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Home to secondary school transport


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

The policy on this page is applicable to children starting secondary school from 1 September 2012 or later.

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‚Äč

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 where the home to school distance is over three miles. In the case of a school/academy that operates on two sites, this will be the nearest site of the school/academy. 

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 Meadows 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 secondary school children who are eligible for free school meals, or whose parents receive their maximum level of Working Tax Credit, free transport will be provided to:

  • one of the three nearest suitable qualifying schools, if that school is more than two but less than six miles from the child's home, or
  • the nearest suitable secondary school preferred because of religion or belief* for children whose parent(s) adhere to that particular faith, where that school is more than two but less than fifteen miles from the child's home. 

* For this purpose, parental adherence to the Roman Catholic faith has been defined as where at least one parent and the child are baptised Roman Catholic; and to the Anglican faith where at least one parent is a confirmed Anglican and the child is a baptised Anglican.

The six mile upper limit to a choice of schools and the fifteen mile upper limit to a school preferred on the grounds of religion or belief are not walking routes therefore these routes will be measured along road routes.  

Concessionary seats

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. 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 the apply for a spare seat on school transport page.

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) .

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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