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Special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) school transport

Your child may be able to get free transport to school if they are aged 5 to 16 and have special educational needs or a disability (known as SEND). You may need to pay for transport if your child is under 5 years old and going to nursery or 16 to 25 years old and going to school or college.

5 to 16 year olds

Are you a parent or carer of someone with special educational needs or a disability?

Get paid to take control of your child’s school transport. 

Find out about a Personal Transport Budget 

Eligibility for 5 to 16 year olds

Your child will qualify for free SEND school transport if they have a SEN statement or Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP) and are attending the school allocated by the Local Authority, that meets their needs or a nearer qualifying school.

And the school is more than:

  • 2 miles from where they live for primary age pupils (up to 11 years old)
  • 3 miles from where they live for secondary age pupils (11 to 16 years old)


We will still consider your child for free SEND school transport if:

  • you live less than 2 miles (for primary age pupils) or less than 3 miles (for secondary age pupils) from your allocated school
  • they don’t have a SEN statement or EHCP but their sensory, physical, medical or behavioural difficulties stop them from getting to school even with help from a parent or carer

How to apply

Special schools

The 2018/2019 application form is now available.

If your child is starting at a special school and will be over 5 or under 16 on the 1 September 2018 you will need to complete the online application form. It normally takes around 20 minutes to complete:

Apply online

  • We won’t be able to offer your child free transport if you don’t fill this in.
  • We may contact you to find out more about your child to make sure they get the most suitable transport.
  • It will take up to 15 working days from the date that we receive the form to organise transport (this can be up to 6 weeks in busy periods, like summer)

To apply for the remainder of the 2017/2018 academic year please contact us as below.

Mainstream schools

If your child is starting, or moving up to their next school, we will contact you if they are eligible. This does not apply to mid-term transfers.

You may need to give us more information to help us work out:

  • whether your child is eligible for free transport to school
  • what the best type of transport will be for your child

We may telephone you to find out more about your child to make sure they get the most suitable transport.

If you are eligible

We will usually contact you to tell you whether your child has free transport to school and what type of transport they’ll be using. We’ll send you the bus route, timetable and / or any other details about your child’s transport before the start of the autumn term.

If you’re not eligible

If your child does not qualify for free school transport, you can:

  • ask us to check again if you think we’ve made a mistake
  • make an appeal

Moving home

If you are moving home you’ll need to apply online again using the Apply online link above.

Further Reading

SEND Home to School Transport Policy 2018-2019    Opens new window

Fair processing notice   Opens new window

Also see

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