Who can get free home to school transport
We provide free home to school transport for some children who live further away from school. Find out if you can apply.
Who can get help
Usually we can provide free public transport from home to school if your child is:
- under 8 years of age and lives more than two miles from the appropriate school, which is the closest school to the main home address that had an available place
- over 8 years of age and lives more than three miles from the appropriate school, which is the closest primary or junior school to the main home address that had an available place or the catchment area secondary school
Most children in Brighton & Hove live within walking distance of the school and won't be able to get free transport.
Families on low income
If you get maximum Working Tax Credit or free school meals for your child, we can provide free public transport for your child if they are:
- 8 to 11 years old and live more than two miles from the school (closest school to the main home address that had an available space)
- 11 to 16 years old and they go to school that is 2 to 6 miles away (as long as there are not 3 or more suitable schools nearer to the home)
We may ask you to email us copies of documents that prove you have a low income.
Children with special educational needs or disabilities
Your child may get help with transport if they can't walk to school because of special educational needs and disabilities or mobility problems. We may ask you to email us copies of documents that prove this.
If your child goes to a special school, please get in touch with the school to ask about help with transport.
What help is available?
If your child is eligible for home to school transport we can offer assistance. We base this on an assessment of your child’s needs. Assistance could include:
- a bus pass
- a group of children travelling together by bus often with a Vehicle Passenger Assistant
- a taxi or minibus transport from a set meeting point
- a taxi or minibus transport from the home address registered with the school, to and from school
We also offer Independent Travel Training (ITT). ITT supports young people in preparing for adulthood as part of independent living and skills for life. The training is voluntary and provides tailored and practical help for children and young people with SEND. It helps them to travel independently and without fear to school by public transport or on foot.
If your child or young person is eligible for free home to school transport you can still choose to take them to school in your family car. We understand that the travel times may better suit the needs of your family. In this case, the council will provide a mileage payment to contribute towards the cost of travel. This is a payment of 52 pence per mile for 4 journeys a day over the academic year. We will pay it once each term (3 times a year).
Personal Travel Budgets
You may also wish to discuss the option of a Personal Travel Budget (PTB) with us. If your child or young person is eligible for travel assistance, we can provide PTBs as a voluntary alternative to hired transport. You can spend them in many different ways, so long as your child:
- gets to and from school on time
- travels in a way that ensures their safety
- travels in a way that encourages their attendance
- does not have their ability to learn, once they are at school, negatively affected.
How to apply for home to school transport
If you would like to have home to school transport from September 2023, you need to apply by:
- 30 April 2023 - if your child is under 16 years of age
- 31 May 2023 - if your child is over 16 years of age
- 31 May 2023 - if you are an adult learner, over 19 years of age with an Education, Health and Care Plan
Apply for Home to School Transport online.
Learn how Home to School Transport process applications.
If you think the council has made a mistake about a decision on your child or young person’s eligibility for transport, you can appeal. Learn more about our appeals process.
If you already receive home to school transport
If your child is under 16 and you already receive free hired home to school transport from us, there's no need to re-apply each year.
You do need to re-apply if:
- you or your child’s circumstances change, for example a change of placement or change of address.
- you already receive a free bus pass from the council
- if your child is over 16 and going into Year 12
- if you are an adult learner (aged 19 and over) moving from Year 14 to Year 15 with an Education, Health and Care Plan.
How we process your application
We consider all applications at a weekly Transport Panel. We will tell you of the Panel’s decision within:
- 7 working days during term time
- 14 working days outside of term time.
We will contact you if we need you more information to support your application.
Home to School Transport policy information
Read our Home to School Transport policy
Read our post 16 Transport Policy Statement for students in education or training.
The Home to School Transport service co-produces all new policy and practice with Amaze Sussex and the Parent and Carers Council (PACC). Learn more about our Working Agreement.
Read our PACC co-produced service standards.
Read our Home To School Transport guidelines.
How we keep your child safe on Home to School Transport
Learn more about how we keep your child safe, including our safeguarding measures and code of conduct.
Home to School Transport re-procurement
Brighton & Hove City Council has a legal responsibility to renew its Home to School Transport contract every four years. The current contract started in 2019, so must be renewed by August 2023. Read the letters we have sent out about re-procurement.
Travelling to school by bus
Go to the Brighton & Hove Buses website for information about traveling to school by bus.
Send an email to email@example.com for advice or to make a complaint about school transport.
If you are experiencing any difficulties, or have concerns or questions about your home to school transport arrangements please contact us on 01273 293 501.