Help with travel to school or college for children and young people with SEN

Travel to school or college for children and young people with SEN

If your child has SEND, where possible we expect him or her travel to school in the same way as other children, that is by public transport or on foot.

There are some national rules on who can get support with travel from home to school. These apply to all children and you can find them on the Government’s website.

Disabled children and young people can also apply for a Freedom Pass, which will gives free travel on most public transport in London at any time and most National Rail trains in London.

However, in Newham we do give some extra help with travel for some children and young people with SEN or disabilities.

Who qualifies for help with travel to school or college

If your child is at nursery

We do not offer help if your child is under school age unless he or she is in a nursery for an assessment for an education, health and care (EHC) plan.

If your child is at school

  • If your child has SEN, he or she may get help, depending on:
  • the distance from home to school (walking distances to school set by Government)
  • the age of your child
  • the availability of places in the nearest suitable school(s)
  • the route to school
  • your child’s special educational needs
  • whether your child would benefit from travel training
  • how suitable public transport is (for example does your child need special seating rather than just access to a public bus with space for a wheelchair)
  • the need for supervision
  • whether your family has a mobility vehicle through the national scheme
  • whether you as a parent or carer have a disability yourself
  • whether your child could move to a school closer to the family’s home
  • the efficient use of council money.

If you are in fruther education

  • If you are a young person going into further education and you want help with travel costs:
  • you must be under 21 at the start of the course
  • we will usually offer support until you are 22 years old
  • the school or college must be run by the state and/or get money from the Skills Funding Agency
  • you should go to college close to home; if the college is not close to home, you must tell us when you apply for help with travel costs
  • we will regularly look at any help with travel that we give
  • if you apply to us for help with travel after you start your course, you may have to make your own travel plans until we decide whether you qualify for help.
How can we help with travel from home to school or college

We can offer some children help with either:

  • training for independent travel
  • a short-term travel escort for up to six months
  • a long-term travel escort
  • travel help on a minibus or other accessible vehicle
  • a travel pass.

If your child is in residential care, we may pay for you (one parent or carer) to travel with him or her to and from school at the start and end of each week, or at the beginning and end of each half term (if your child is there for a term at a time).

Reviews of help with travel from home to school or college

Every year we will look at the support we give you. If we think the help you get needs to change we will talk to you, your child and the school before we make any changes. We also ask that you as parents or carers keep us up to date if circumstances change.

Apply for help with travel to school or college

You have to apply online to get help.

Give as much information as you can about your or your child’s special needs or disability when you apply, so we can make the best decision for you. We might also ask staff at your child’s school or health care professionals involved with your child for more information.

Our customer service centre can help you to fill in the application if you need it. When we receive your application, we will make a decision as soon as we can.

Help with travel to school or college: Appeals

If we refuse your application for help, or if we suggest changes to the help you get, and you are not happy with our decision, you can appeal.

To appeal, write to us within 20 days of our letter refusing or suggesting changes to help. In your letter, tell us why you disagree with our decision and send it with any documents to support your appeal, to:

Travel Assistance Contract Lead
SEN Section Newham Dockside 1000 Dockside Road
E16 2QU

We may:

  • agree with our decision
  • disagree with our decision
  • offer another solution

We will write to you within 10 working days of receiving your appeal letter.

If you disagree with our decision you can appeal one last time. To appeal, write a letter within 20 days of the decision and send it to:

Director’s Office CYPS
London Borough of Newham
Newham Dockside
1000 Dockside Road
E16 2QU

During an appeal you are responsible for taking your child to and from school.

We will write to you to tell you of the decision within 40 working days. This decision is final.

Last updated: 29/09/2022

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