Free school transport is offered to eligible children throughout their education. Teachers in England and Wales are preparing to welcome children back for the autumn term over the next two weeks. Express.co.uk has compiled a guide to explain how you can apply for free school transport for your child.
Who is eligible for free school transport?
Millions of parents are unaware of whether their children are eligible for free transport to school.
Children are eligible for free transport to school deepening on how far the walk is, any special needs they have and whether their walk to school is safe.
All children aged between five and 16 are eligible for free school transport if they attend their nearest suitable school and yet live at least:
- Two miles from the school if they are under eight years old
- Three miles from the school if they are aged eight and older
READ MORE: Kate fans react in fury at Meghan and Harry’s ‘copycat’ outing
What are the exceptions to this eligibility criteria?
All children with disabilities qualify for free school transport regardless of the previous criteria.
Most councils do not pay out for transportation if your child is not attending the nearest suitable school to your home.
If your child is over 16 and in further education or sixth form, your local council may be able to help with transport costs, too.
Each council has its own individual policy regarding this so you should look into this directly to find out more.
How to apply for free school travel
If your child’s school is two or miles from your home you can make an application via your local authority.
You should start by finding the details of your local council.
Each local council’s website will list the terms and conditions, including the starting age for free travel.
Your child may need to submit a passport-sized photograph with their application for their bus pass.
Local authorities tend to take around four weeks to review claims for free transport.
If you are unsuccessful, you can appeal this decision, details of which will be shown on the rejection letter.
If you are successful, the local council will write to you directly to explain how you can pick up the pas, normally from your child’s school.
The type of pass you receive will depend on the best way for your child to travel to school from your address and this could be a bus, train or even a tram pass.
You do not need to pay for it first, instead the council will arrange for it to be delivered straight to your school.