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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 forms and colleges.

We will not provide transport to college unless you are unable to travel independently because of special educational needs (SEN), a disability or mobility difficulty or you live in an area where there is no public transport available (linked transport).

Coronavirus update

The government's directive that schools are to close, with only a small number of identified groups still attending, means that most pupils are not now being transported. However, if you are the parent of a child who is still taken to school by bus or taxi, the following information will be important.

  • It is not usually possible to apply the recommended social distancing when your child is in a taxi, and this may be difficult even in a bus. If you are concerned about this, you should contact the school for advice.
  • Transport contractors will carefully observe Public Health England recommendations for minimising risk, and symptoms such as a persistent cough or fever would result in a driver following government health instructions, and self-isolating.
  • If your child shows symptoms of Coronavirus, the driver will inform the school that they cannot transport them. If symptoms have developed while your child is at school, it will be the responsibility of the school to arrange an alternative means of getting your child safely home, after which the family should follow the latest guidance from Public Health England on isolation.

School transport will continue to run for the foreseeable future, including during the school holiday period if your school remains open to eligible pupil groups. Our school transport team will continue to operate, ensuring ongoing arrangements and continued attention to all aspects of health and safety.

It is our priority that children are safely transported and drivers, passenger assistants, parents and school staff are all protected. While we cannot ensure that the driver and/or passenger assistant for your child's journey will be unchanged as the Coronavirus situation evolves, we will do our best to keep transport arrangements as regular as possible.

How to apply

Complete the online form to Apply for post-16 student travel assistance.

We will assess your application form and advise you in writing if you are eligible for home to college transport. Once you receive your letter advising you are eligible for home to college transport, you will need to provide a timetable to IPTContractsTeam@durham.gov.uk before your transport can be set up.

Check if you qualify

To qualify for any post-16 travel assistance:   

You must meet one of the following criteria

  • aged 16-19 in further education and have learning difficulties and/or disabilities and do not have an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP)
  • continuing your education having previously started a programme of learning before the age of 19 and you do not have an EHCP
  • aged 16-25 with learning difficulties and/or disabilities and do have an EHCP
  • aged 16-19 and you live in an area where there is no public transport available (linked transport to access my nearest post-16 establishment)

You must also meet all of the following criteria

  • live in County Durham
  • be undertaking a programme of learning, study or work placement that is full-time (i.e. at least 540 plus guided learning (planned and funded) hours per year)
  • live more than 3 miles from the school/college (education provider), as measured by the council, (the 3 miles limit is not applicable to students unable to walk the distance to school/college because of SEN, a disability or mobility difficulty)
  • attend the nearest establishment that provides the full-time programme of learning or work placement that you wish to follow, whilst having had reasonable opportunities to choose between different establishments at which education and training is provided. Assistance with travel may be provided in exceptional circumstances to an establishment that is not the nearest but is within a reasonable distance of the nearest establishment.

Further information

If you are a student starting your post-16 study in September, there's more information about the travel assistance available to you in our  Icon for pdf Post-16 Transport Policy Statement 2020/21 (PDF, 202.5kb) .

Higher education courses and independent fee-paying establishments

If you are in receipt of an allowance for attending a higher education course or attending independent fee-paying establishments, you are not entitled to travel assistance.

How to request a review of a decision

If we do not award home to college transport to you, you can request a review of our decision in writing within 20 days of the receipt of the decision letter. You will need to send additional supporting evidence with the request. Each case will be considered individually. 

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 our apply for a spare seat on school transport page.

Some colleges operate schemes to help 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 Transport Policy Statement 2020/21 (PDF, 202.5kb) .

Behaviour on home to college transport

We expect good behaviour from young people when using the school transport we provide. When you apply for home to college transport, you are required to sign a declaration stating that you agree to abide by the conditions as set out in the home to college transport policy. See our  Icon for pdf Behaviour on School Transport Policy (PDF, 120.4kb)  for more information.

Other help that is available

Help is available from a range of sources. For families who are seeking travel assistance see our Icon for pdf Post-16 Transport Policy Statement 2020/21 (PDF, 202.5kb)  which gives more information. If you are unable to apply online you can contact us.

Contact us
School and College 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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