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School and college transport

School and college transport

Covid-19 travel advice

Read the Covid-19 safer travel guidance on the Gov.uk website for advice about staying safe.

Eligibility criteria for mainstream schools

Your child must meet all of the following criteria to be eligible for free school transport:

1. Be of compulsory school age

Compulsory school age is the term following your child's fifth birthday until the end of the school year in which they turn 16 years of age.

2. Attend the nearest available and suitable school

The child must be attending their nearest suitable school. Where parents name their nearest suitable school as one of their 4 preferences and a place is not available, assistance may be offered to the next closest school, where the other qualifying eligibility criteria are met.

3. Live the appropriate distance from home to school

The distance from home to school must be:

  • More than 2 miles (if the child is below the age of 8) or
  • More than 3 miles (if the child or young person is aged 8 to 16)   
           

The walking distance will be measured from where the home meets the public street, for example from the front gate to the nearest gate or point of access to the school premises, and by the shortest route along which a child, accompanied as necessary, may walk safely. As such, the route measured may include footpaths, bridleways, and other pathways, as well as recognised roads.

Assessments for home to school transport

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

Apply now

If your child meets the eligibility criteria, above, complete the following form to apply for free school transport:

        

Eligibility criteria for SEN (Special Educational Needs) schools

When offering a school place, the Children’s Services SEN (Special Educational Needs) Team will also confirm a child’s eligibility for transport assistance. They assess eligibility for children with an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP) based on the following criteria:   

1. Attending the agreed school

Your child must be attending the school nearest to your home which is able to meet their special educational needs as agreed by the Children’s Services SEN Team.

2. Live an appropriate distance from the school

The distance between your home and the school must be:

  • More than 2 miles (if the child is below the age of 8) or
  • More than 3 miles (if the child or young person is aged 8 to 16)
         

The walking distance will be measured from where the home meets the public street, for example from the front gate to the nearest gate or point of access to the school premises, and by the shortest route along which a child, accompanied as necessary, may walk safely. As such, the route measured may include footpaths, bridleways, and other pathways, as well as recognised roads.

Needs-based eligibility

Eligibility is needs based. There is no automatic entitlement to Travel Assistance, even where an Education and Health Care Plan (EHCP) has been issued. Applications will be considered on a case-by-case basis, and regularly reviewed, taking into account the child’s Special Educational Needs and/or disability, mobility or medical needs, as well as any exceptional circumstances.  

Professionals supporting an application for Travel Assistance for a child with SEND (Special Educational Needs and Disabilities) should provide evidence in support of why, in their professional opinion, it is not reasonable to expect the child to be able to walk to school, even if accompanied. Arrangements for Travel Assistance will be kept under review (annually at a minimum), to ensure that travel arrangements are still appropriate.

To discuss eligibility further, call the Special Educational Needs (SEN) Team on 0118 974 6216 or email: SENTransport@wokingham.gov.uk

Assessments for home to school transport

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

Apply now

If your child meets the eligibility criteria, above, complete the following form to apply for transport assistance:

Over 16s

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

Fare payer school bus pass

If your child doesn't meet the eligibility criteria, you can pay for a seat on a school bus. (Note there are limited seats available.)

Apply for school bus pass

Complete the form below to apply for a seat on a school bus:

Email your completed form to: schooltransport@wokingham.gov.uk or post to: Community Transport Unit, Wokingham Borough Council, Shute End, Wokingham, RG40 1BN.

For more information about school travel assistance, refer to our Home To School Transport - parents' guide (PDF document)

If you’re not happy with your school/college travel support, or your application has been refused, you have a right to appeal.

How to appeal

You can submit an appeal by completing our School Transport appeal form (Word document) or School Transport appeal form (PDF document.)

Make sure that you provide any necessary evidence to support your case.

Benefits of walking and cycling

Children who walk, cycle or scoot to school show higher performance, better concentration, increased well-being and self-esteem. They're also exposed to less pollution than travelling by car.

Visit The School Run website for more details about the many benefits of walking to school.

Cycle training  

Bikeability gives children the skills and confidence they need to cycle on roads. All primary/junior schools in Wokingham borough now offer Bikeability training at school. 

Level 1 and 2 courses start in a traffic-free area (e.g. a playground or car park) then moves on to quiet roads in the local area, progressing to roads with more traffic by the third session. The training covers Bikeability Level 1 and 2 (combined).

For more information read the Bikeability page on the My Journey website.

Local buses for the school run

Read the local buses page on the My Journey website for details of all bus operators in the Wokingham Borough.

Replacement bus pass

 

Policies

Help with your school journey can only be offered if you meet the eligibility criteria for travel assistance. The full eligibility criteria for the academic year 2021 to 2022 can be found in the relevant policy document, below:

Applications for September 2022

If you're submitting a school admission application for a September 2022 start, follow the new policy, below, when applying for school travel assistance:

 

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