Policy for travel assistance for children and young people attending school
Policy for travel assistance for children and young people attending school.
Policy Date: April 2018 Review Date: April 2022
This document explains who can receive assistance with home to school transport, how to apply for that assistance (and how to appeal if you do not receive it), what type of help may be given, and which journeys we will help with. It also explains the standards we expect to provide, how we look after your children, and how to contact us when you need to.
We look at your child’s age and needs, and the school they are attending, in order to make our decision on whether to provide transport. We may speak to you, the school and other professionals to make that decision. We aim to let you know our decision within two weeks.
If we decide you are not eligible for help with transport, you can ask us to review that decision. The review will be made by a senior officer outside the transport team, and a second review by can be requested from an independent appeal panel. You can also appeal to the Local Government Ombudsman if you feel we have not followed our rules.
If we agree to help your child get to and from school, we will then decide what sort of help to provide. This may be help with public transport, or a payment (called a personal travel budget) to help you to take your child to school. It may be travel training for your child to help them to use public transport, or a companion to travel with them. It may be the provision of a minibus or car to take them to school. It may be a mix of these.
We may also need to arrange an additional adult who travels with them to keep them safe while travelling, or occasionally arrange for a nurse to travel with them.
Usually, we only help with journeys directly between home and school so that your child can attend school, unless we have agreed something different in advance. We expect you to arrange appointments outside school times, and to arrange transport to and from those for yourself. If your child is ill, or in detention, this is your responsibility. We won’t take you to and from school for meetings; we only provide transport for your child.
If your child is ill, please let the transport provider know so that they don’t come round to collect them.
We have high standards for transport; we expect all our children to arrive at school safely, feeling comfortable and ready to learn. We try to keep the same timings, and the same vehicles and people transporting your child, though sometimes we have to change them. If we do, we will give you as much notice as possible.
If something is wrong with the service, please tell us. You can phone, email or write to us, and our contact details are at the end of the policy.
1.1 This policy outlines the assistance that the London Borough of Sutton will make available to provide for children of statutory school age to attend school. It sets out for parents and carers the criteria for eligibility, how to apply for assistance with transport, how decisions are made, what assistance may be offered, and how to appeal against decisions that they believe do not comply with this policy.
1.2 In general terms, it is the responsibility of the parent or carer to ensure that their child attends school regularly, under section 444 of the Education Act 1996 (as amended by the Education and Inspections Act 2006). This includes arranging necessary travel to and from the school and / or accompanying their child as necessary. No special consideration is given for parents or carers who are working or who have children travelling to several schools at the same time. In both cases, parents or carers are expected to make other suitable arrangements for someone else to accompany their child.
1.3 Under the Education Act 1996 (as amended), local authorities have a duty in certain circumstances to make such travel arrangements as they consider necessary in order to ensure that suitable home to school travel arrangements are made for the purpose of facilitating a child’s attendance at relevant educational establishments for children aged 5-16.
1.4 This policy has been developed with full regard to the Department for Education Guidance on Home to School Travel and Transport. Visit the Government website for further information on the Home so School transport policy (external link).
1.5 Assistance is provided on the basis of assessed need. Only where a child or young person is assessed as meeting the eligibility criteria set out in this policy will he or she be entitled to assistance with home to school transport. There is no entitlement for assistance with transport before an application has been received and assessed.