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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

UPDATE - 2 July 2019: Parents of Post 16 SEN children are now able to apply for traditional transport for the 2019/20 academic year due to a decision to ‘pause’ the implementation of part of the new SEN Home to School Transport policy. 

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), the outcome of which is still outstanding. 

Given the uncertainty to both the Council and families applying for transport assistance, the Council has decided to pause the introduction of the main aspect of its new policy until September 2020. 

This means the implementation of Personal Transport Budgets (PTB) as the standard offer of transport assistance for Post 16 SEN students will be postponed. The PTB scheme will still be available as a voluntary option for families that find it suitable for their needs. 

Post 16 families affected have been written to directly and now have the option of requesting traditional transport methods (taxi or minibus) for the annual charge of £660 (or £330 for low-income families).

The elements of the new policy that will remain in place for September 2019 are:

  • Low-income families using SEN transport for those aged between 16 and 18 years: we will charge an annual contribution of £330 (currently free). This is 50% of the full charge payable by non-low-income families. There is no charge for eligible students aged 19-25 years.
  • For low income families using SEN nursery transport: there will be an annual charge of £330 (currently free). This is 50% of the full charge for non-low-income families.
  • For mainstream Post 16 students: the only type of assistance that the Council will offer to eligible students from September 2019 will be fixed grant of £150 per academic year.

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.

Apply for 2019/2020

Parents of Post 16 children can now apply for traditional transport for the 2019/20 academic year. You will need to indicate on the form that a PTB is not suitable. You do not need to provide any further explanation.

All families (including those that are low-income) of 16-18 year old children must pay a charge. The current online application form will not collect your payment details therefore a council officer will contact you separately for this information.

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

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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