School transport

SEND school transport

If your child has SEND, they may be entitled to free school transport - find out more on the Local Offer website and also here

SEND school transport - FAQs

Frequently asked questions

My child has an EHCP - are they automatically entitled to free transport?

No, having an EHCP does not give automatic entitlement to free transport.

Your child must meet the eligibility criteria in our SEND Transport Policy, although special circumstances and individual needs will be assessed and taken into consideration.

We've been told we're entitled to free transport - will this be a taxi from and to our home?

Your child's journey requirements, needs and abilities will be taken into consideration when we arrange suitable transport. For example, they need to be picked up from home, or a pick-up point within reasonable distance may be allocated.

Options we consider:

  • free pass for use on public transport
  • independent travel training
  • free seat on a school bus route
  • free seat on a minibus route
  • free seat on a shared taxi route
  • free seat on a lone taxi
  • personal travel budget

We've chosen a different school to the one the Council advised - will we get free transport or transport assistance?

No, only students that attend the nearest school that can meet their needs can be considered for transport provision.

If you choose to send your child to a school which is not the nearest suitable school, you will normally have to make your own travel arrangements and pay for them.

We live under 2 miles from school but my child's unable to walk there, even accompanied. Will free transport be provided?

If the distance from home to school is less than two miles (for children aged under 8) and / or when a child has no EHCP, travel assistance will be considered - taking circumstances that may prevent them getting to school into account.

You should apply for transport in the usual way.

Why can't our transport arrangements stay the same every year?

We must follow fair procurement processes - this means contracts are re-tendered at certain times. The successful operator awarded the contract may different to the previous operator.

Transport is regularly reviewed:

  • by the school, parents and SEND team as part of the EHCP annual review - someone from the transport team will also attend, if invited
  • by the transport operations team, when determining the most cost-effective arrangements
  • in response to any reports of inappropriate behaviour by students 

What will the Council do to help our family adapt to transport changes?

We understand that changes to transport can be difficult to deal with.

We will offer as much contact with new transport staff as your family needs - this may include:

  • telephone calls
  • home visits
  • school visits
  • trips out in the vehicle to be used - out of school time
  • photos and names of transport staff to keep at home

I want to drive my child to school - can I claim a personal travel budget to cover my costs?

If you're entitled to free transport, a personal travel budget may be available if suitable transport is not already available (bus, minibus or taxi, for example).

Contact our transport operations team to talk about your request - transport@rutland.gov.uk.

If my child goes to their friend's house after school or needs to go the dentist, can the transport be changed to cater for this?

No - our duties relate to transport between home and school.

We will not normally provide transport to or from:

  • educational visits
  • swimming lessons
  • breakfast or after school clubs
  • work experience
  • different establishments during the school day
  • interviews or open days for post-16 education
  • medical or dental appointments
  • school plays
  • social events
  • EHCP annual review meetings

Will my child be looked after by a passenger assistant?

This is assessed on a case by case basis.

A passenger assistant will only travel with students who need help or close monitoring due to behavioural and / or medical needs.

My child takes medication - can transport staff administer this?

No - you should make transport staff aware of any medications your child takes and any possible side effects, but they're not authorised to administer medication.

Do transport staff walk children into school?

Yes - you will need to walk your child to and from the transport each day, and transport staff will take your child to and pick them up from reception at school.

What happens if a driver or passenger assistant is off work?

We will find temporary cover.

All drivers and passenger assistants we contract have an enhanced adult and child DBS check.

We'll make every effort to let you know about changes as soon as possible and keep changes to a minimum, but health or personal issues will lead to staff absences occasionally.

Will other students share transport with my child?

Where possible, we will place students on shared transport.

We take route requirements and student needs into account when we plan the home to school contracts each year.

We sometimes have lone transport routes if there are complex needs or the home address / destination doesn't fit with other transport requirements.

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