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School Transport - Special educational needs and disabilities (SEND)

Eligibility

Nursery

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

  • Aged 2-4
  • Going to a specialist nursery more than 2 miles from home
  • Going to Sketchley Menphys Nursery School if they live to the west of the M1 motorway
  • Going to Wigston Menphys Nursery School if they live to the east of the M1 motorway

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.

5 - 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

  • Live more than 2 / 3 miles (primary/secondary) from their allocated school. 

We will still consider your child for free school transport if you live less than 2 / 3 miles from the allocated school and 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.

Post 16

The standard offer of transport assistance for students aged 16-19 is a Personal Transport Budget (PTB). A PTB is a direct payment to you and is designed to help you to get your child to school/college. It replaces transport arranged by the council. For more information see our Frequently Asked Questions.

The legislation that applies to 19+ students is slightly different and for that reason, families of this group will continue to be able to choose between traditional transport and a PTB.

16 to 18 year olds attending 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.

and

  • live more than 3 miles from their allocated school.

16 to 25 year olds attending 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
  • and either the college they are going to is the nearest college to offer the course

    or

    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.

Personal Transport Budgets (PTBs)

A Personal Transport Budget (PTB) is an alternative to being allocated school transport by us. It gives you the freedom to make your own transport arrangements and to receive a personal payment, with the value based on the distance being travelled.

For families of 5-16 year olds or students aged 19+, you can apply for a PTB if you are eligible for transport assistance.

Costs

There is a £660 charge for transport assistance per academic year for non-statutory school aged children (under 5 and 16-19) attending a nursery, sixth form or college.

If you are on a low income and meet the criteria explained below the charge will be reduced by 50% to £330.

The annual charge is reduced proportionally if the start date for transport assistance is part-way through the academic year.

For Personal Transport Budgets (PTB) instead of an upfront charge your PTB payments will be reduced pro rata by the charge throughout the year. Please see Personal Transport Budgets for more details.

If you’re on a low income

In the application form, on the Charges and reductions section, choose ‘yes’ for the question ‘Are you claiming reduction to 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
  • Maximum Working Tax Credit

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 choose ‘no’ for the question "Are you claiming a reduction to the charge" and you can 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.

Do I need to apply?

Post 16 students need to apply every year and the deadline for the 2022/23 academic year is 15 April 2022 (please note this date has been extended)

Nursery children need to apply every year and the deadline for the 2022/23 academic year is 1 July 2022

School age children (5-15 year olds) do not need to apply every year, except for when one of the following applies:

  • You are applying for transport for the first time
  • You move address
  • You change school or school campus/site
  • Your child’s needs change and this might affect their risk assessment or transport arrangements
  • You would like a PTB in 2022/23, including if you already have a PTB, i.e. you must reapply for a PTB every year
  • You are changing from PTB to traditional transport or vice versa

Apply for SEND school transport - 2022/23 academic year

The online application form normally takes around 20 minutes to complete.

The stages in the application process are the same for both PTB and Traditional Transport. We'll email you each time it moves to the next stage, so you'll always know where you stand:

SEND School Transport Applications process
  • Checking Eligibility When your application comes in we check your child's eligibility for the type of transport assistance you have applied for.
  • Awaiting Further Information Sometimes we need to wait for something to be able to make a decision on your child's eligibility. This can include:
    • A current EHCP from our SENA team
    • A copy of a medical report from you
    • Proof of payment reduction from you
    • School timetable from you or the school
  • Assessing Transport Requirements Your child is eligible, so we will look at their specific needs to ensure we provide the right level of transport assistance.
  • Arranging Transport Assistance Putting in place the assistance that has been confirmed for your child. Please note that the term “transport assistance” is used to describe the options of EITHER a Personal Transport Budget (PTB) or Traditional Transport.
  • Transport Assistance Offered We email you to confirm that a formal offer letter is in the post.

In addition:

  • We will only be able to consider offering your child transport assistance on receipt of a completed application form*
  • 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, eg. the start of a new academic year)
  • The closing date for applications for students aged 16-19 years is 15 April 2022. For all other students/children the closing date for applications is 1 July 2022. Any applications received after the respective closing date cannot be guaranteed to have transport assistance in place for the start of the 2022/23 academic year.

Please note*

If you submit your application for transport assistance after the published deadlines and/or if you apply for a school that is later not named in your finalised EHCP, then your application may be delayed and we will not be able to guarantee transport assistance for the start of the new academic year.

Update for online applications

You’ll need to use a 'Self' account to make your online application.

This enables you to track its progress in your My Requests area, and allows us to better keep you up to date.

  • If you don't have a Self account yet, just Sign up using your email address
  • You will receive a verification email (check spam/junk folders) – just click the link in the email to verify your account, then add your name, address and contact details in the Profile form and click Submit

If you already have a Self account – please ensure your address and contact details are up to date BEFORE you begin your application.

What you will need

Please have a clear, readable photo, screenshot or electronic document of the following items, if applicable, ready to upload with your application:

  • For Personal Transport Budget low income applications – your tax credit award notice TC602(A)
  • For Personal Transport Budget applications – a redacted recent bank statement or a paying-in slip
    • These are the ONLY forms of proof accepted.
    • Screenshots from a banking app or website are acceptable and must show the bank name or logo
    • Statements must show the account holder's name and address, account number, sort code and date
  • A copy of your child’s Individual Care Plan (ICP) and/or Emergency Medical Protocol (EMP)

Apply online for school transport assistance Log in with your Self account details

Applying online is quicker and easier, but if you don’t have an email address, please contact our customer services team to request a paper application form. Call waiting times might be considerable as we regularly deal with high numbers of calls during this time.

Further information

Using the transport

Your child may get a place on or in:

  • one of our specialist buses with disabled access
  • a school contract bus
  • a taxi

What transport they get will depend on their needs. Your child will get extra help if it is assessed they need it including:

  • picking up and dropping off at your home
  • an escort to travel with them
Tell us about a change of details

You'll need to inform us about any changes, so that our letters reach you properly and your child's school transport arrangements can be maintained.

Tell us about the following changes

  • If you move house or your child moves to a different address
  • If you change name or your child changes their name
  • If you take your child out of school or move them to a different school
  • If there is a change to your child's SEND condition

Tell us as soon as possible because, depending on the change, it may be necessary for your school transport applications to the re-assessed for entitlement to assistance. In this case we will try to complete this as soon as possible, but please be aware that at peak times of the year there could be a delay in your application being re-assessed.

Follow these steps:

  1. Update YOUR details, if they have changed, in your Self account Profile
  2. Fill in the School Transport change of details notification - log in with your Self account details

SEND home to school and college transport policy

The SEND Home to school/college transport policy includes detailed information on all aspects of the service, please also refer to this when applying.