When parents may receive support for children's travel
In some circumstances parents may receive support for their children's travel to school. These circumstances apply to:
- Pupils attending church schools
- Pupils with learning difficulties and / or disabilities
- Pupils attending specialist centres
- Pupils from low income families (Year Groups 7 to 11 only)
Pupils attending church schools
Only if your child goes to a church school and this school confirms that your child is baptised in the faith to which the school provides collective daily worship or the parish priest / local vicar etc can confirm that you the parent(s) adhere to the religion in question.
The School Travel Service can consider your child for assistance if he / she is attending a church school, which is more than the qualifying distance because a place cannot be offered at a similar church school, which is within that distance.
This eligibility will change in September, please see Paying for Travel.
Pupils with learning difficulties and / or disabilities.
The School Travel Service may pay for the cost of transport assistance if your child has a Statement of Special Educational Need, irrespective of how far away you live from the school. Your child may be provided with a free bus pass or a special vehicle eg: taxi, minibus, wheelchair accessible vehicle etc to help them get to school.
Applications are considered on their own merits.
The School Travel Service can take into account whether your child lives within walking distance and is able to walk, whether they are able to use public transport or whether ,due to the nature of their special needs, your child requires a special vehicle.
Your child must be attending the nearest available school which meets their needs. If you choose to send them to a school further away from your home, you will have to pay the cost of the transport.
Assistance is reviewed because, in many cases, as pupils become older their needs can change.
The School Travel Service can also consider helping those students with special needs that attend specialist schools / colleges outside of the Birmingham area.
Your child must be attending the nearest available school / college that meets their needs and the placement must be agreed as the most appropriate placement by SEN Assessment and Review.
Contact the School Travel Service for further information.
Pupils attending specialist centres
The School Travel Service may pay for the cost of transport assistance if your child goes to a Behavioural Support Centre or part of the James Brindley School.
Applications are considered on their own merits.
Your child may be provided with a free bus pass or a special vehicle, eg: taxi, minibus, wheelchair accessible vehicle etc to help them get to school.
The School Travel Service can take into account whether your child lives within walking distance and is able to walk, whether they are able to use public transport or whether, due to the nature of their special needs, your child requires a special vehicle.
Contact your child's school or the School Travel Service for further information about provision of a special vehicle.
Pupils from low income families (Years 7 to 11 only)
From September 2013, the Low Income Families Policy will also include pupils aged between 8 and 11 years – Year Groups 4 to 6). The criteria for children in this age group is:
Pupils aged between 8 and 11, attending their nearest Qualifying School which is more than 2 miles from their home address”. The Income criteria is the same as quoted for those pupils aged 11 to 16, ie: children who are in receipt of free school meals or whose parents are in receipt of the maximum working tax credit.
Qualifying Schools are:
- community, foundation or voluntary schools
- pupil referral units
- city technology colleges (CTC), city colleges for the technology of the arts (CCTA) or Academies
Eligibility will be re-assessed at the end of each academic year. If circumstances change eligibility could be withdrawn at the end of the school year. There is no guarantee that assistance will be provided throughout the child's secondary education.
When a parent from a low income family has expressed a preference for a school based on their religion or belief written supporting evidence supporting evidence as to how and why that school meets their needs must be provided. The term 'belief' has to be more than an opinion or idea held by a parent and must be genuinely held.
Examples of where we will not consider assistance based on religion or belief are as follows:
- a wish for a child to attend a particular category of school; eg: a grammar school or grant maintained school;
- a wish for a child to be taught in a particular language;
- a belief that a child should be privately educated;
- objections to the rules requiring school uniform to be worn;
- content of school curriculum;
- a belief that a particular school would provide a better standard of education.
Contact the School Travel Service for further information or advice.