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Transport to sixth form and college

This page gives you the most up-to-date information about transport assistance to sixth form and college.

In 2016/17 and beyond, Post-16 help with travel will only be available to new students starting or continuing further education who meet the eligibility criteria and who are unable to travel independently because of special educational needs, a disability or mobility difficulty or who are unable to access a viable public transport system.

In March 2016, our Cabinet Members agreed that there should be changes made to our Home to School/College Transport Policy with regard to travel assistance for new Post 16 students starting their programme of learning in September 2016 and beyond. These changes were to remove the automatic entitlement to free transport for Post 16 students who:

  • have no access to a viable public transport system; and
  • cannot travel independently due to a medical condition/disability.

New students

If you are a new student starting your Post 16 study in September 2016 or after, there's more information about the travel assistance available to you in the  Icon for pdf Post 16 Travel Assistance information paper (PDF, 306.5kb) . You can download and complete the  Icon for pdf Post 16 Transport application form 2017/18 for new students (PDF, 71.7kb) . It is important to note that transport can only be provided to the nearest establishment and you should take this into account when choosing your Post 16 provision if you require transport and for transition purposes.

Continuing students

If you are an eligible student who started sixth form or college before September 2016 and you have previously received travel assistance from us, you will continue to receive assistance until you complete your course. However, you must still re-apply for this assistance. You need to download and complete the  Icon for pdf Post 16 Transport application form 2017/18 for continuing students (PDF, 39.8kb) .

You can apply any time after you know where you have been offered a place at school/college and you are encouraged to submit your application as soon as possible. 

Eligibility criteria

If you are unable to travel independently, to qualify for any Post 16 travel assistance you must meet all of the following criteria. You must:

  • live in County Durham, and
  • be under 19 years of age at the start of the programme of learning, and undertaking a programme of learning or study that is full-time (i.e. at least 540 plus guided learning (planned and funded) hours per year), and
  • live more than 3 miles from the school/college (education provider) as measured by the council (the 3 mile limit is not applicable to students unable to walk the distance to school/college because of special educational needs, a disability or mobility difficulty), and
  • be attending the nearest school/college that provides the full time programme of learning that you wish to follow (new students starting your Post 16 study) - please bear this in mind when commencing transition (which will be well before the Post 16 course of study begins) that we will only provide transport to the nearest establishment. If you need information on your nearest establishment please contact us.


Students in receipt of an allowance for attending college (e.g. an employed apprenticeship), attending higher education courses or attending independent fee-paying establishments (including scholarship schemes) are not entitled to travel assistance.

What help is available?

Help is available, from a range of sources, for families who are seeking travel assistance.

For new students starting their Post 16 study in September 2016 and beyond, the Icon for pdf Post 16 Travel Assistance information paper (PDF, 306.5kb)  gives more information.

Eligible students who have started sixth form or college prior to September 2016 and have previously received travel assistance from the council will continue to receive assistance until they complete their course.

Is any other help available?

Where spare seats are available on a school bus, these can be sold to pupils who are not entitled to free transport. This is called concessionary travel. The cost for each seat is £1.52 per day, which may be paid in monthly instalments. Some schools have special arrangements charged at different rates. Find full details of the concessionary travel scheme, including bus routes available, how to apply, how seats are allocated and how to pay on the Apply for a concessionary seat - schools with standard arrangements page.

Some colleges operate schemes to assist students with transport and some public service operators offer special tickets for students. There's more information about help for post 16 travel in our  Icon for pdf Post 16 Travel Assistance information paper (PDF, 306.5kb) .

Behaviour on home to college transport

Our Icon for pdf Behaviour on School Transport Policy (PDF, 108.8kb)  sets out the entitlements and responsibilities of students, parents, transport operators and schools. It also explains the action that can be taken when either behaviour or the transport provided does not meet acceptable standards.

There is a leaflet available which explains standards of behaviour:

Icon for pdf Post 16 Behaviour on Home to College Transport (PDF, 110.5kb)

How we use your personal information

When you submit your application for travel assistance, you give your consent for us to check the address details you have given on your application with council tax and electoral registration records. This is to confirm that you are resident at the property. There are more details about how your data is used in the Icon for pdf Privacy notice - Education Service for services to children and young people (PDF, 50.1kb) .

Contact us
School Transport
03000 264 444
Our address is:
  • School Places and Admissions Team
  • Children and Young People's Services
  • County Hall
  • Durham
  • County Durham
  • United Kingdom
  • DH1 5UJ
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