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CORONAVIRUS UPDATE

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

Changes to school transport rules

The Council’s Cabinet agreed on 9 March 2018 to make changes to its school transport policy from September 2019 onwards. The same policy has been the subject of a Judicial Review (a court case challenging the implementation of the new policy) in April 2019 and a further appeal in February 2020. In both hearings the Council’s policy was found to be legal on all counts.

Whilst the Judicial Review case was being considered, the Council paused the implementation of this new part of the policy but the Personal Transport Budgets (PTBs), as the standard offer of transport assistance for Post 16 SEN students, will now be introduced at the start of the 2021-22 academic year. Further information is available in the FAQs below.

The PTB scheme has also been updated and is currently available as a voluntary option for all families who find it suitable for their needs during the 2020-21 academic year.

FAQs for post 16 SEN students from September 2021  Opens new window

SEND Home to school transport policy 2021-2022  Opens new window

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

Post 16 transport policy statement  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

The transport application form for the 2021/2022 academic year is available below. The closing date for applications is 9 July 2021.

Apply online for transport assistance 2021/22

If you wish to apply for Transport Assistance for the remainder of the current academic year 2020/21, please contact us using the details at the bottom of the page.

Eligibility for 16 to 19 year olds going to a school

Your child will qualify for transport assistance 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.
  • 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 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.
  • they live more than 3 miles from the college

Cost

The transport charge is £660 (or £330 for low income families). You can pay by debit or credit card in one lump sum or in up to 8 monthly instalments. 

For personal transport budgets the amounts indicated in the table will have the £660/£330 charge deducted from payments.  

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 for 16-25 year olds

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

If you wish to apply for transport assistance for the remainder of the current academic year 2020/21, please contact us using the details at the bottom of the page.

Apply for SEND school transport - 2021/22 academic year

Parents of 16-18 year olds can only apply for a Personal Transport Budget for 2021/22 academic year. The new application form will ask for your bank account details, so that we can make payments to you.  

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.

The closing date to ensure transport assistance is in place for the start of the new academic year is 31 March 2021.

Apply online for transport assistance 2021/22

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 on a 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 on Universal Credit, your detailed Universal Credit Statement.

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

You can also make an appeal if your child has been offered a Personal Transport Budget (PTB) and you would like us to consider your individual circumstances.

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.

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