Mainstream School Transport for 5 to 16 year olds

Your child may be able to get free transport to school if they live further from their school than the walking distance allowed by law or if you’re on a low income. It will depend on where you live and which school your child goes to.

Eligibility

Your child can get a free bus or train travel pass, if they are:

  • Primary age (up to 11 years old) and live more than 2 miles walking distance to their nearest/nearest Leicestershire school.
  • Secondary age (11 to 16 years old) and live more than 3 miles walking distance to their nearest/nearest Leicestershire school.

or

You will receive an email or letter from us if your child is eligible (see: Receiving free school transport, below).

Your child won’t qualify for free transport if you choose a school that isn’t their nearest/nearest Leicestershire or frozen area school (more information on this is available in the Mainstream home to school/college transport policy)

Receiving free school transport

If your child is:

  • Starting school for the first time: you do not need to apply. If your child has been offered a school place on National Offer Day, you'll hear from us by the end of May in the year they are due to start school. If your child is allocated a school place after National Offer Day, then your transport decision will be later depending on when a school place is finalised.
  • Moving up to secondary school: 11+ and 14+ transfer students, you do not need to apply. If your child has been offered a place on National Offer Day, you'll hear from us by the end of April in the year they are due to start at their new school. If your child is allocated a school place after National Offer Day, then your transport decision will be later depending on when a school place is finalised.
Tell us about any changes

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

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.

Mainstream School Transport change of details notification

Families on low incomes

You can also apply for free school transport, if your child is aged 11 - 16 and:

  • they get free school meals, or
  • you get the maximum Working Tax Credit

and, if the school they attend is:

  • (1 of 3) nearest qualifying schools which is more than 2 miles, but less than 6 miles from home (schools less than 2 miles are assessed for the nearest schools) or
  • the nearest preferred faith school, based on the parents' faith or religion is more than 2 miles, but less than 15 miles from home (you’ll need to provide evidence of your faith e.g. a minister’s letter). 

More information is available in the Mainstream home to school/college transport policy.

Other transport options 

You may be able to get season tickets and discounted fares on public transport for your child’s journey to school.

Some commercial bus operators run 'School special', ask your school or college for more information.

Use the Choose How You Move journey planner to see what public transport services run between your home and your child’s school or college. Once you’ve found a service, check with the bus company that provides it to see if there are any season ticket discounts.

Transport due to a medical condition

You may be able to get free school transport If your child is temporarily unable to walk to school due to a medical condition, for example a broken leg.

The age and eligibility criteria will still apply. The qualifying distance between your home and school may be less. Fill in the request for school transport on medical ground form to apply:

Measuring home to school distance

If you live less than the qualifying distance of 2 or 3 miles we measure the shortest available walking route from your home and may include footpaths, bridleways and roads. 

If you live over the 2 or 3 miles statutory walking distance we measure the shortest driving route.

Please refer to the Mainstream home to school/college transport policy for more information.

Split parenting

If your child lives for part of the week at another home, eligibility will only be assessed from the home where they are habitually resident for 50% or more of the time i.e. the main address for the child which must be within Leicestershire.

Please refer to the Mainstream home to school/college transport policy for more information.

Mainstream home to school and college transport policy

The Mainstream home to school/college transport policy includes detailed information on all aspects of the service, please refer to this before applying and do not assume that because another child receives free home to school transport that your child too will be eligible.