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Home to primary school transport

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


​​​​​​​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, 1.9mb) .

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 the distance is 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.

See the  Icon for pdf Home to primary, secondary and special school and college travel and transport policy (PDF, 238.9kb)  for full details.

If you receive benefits

For primary school children aged 8 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. You will need to provide your most recent full Working Tax Credit Award Notice (pages 1-8, the Working Tax Credit Element of the Working Tax Credit Summary must indicate "reduction due to your income is £0.00").

How to appeal

If we do not award free home to school transport to your child, 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 any 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.

Behaviour on home to school transport

We expect good behaviour from children when using the school transport we provide. When you apply for home to school transport for your child, you are required to sign a declaration stating that you agree to uphold good behaviour. Parents have a key role to play and you are responsible for the conduct of your children. See the information leaflets on our Behaviour on home to school/college transport page. 

Further information

Full details of home to school transport are available on our School transport policies and strategies page. 

Contact us
School and College Transport
03000 264 444
Our address is:
  • School Places and Admissions Team
  • Children and Young People's Services
  • Green Lane
  • Spennymoor
  • County Durham
  • United Kingdom
  • DL16 6JQ