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Home to secondary school transport

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


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 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 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. If you apply for a school place for your child at Greenfield Community College - Newton Aycliffe and Shildon sites, please contact us to discuss transport arrangements.

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 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.  

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 the 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