19. However, we do consider a study to be no longer than 2-3 years. Transport assistance will not be afforded to applicants over the age of 24 years prior to the start of the new term.
Special Educational Needs
Wherever possible, pupils/students with special educational needs, disability or mobility problems 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, disability or mobility problems 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. Plans to encourage independent travel should be put in place by the school and parents/carers working in partnership to mutually agreed targets and progress be evidenced at each subsequent Annual Review.
The provision of Home to School/College transport assistance for pupils with an Education, Health and Care Plan 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 assistance 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. A mileage allowance is available to parents who prefer to transport their children to school, for further information on this please contact the Access Team on 0191 643 8726.
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 passenger assistant is provided, when necessary, to ensure pupils' safety and to supervise them during the journey. This may require the passenger assistant to sit with pupils/students, for example, in the rear seat of a taxi or it may be appropriate for the passenger assistant 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 transport assistance at the beginning and end of each term.
Independent Travel Programme for Young People in Education
The Council can also provide Independent Travel Training to those who are able and confident and would like to travel to school independently. The programme is about giving you child the skills and confidence to travel safely using public transport. It's about expanding their knowledge of road safety and learning how to plan journeys. The training usually happens when your child reaches an age that they are ready to benefit from the opportunities provided by the Independent Travel Programme. It can begin as early as Year 6.
Who is the training aimed at? The training is aimed at children and young people with additional needs, who receive support from the local authority to get to school. Many pupils can learn to travel independently. Each pupil is assessed to see if they can benefit from training. The needs of a small number of pupils may be so great that they would not benefit from training.
What are the benefits of travel training? Travel training focuses on using public transport to school. It can help to build your child's confidence, social and independence skills, which could reduce their reliance on you. You may also be eligible for a free or discounted bus pass. The travel trainer will be happy to advise you on this.
For further information on the Programme please email email@example.com