This section provides information about home to school transport for pupils with special educational needs (SEN), a disability or a medical need.

Parents and carers are responsible for ensuring children and young people get safely to school on time.  This is true for learners with SEN and disabilities, many of whom travel to school without additional support from the Local Authority.  In exceptional circumstances, some families will need additional support for an agreed period of time.

The following are some of the circumstances that may be considered:

  • pupil's special educational needs, disability or medical requirement and relevant information received from professionals 
  • any agreement on transport costs reached with parents regarding provision of a school which is not the nearest qualifying school 
  • statutory walking distance from home to school 
  • age of the pupil 
  • evidence that there would be a health and safety risk if a pupil travelled without support 
  • nature of the route to school 
  • availability of public transport 
  • mobility issues and likely duration for a temporary condition 
  • capability of independent travel 
  • attendance issues where this is a relevant consideration 
  • other relevant information.

An Education, Health and Care (EHC) Plan, or statement of special educational needs, or attendance at a special school or Additionally Resourced Centre does not guarantee travel or transport support.

The pupil's individual needs will determine the entitlement, rather than whether or not a statement or EHC Plan is in place.

Types of travel assistance

If a pupil cannot reasonably walk to school, parents will be encouraged to use their own transport to take their child to and from school. If a motability car has been provided for the benefit of the pupil, this will be taken into account in determining any transport arrangements. 

The offer of a Personal transport Budget (PTB) will be explored as the primary offer to families.

Transport by taxi or minibus will only be provided in exceptional cases. Transport by taxi or minibus will only be provided if there is no suitable alternative.

We will consider the needs of the child and the offer will consist of a scale of options depending on that need. Options include 

  • Travel permit for use on public transport
  • Payment of a Personal Travel Budget (PTB)
  • Travel skills training to enable the pupil to use public transport or to travel independently. 
  • Walking allowance 
  • Home to school transport for example, shared or from a pick up point

Where home to school transport is provided it is the parent's responsibility to ensure that the pupil is ready for collection at the agreed time and place. If necessary they should be accompanied by a responsible person until transport arrives and collected at the agreed time. If for any reason they are unable to attend school and a bus or taxi has been provided to transport the child, then parents should notify the SEN Transport Team as soon as possible.

Annual review

Travel or transport support will be reviewed with parents and is likely to be at the Annual Review in SEN cases. It can also be reviewed following a relevant change of circumstances. We need to ensure that the provision made continues to be appropriate for the pupil's assessed needs.

Independent Travel Arrangements

A transition review will be a key time to look at implementing Independent Travel Arrangements and to put in place training to support this with your child where appropriate.  Young people with special educational needs and disabilities have told us how important it is to be able to access travel independently and learn those skills for life.

All young people who access this training will be mentored to try out their home to school route before being passed as having the necessary skills and confidence to travel independently. Once your child has had this training and is skilled up to travel independently a travel pass will be issued and any other transport arrangements will cease.

A letter will be sent to successful independent travellers outlining their new offer in time for the start of the new September term.

SEN Transport Parent and Carer's handbook

A handbook of useful information about SEN Transport been compiled with the help of Families United.

Further information about SEN Transport is available from:

SEN Transport
Room 213
Newcastle City Council
Civic Centre
Barras Bridge
Newcastle upon Tyne
NE1 8QH

Email SENTransport@newcastle.gov.uk

Phone 0191 277 4646 

Page last updated: 
28 March 2017
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