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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.

Nursery and post 16

Transport for pupils aged under 5 or over 16 on the 1 September 2018.

Changes to school transport rules

The following changes to school transport rules may affect any pupil using transport from September 2018 who will still require transport in September 2019 onwards.

The council’s cabinet agreed on 9 March 2018 to change the school transport policy for pupils as listed below.

This will take effect from September 2019, irrespective of the transport and/or charges that may have applied to them up to that point, i.e. there will be no transitional arrangements. This means, for example, that you may have to pay charges from September 2019 where you currently receive free transport and/or your child will no longer receive taxi or council minibus transport. The changes are:

  • For all eligible SEN children aged between 16 and 18: stopping traditional transport methods (taxis or council fleet minibuses) and replacing them with a personal transport budget (PTB) direct payment (although there may be some exceptions to this that would be considered on a case by case basis). The rules for students aged 19-25 are different so transport has to be free of charge when deemed necessary by the Council, but a PTB will still remain the standard offer for those students.
  • For low income families using SEN transport aged between 16 and 18: families will need to make an annual contribution of £330 (currently free). This is 50% of the full charge for non-low income families and may change based on budget updates in future. As above there is no charge for eligible students aged 19-25.
  • For low income families using SEN nursery transport: families will need to make an annual contribution of £330 (currently free).  This is 50% of the full charge for non-low income families and may change based on budget updates in the future.
  • For eligible mainstream post 16 students: stopping traditional transport (mainly taxis and commercial bus passes) and instead providing an annual travel grant of £150 to assist with transport costs for those in isolated rural areas and/or from a low income background.

Frequently asked questions on SEN Transport policy from September 2019   Opens new window

Eligibility for nursery children

You’ll need to apply for transport assistance if your child is:

  • aged 2, 3 or 4
  • going to a specialist nursery that is more than 2 miles from where they live
  • going to either Sketchley Menphys Nursery School if they live to the west of the M1 motorway or Wigston Menphys Nursery School if they live to the east of the M1 motorway

Exception

We will still consider your child for transport assistance if you live less than 2 miles from the nursery and their sensory, physical, medical or behavioural difficulties stop them from getting to school even with help from a parent or carer.

Apply for nursery transport assistance

It is not possible to apply for nursery transport assistance for the 2019/2020 academic year online. Please download the form below:

Nursery application form   Opens new window

Or, contact us by email transportassessments@leics.gov.uk, or phone 0116 305 0002 for a form to be posted to you. 

You can apply for nursery transport assistance for the 2018/2019 academic year by using the online form below.

Eligibility for 16 to 25 year olds going to a school

Your child will qualify for transport assistance 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
  • live more than 3 miles from their allocated  school
     

Eligibility for 16 to 25 year olds going to a further education college / free-standing sixth form college

Your child will qualify for transport assistance if:

  • they are going to a full time college course (540 hours in an academic year)
  • they live more than 3 miles from the college
  • the college they are going to is the nearest college to offer the course

Or 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 college
  • they live more than 3 miles from the college

Cost

The transport charge from 19 March is £198 for the remainder of the academic year. You can pay by debit or credit card in one lump sum or in up to 1 monthly instalments.

19+

For students over the age of 19, no charge will be made if the council deems transport to be necessary to facilitate attendance at a further education/free-standing sixth form college to meet the specific educational outcome.

Apply for school or college transport assistance

You have to apply each academic year for transport assistance to school, college or nursery - The application form is now available below and normally takes around 20 minutes to complete.

When you complete the form you need to be clear which academic year you are applying for; 2018/19, the current academic year, or 2019/20 the new academic year starting in September. You will need to select the correct form below.

Apply for 2018/2019

You will need your payment card details or exemption documentation to complete your application.

Apply online for 2018/2019 

Apply for 2019/2020

If you are on a low income you will need your low income documentation (see below) or National Insurance number in order to complete your application

Apply online for 2019/2020

On a low income

There is a charge for transport assistance for eligible children going to a Nursery, sixth form or college of £660 for the academic year. If your child meets the eligibility criteria and you are in receipt of low income (see 'What you need as proof' below) the charge will be reduced by 50% to £330.  For Personal Transport Budgets instead of a charge there is a reduction to the PTB payment; there is more information on the application form.

How to apply if you’re on a low income

Apply online using the link above, on the payment charges/reductions page, choose ‘yes’ for the question ‘Are you claiming reduction on the charge’. Then choose 1 of: 

  • ‘Free school meals (or qualifying benefit)’ if you’re child gets free school meals or you’re on any of the qualifying benefits (listed above)
  • Maximum Working Tax Credit

You can upload proof of your benefits or Working Tax Credit on the form or you can post it. We won’t process your application until we receive proof of your benefits or Working Tax Credits. 

If you don’t have the proof now, you can also choose ‘no’ for the question ‘Are you claiming a reduction to the charge”. You can then send us proof that you’re on a low income, later and we will cancel your payments and refund any money we have taken (if you are due money back) or amend your PTB payments to the correct amount. 

What you need as proof

Working Tax Credit

You’ll need to upload or send a copy of your Tax Credit Award Notice Form TC602(A). If you haven’t received your renewal notice, you should still apply and send the notice when you get it.  

Free school meals

You don’t need to send proof of free school meals but you will need to tell us so that we can check. You may also be asked to provide the surname, date of birth and National Insurance number of the person in receipt of the qualifying benefit in order to do this.

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
  • make an appeal

Appeal the offer of a Personal Transport Budget (PTB)

If your child is a Post 16 student, you can appeal the offer of a PTB. 

Moving home

You’ll need to apply again if you move home.

Further information

For further information, please see the SEND Home to School / College Transport Policy.

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 

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