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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?

There is a choice of either a personal transport budget (PTB) or traditional transport.

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

Find out about a Personal Transport Budget 

Frequently asked questions on home to school transport for the 2020/21 academic year in response to the Coronavirus pandemic.

Eligibility for 5 to 16 year olds

Your child will qualify for free SEND school transport if they have an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP) and are attending the school allocated by the Local Authority, identified in their most current EHCP as meeting 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 an 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

If you wish to apply for Transport Assistance for the remainder of the current academic year, please contact us using the details at the bottom of the page.

Apply for SEND school transport - 2021/22 academic year

The application form normally takes around 20 minutes to complete.  

  • We won’t be able to offer your child transport assistance 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 assistance. 
  • It will take up to 15 working days from the date that we receive the form to organise transport assistance (this can be up to 6 weeks in busy periods, like summer). 
  • The closing date to ensure transport assistance is in place for the start of the new academic year is 9 July 2021.

Apply online for transport assistance 2021/22

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 transport assistance to school
  • what the best type of transport assistance 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 assistance.

If you are eligible

We will usually contact you to tell you whether your child is eligible for transport assistance to school. We’ll send you information about the type of assistance e.g. school bus, taxi, personal transport budget (PTB) 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 transport assistance, you can:

  • ask us to check again if you think we’ve made a mistake
  • provide us with more information that could change our decision
  • 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 2021-2022  Opens new window

SEND Home to school transport policy 2022-2023  Opens new window

Fair processing notice   Opens new window

Also see

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