Help with school travel expenses

This scheme is available to help parents meet the cost of travel to school for their children. Although local authorities can set their own eligibility criteria, there are certain qualifying rules that are used across the United Kingdom, as detailed below.


How much money is available to help with travel expenses?

Most schemes provide a free travel pass to use on public transport to and from school for qualifying pupils. If your child does not qualify for free travel, your local authority may run a concessionary scheme that enables your child to use school transport at a reduced price.

Is my child eligible to receive help with travel expenses?

In general, you will have to meet one of the following conditions to qualify:

  • The school must be located two miles or more by the shortest available walking route if your child is under eight years of age.

  • The school must be located two miles or more for pupils aged eight years of age or over, if they are still at primary school, who are eligible for free school meals.

  • The school must be located two miles or more for pupils aged eight years of age or over, if they are still at primary school, if the parents are in receipt of the maximum amount of working tax credit.

  • The school must be located three miles or more if your child is eight years old or over.


Are there any others ways to get help with travel expenses?

You might be able to receive help with travel expenses if any of the following apply:

  • you or your child has specific educational or medical needs;

  • you have a low family income and qualify for free school meals or receive maximum working tax credit;

  • you live within three miles of your nearest school but the walking route is not safe for a secondary age child.

Which schools qualify for help with travel expenses?

Your child must be attending a 'qualifying school'. This could include a maintained, voluntary, community, foundation or special school. It will not include independent schools. Special circumstances may apply to religious or faith schools, so contact your local authority direct for more information.


How do I apply for help with transport costs?

Application forms are available from your local authority or can be downloaded from their website. Some schools will also hold copies of application forms.

Where can I get more information about help with travel?

Contact your local authority direct to find out what scheme is available in your area and to find out whether you are eligible for financial help through this scheme.

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