Eligibility for Travel Assistance
The council regards where a student decides to study as an individual choice but considers it essential that students (and their parents carers) weigh up the home to college journey when deciding which school or college to attend as the council does not have a duty to provide transport assistance to post 16 students other than the arrangements contained in this policy.
Journey length, rurality and the nature of the route are factors for families to consider and take into account and these issues do not, in themselves, confer an entitlement to transport assistance.
The council recognises that some students may not be able to travel to school or college independently or may not yet be ready to do so. The council will consider offering some additional direct financial help towards travel costs for young people with low incomes in exceptional circumstances.
All students should discuss with their school or college student support service whether they may be eligible with transport costs from the 16 to 19 Bursary Fund.
Parents or carers must discuss travel to work experience with the college. The council will not make arrangements or provide funding for travel to work experience placements.
In all cases in order to qualify for assistance students must be:
- living in the area of Brighton & Hove City Council when their course starts
- taking or about to take a full-time further education course including A Levels, GCSEs, GNVQs, a BTEC National Diploma or an Art Foundation
- taking or about to take a full-time further education course
A full time course is a course that takes up more than 15 hours a week. We do not normally offer assistance to students taking part-time courses. However, students who feel they may have an exceptional case may put this in writing and return an application form for special consideration.
Students must be aged under the age of 19 on 31st August before their course starts.
Assistance is not given for attendance at private schools or colleges.
Journey time and distance eligability
A student must be travelling over three miles to their nearest appropriate provider to become eligable for assistance.
We will not normally offer support for journeys from home to college that exceed 15 miles or one and a quarter hours’ travelling time. The council does not have a budget to help with residential costs.
If students want to attend a school or college outside Brighton & Hove they would be eligible for assistance only in cases where the course they want to study is essential to their career plan and there is no suitable course at a school or college campus in Brighton & Hove or they have special educational needs and there is no course appropriate to their needs in Brighton & Hove.
Students in care
Students looked after by the local authority must use same eligibility criteria as other children and students. However arrangements’ should be made and funded by the carer, as funding for this is provided in the allowances paid by the councils fostering teams (agencies and in house) to carers.
Changing career direction
If a student chooses to change career direction or course this may affect their eligibility for travel assistance. For students with low income applying for travel assistance they or their families must be receiving one of the following benefits or tax credits:
- Income Support
- Income Based Job Seekers Allowance
- Income related Employment and Support Allowance
- Child Tax Credit (provided you’re not also entitled to Working Tax Credit and have an annual gross income of no more than £16,190)
- Working Tax Credit run-on – paid for four weeks after you stop qualifying for Working Tax Credit
- Universal Credit (provided you have an annual net earned income of no more than £7,400, as assessed by earnings from up to three of your most recent assessment periods)
- eligible students will be reimbursed by calculating the cheapest available fare for the journey and paying those expected costs which exceed the first £10.80 per week. As a Saver ticket bought with a Bus ID Card allows travel across the City for less than £10.80 per week, this means that, in normal circumstances, help is not offered to students attending colleges within Brighton & Hove
For students with a learning or a physical disability consideration will be made based on:
- the student’s learning or physical disabilities
- whether a similar course is available at a nearer school or college
- the length of complexity of the journey and whether parents or carers could reasonably be expected to arrange transport or act as a chaperone themselves. If parents, carers or other family members are not available this should be fully explained in the application
- whether it has been agreed that in such circumstances the mileage rate will be paid
In all cases a transport panel will review the application, take into account the factors raised and decide if travel assistance will be provided. The panel will decide the form of travel assistance to be offered. Please note that taxis will usually only be provided if necessity is proven and for students with severe disabilities and/or the most complex health needs. This may not always be a door to door service.
When travel assistance will not be withdrawn
Travel assistance will not be withdrawn in the course of an academic year, except where a programme of independent travel training has been completed successfully or a student’s circumstances have changed significantly.