Home to School Travel Assistance
Information for Parents & Carers
Do not edit this one
My child has an EHCP. Does this mean that they are automatically entitled to free Home to School Travel Assistance?
Not automatically. If your child falls into one of the categories of eligible children of compulsory school age (set out in the travel assistance policy here), then they will be entitled to Home to School Travel Assistance, but you will still need to make a request for it. Please see here for Derby City Council’s post 16 travel policy.
If your child has an EHCP and lives within statutory walking distance but can reasonably be expected to walk to school on their own and does not fit within one of the other categories, they will not be entitled to free Home to School Travel Assistance.
How do I request Home to Home to School Travel Assistance?
You can find details of how to apply for Local Authority’s Home to School Travel Assistance, here:
If my child is granted Home to School Travel Assistance, how long does the support last?
Home to School Travel Assistance is granted for one academic year at a time. This means that you will need to make a request for each year that it is needed. You will need to provide evidence of why you feel it is needed and the Local Authority will consider your application based upon that year’s request alone. However if you move home or your child moves to a different school then you will need to submit a new application.
I have heard that Home to School Travel Assistance needs to be non-stressful, what does that mean?
The issue of Home to School Travel Assistance for children with SEN was raised in the case of R v Hereford and Worcester CC, ex parte P  2 FCR 732.
The court held that it was implicit that the Home to School Travel Assistance provided by the LA should be “non-stressful” if the child was to benefit from education.
This means the child needs to be able to arrive at school ready to learn, rather than being unduly stressed or tired because of the journey.
My child has learning difficulties and is going to need support and extra services around Home to School Travel Assistance – what else is required to be done?
The government statutory guidance, ‘Home-to-school travel and transport‘, advises on particular issues affecting pupils with severe learning difficulties and it recommends that local authorities:
- ensure drivers and escorts are known to parents
- provide operator contact numbers for parents
- ensure stability of staffing arrangements for pupils who dislike change
- encourage schools and transport services to use a home-school liaison diary
- ensure that journey times are reasonable to avoid undue stress.
Other legal requirements and good practice points covered by the guidance include:
- enhanced DBS checks for all drivers and escorts
- minimum standards of training for drivers and escorts, including training in conflict resolution, safe handling and working with children with particular medical conditions or disabilities where appropriate
- assessment and management of risk
- specific measures for pupils with health needs
- specific training for staff and vehicle adaptations for pupils with mobility needs.
The guidance recommends that travel needs of pupils with SEN be reviewed at least annually and that pupils should always travel by using mainstream arrangements and local travel schemes where they can. Reviews can decrease as well as increase transport support.
I disagree with a decision that’s been made about my child’s school Home to School Travel Assistance, is there anything I can do?
For children with EHCPs, issues around transport can become relevant in an appeal about the school named in Section I of an EHC plan and transport costs are relevant to the costs of a particular school placement. However, the SEND Tribunal does not have jurisdiction to deal with disputes about transport alone.
If you disagree with a decision made about transport, or your child doesn’t have an EHCP, you will need to start by making an appeal through the Local Authority (LA)’s own internal appeals procedures. Details of how to appeal can be found here.
If you feel that there has been a failure to comply with the procedural rules of an appeal or if there are any other irregularities in the way the appeal was handled, you may have a right to complain to the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman (“LGSCO”).
In an extreme case, it may be possible for the process by which the decision was reached to be challenged through judicial review proceedings if the decision was unlawful, irrational or unjust.
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