Apply for free school travel

Provide the right information to speed up your application


  • Check if your child can get free school travel
  • Your child needs to live in Newcastle and go to a government-funded Newcastle school.
  • You need to send a colour photograph of your child that clearly shows their full face. All photographs we do not use are destroyed after the application has been assessed.
  • If your child gets free school meals, we will know this, and you don’t need to send proof.
  • If your child doesn’t get free school meals, and you think you are a low-income family, you need to give us extra information so we can check this.
  • Enter your child’s details carefully and check for mistakes.


Free school travel permits


Children who get free school travel will be given a Nexus travel permit with their name and photograph on, which can be used on school days for one free return journey between home and school.

It can be used on local buses and the metro, and is valid between the start and end points named on the permit.

Each permit lasts for one school year. It can’t be used in school holidays.


Apply for a free school travel permit

Lost, stolen or damaged replacement permits


If your child’s permit is lost, stolen or damaged, you need to apply for a replacement permit for the rest of the school year. The £5 administration fee can only be paid online. We don’t accept cash or cheques. We won’t refund this administration fee if your child is no longer eligible for free travel.


Apply for a replacement permit (and pay £5 fee) because the original has been lost, stolen or damaged


Changes of school or home during the year


If your child changes school or moves to a new house during the year, you need to apply for a new free school travel permit using the new details. You need to return the current travel permit with the application before we will process the new one.

Application timescales


You need to apply every year and give us an up-to-date photograph of your child.


You can apply at any time of year. To guarantee free school travel from the start of the new school year in September, you need to apply before 28 June 2019.


Your child’s travel permit will be given to their school to hand out. It won’t be sent out in the post.


You can’t claim a refund for any travel you paid for before we processed your application.


Appealing if your application is refused


If you think there has been a mistake in how we have assessed your application, you need to write by email or letter within 20 working days of receiving the refusal letter. We will respond within 20 working days.


You can’t appeal if your child doesn’t meet the published criteria. There is no discretionary element to the assessment. We don’t take account of any social or work commitments or preferences for specific schools.


If your child doesn’t get free school travel, information is available from Nexus about how to get reduced fares for children under 16 with a POP card or a child season ticket so they don't need to carry cash . 


Nexus can also help with ticket options for young people aged 18 and under.


Impact of poor behaviour on public transport


You are responsible for your child’s safety and behaviour on public transport. Your child’s free school travel may be withdrawn on a temporary or permanent basis if they misbehave or cause danger to themselves, other passengers or the driver.


How we will keep and use your personal details


We will process your application in line with Newcastle City Council’s data privacy notice. We will share information with other agencies as necessary and lawful to ensure your application is processed in line with our statutory requirements and local policy, and to comply with statutory data collection requests. If you have any questions, please contact us.

Paper application forms are available from schools. Save yourself the cost of the postage and getting a passport style photograph and apply online instead.

You can't hand in applications at the civic centre.

Need more information?

Contact us if you need help to apply.


Phone us on 0191 278 7878. Ask for "Free school travel"

Write to us at:
Newcastle City Council
Admissions and Information Service
Civic Centre
Barras Bridge
Newcastle upon Tyne