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Home to primary school transport

This page gives you information about home to school transport for children attending primary school.

The policy on this page is applicable to children starting primary school from 1 September 2012 or later. Older children will be assessed under the previous home to school transport policy.

Make sure you read the Icon for pdf Home to School Transport Information Leaflet (S20) (PDF, 111.7kb)  to find out if your child is eligible for home to school transport.

Apply for free home to school travel

Alternatively, complete and return the  Icon for pdf Application for free home to school travel - Form S20 (PDF, 92.5kb) .

Who qualifies?

Children of compulsory school age are entitled to free home to school transport to the nearest suitable school (in the case of a school/academy that operates on two sites this will be the nearest site of the school/academy), where the home to school distance is over two miles for children up to the age of eight years; and where the distance is over three miles for children of eight years and over. We have agreed that the three mile limit will not apply on the child's eighth birthday but will be from the start of the academic year after the child reaches the age of eight years (usually from the commencement of Year 4).

How is the distance calculated?

In assessing home to school distance we use a Geographic Information System (GIS) to identify and measure the shortest route using only the Ordnance Survey Integrated Transport Network (ITN) and Urban Paths Network (UPN) which are national recognised datasets. We will not include any other routes or any other method of measurement. Routes are measured from the centre point* of the child's house, or in the case of a flat from the centre point* of the building, to the nearest school site entrance. In all cases the GIS identifies the route to be measured by connecting in a straight line the centre point* of the child's house to the closest point on the nearest route on the ITN/UPN.

* In accordance with the coordinates of the Basic Land and Property Unit on the National Land and Property Gazetteer.

Where a school/academy operates on two sites, the site the child will attend for the majority of the academic year for which transport is applied will be the site used for the purpose of measurement of home to school/academy distance (with the exception of Greenfield Community College, Newton Aycliffe and Shildon sites, Sherburn Village Primary School, Sherburn Village site and Sherburn Hill site, Bluebell Meadow Primary School, Trimdon Village and Trimdon Grange sites).

See the  Icon for pdf Home to school / college transport policy (PDF, 107.6kb)  for full details.

Extended transport policy

For primary school children aged eight but under age 11 years, who are eligible for free school meals, or whose parents receive their maximum level of Working Tax Credit, free transport will be provided to their nearest suitable school, if that school is more than two miles from the child's home.  

Concessionary travel

Where spare seats are available on a school bus, these can be sold to children who are not entitled to free transport. This is called concessionary travel. The cost for each seat is £1.50 per day, which may be paid in monthly instalments. Full details of the concessionary travel scheme, including bus routes available, how to apply, how seats are allocated and how to pay are available on our apply for a spare seat on school transport.

Behaviour on home to school transport

Our  Icon for pdf Behaviour on Home to School Transport Policy (PDF, 108.8kb)  sets out the entitlements and responsibilities of children, 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 series of leaflets available which explain standards of behaviour:

How we use your personal information

When you submit your child's application for school transport, you give your consent for us to check the address details you have given on your child's 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) .

Further information

For more information on home to school transport you can view the  Icon for pdf Home to school / college transport policy (PDF, 107.6kb) . For information about the policy pre-September 2012, please contact us.

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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