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Welcome to birmingham.gov.uk

Apply for a Travel Pass

This page is to inform you of who can be considered for a travel pass to attend school.
The Application Form to apply for a travel pass can be found at the bottom of this page.

Pupils who attend schools more than the qualifying distance from their home

If your child goes to a school more than the qualifying distance from your home, measured by the shortest available walking route, the Education Transport Service may be able to provide your child with a free scholars pass to enable them to use bus and train services to attend school.

You will, however, have to pay if your child goes to a school more than the qualifying distance from your home because that is the school you want, even though your child could have gone to a school within that distance.


At the date of publication the qualifying distances measured by the shortest available walking routes are:

For pupils who started at the school you are requesting assistance for before 01 September 2013

  • For pupils up to 8 years of age: 1 mile
  • For pupils between 8 and 11 years of age: 1.5 miles
  • For pupils over 11 years of age: 3 miles

For pupils who started at the school you are requesting assistance for on or after 01 September 2013

  • For children up to 8 years of age: 2 miles
  • For children aged 8 and over: 3 miles

These distances are subject to review by Birmingham City Council.

Pupils attending church schools

There is no assistance provided to those pupils attending a Denominational (faith) School. If you are on a low income and your child is secondary aged i.e. in Year Groups 7 to 11 ONLY please see the section below giving details of assistance available under the low income policy.

Moving House

You need to tell Education Transport immediately if you move house, because your application needs to be reassessed.

If you move house whilst your child is in the final year of primary school (Year 6) or in Years 10 or 11 at secondary school, and the school is beyond the 'Qualifying Distance' and your child already has a free travel pass, Education Transport can consider continuing to help your child to attend the same school.

Children in other school years can be considered for assistance if, at the time of moving house, it was not possible to obtain a place at a nearer school within the qualifying distance

Contact Education Transport for further information.

Pupils from Low Income Families

Children from low income families (children who are in receipt of free school meals or whose parents are in receipt of the maximum of working tax credit) may be eligible for free transport assistance if:

Primary Aged Pupils

  • they are aged between 8 and 11 years of age and are attending their nearest ‘qualifying’ school and it is more than 2 miles from their home address;

Secondary Aged Pupils (Years 7 to 11 ONLY)

  • they are aged between 11 and 16 years of age and are attending one of the three nearest ‘qualifying’ schools from their home address where they live more than 2 miles but less than 6 miles from that school.
  • they are aged between 11 and 16 years of age and are attending the nearest school preferred by reason of a parent’s religion or beliefs where they live more than 2 miles but not more than 15 miles away from that school.

Evidence of eligibility is required. Please submit your current Tax Credit Award Notice (Form TC602)

Which travel pass is right for your child?
If your child is entitled to a free student travel pass, the Education Transport Service can issue a National Express West Midlands Scholars Countywide Pass. The Education Transport Service is only be able to issue your child with a Centro Scholars Pass or another bus operator's pass if your child is not able to use a bus service provided by National Express West Midlands.

All of these passes must be used with a photographic identity card that you will need to arrange to collect from one of the Travel offices.

How to apply for a travel pass

If you believe that, under the rules described above, you may be entitled to financial help with transport costs, please complete a Travel Pass Application Form.

Travel Pass Application Form: can be downloaded from the bottom of this page, or obtained from the school your child attends or from the Education Transport Service - full details are on our Contacts page.

You should only complete this form after you have accepted a place at school and not beforehand. When this form is received, the Education Transport Service will measure the distance from your home address to the school your child attends, using a computerised measuring system which identifies the shortest available walking route. The Education Transport Service will then write to you to let you know whether we can provide your child with help or not.

If your child has a disability and can travel on public transport, they may be eligible for a concessionary pass from Centro/Network West Midlands. To check whether your child is eligible, please visit the website at http://www.networkwestmidlands.com/seniors/concessionary_home.aspx

How to Appeal
If you are not entitled to assistance under the rules described you can have your case referred to an Appeals Sub-Committee which is made up of members of Birmingham City Council. The Sub-Committee has the power to agree assistance in cases where the pupil would not normally qualify. These are usually cases of severe financial hardship with additional problems (eg medical).
To find out more about the appeals process, please visit our Appeals page.