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School and college transport

School and college transport

How will my child get to school? 

In most cases parents are responsible for making arrangements for their child to get to school.  

If your child attends a designated area school, or the nearest school to your home address, and does not live within walking distance, you may be entitled to free school transport. 

Schools are encouraged to promote sustainable journeys to schools, and to develop travel plans in consultation with parents and children. Many schools have travel plans in place which promote walking or cycling to school through various initiatives. Details of the plan can be obtained from the school concerned. 

Will my child be entitled to any assistance with transport? 

a) If your child is not entitled to free school meals and you are not receiving the maximum level of Working Tax Credit. 

For any pupils aged 11 to 16-years-old, transport assistance can be considered where your child attends a designated area school

Transport to any designated area school will be considered if there is more than one for your address, but not if one of the schools available at the time of application is within safe walking distance of home. 

Transport can also be considered in the relatively few cases where the school attended, although not a designated area school, is the nearest available school by radial distance. 

Transport in all cases will only be provided if your child lives more than three miles from the school by the shortest safe walking route, unless there is no safe walking route. “Safe” means accompanied if necessary, and the distance limit is set nationally.  Walking routes may not necessarily be the same as the route driven by a vehicle. 

Note that for children who are entitled to free school transport, this only applies until the end of year 11. 

b) If your child is entitled to free school meals, or you receive maximum level Working Tax Credit. 

For any pupils aged 11 to 16 years old, transport assistance can in addition be considered if they attend: 

a) any one of the 3 nearest schools (by radial distance) to the home address, where the distance travelled is between 2 and 6 miles or 

b) the nearest school (by radial distance) preferred on grounds of religion or belief where this is between 2 and 15 miles away. “Belief” is defined by part 2 of the Equality Act 2006. 

Schools counted in both cases are those nearest suitable schools at which a place was available at the time of application. Suitable schools include local authority maintained schools and academies, regardless of borough boundaries, but do not include independent schools. 

This entitlement will be reviewed on an annual basis and may be withdrawn if families are no longer entitled to free school meals or no longer in receipt of maximum level working tax credit.

How to apply

If you think your child meets the criteria for free transport, complete the form below.

You can find out more by reading our home to school transport policy (PDF document).

Assessments for home to school transport 

Assessments for home to school transport will only be processed following receipt of a completed online or postal application form. Home to school transport eligibility and assessments will not be provided over the telephone.

If your child has an education, health and care plan or a statement, our special educational needs service will carry out an assessment to decide if they are eligible for free transport. We look at

  • Age
  • Physical and learning disabilities
  • Health and medical issues
  • Mental health problems
  • Mobility, communication and behavioural difficulties
  • Dependence on mobility aids
  • The journey to school 

If you choose to send your child to a school that is further away from your home than a closer school which could also meet their needs, then you will need to arrange and pay for transport.

Advice and advocacy

Visit the Special Educational Needs Transport Advocacy Service (SENTAS) website for information, advice and advocacy around issues with special educational needs home to school and college transport.

If your child doesn't meet the criteria for mainstream secondary school transport assistance, you may have the option to pay for a fare payer seat on a Wokingham School Bus Contracted Services. Complete the form below but note there are limited availability of these seats.

If you disagree with the decision we make, you can appeal by completing the form below.

Email your completed form to schooltransportappeals@wokingham.gov.uk.

You can also post your form to

School Transport Appeals 
Transport Procurement and Operations Manager
Corporate Transport Unit
Highways and Transport
Wokingham Borough Council
Shute End
RG40 1BN

To find out more about the appeals process read our school transport appeals guidelines (PDF document).

To find out more about our cycling scheme for schools see the My Journey website.

To find out more about schemes encouraging pupils to walk to school phone 0118 908 8308.

Visit the My Journey bus route website or the Traveline South East website to find out bus routes and timetables.

  • Bulmershe School - use the Reading Buses 981 and 983 bus service 
  • Holt, Emmbrook and Forest Schools - use the 202 and 244 bus service
  • Maiden Erlegh School - use the 190 bus service
  • Ranelagh School - visit the Fargo Coaches website to find out more

Code of conduct for travelling on a school bus

We've put together a code of conduct for children travelling on school buses, below.

For students who are 16 and older see below to find out what support is available read our post 16 transport policy statement (PDF document).

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