Home to school and travel policies consultation | Central Bedfordshire Council

Home to school and travel policies consultation

Our proposals for our home to school or college travel policies, in more detail

Consultation closes: 22 April 2021
Consultation opened: 28 January 2021

Travel support for 5 to 16 year olds

The policy for 5 to 16 year olds covers the majority of pupils who receive home to school transport support. Based on our feedback, this is where the majority of changes will be made. We are also rewording the eligibility criteria to make it clearer for parents – this wording can be found in the consultation survey.

We are proposing the following:

  • travel assistance will be offered from two homes for any eligible children who live in a joint custody arrangement with both parents; this should enable children to spend time with both parents without being impacted by transport to school and is in the child’s best interests (limitations will be placed on this so that travel assistance from a second home will only be offered where a route already exists, or where re-routing a current special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) route would not have an additional cost or be detrimental to other children)
  • applications for SEND pupils will be assessed by need, rather than solely on their education, health and care plans (EHCPs)
  • the fact that distance criteria will not apply for pupils with SEND will be made clearer
  • passenger assistants on SEND transport will be trained to administer medication in an emergency and to support children and young people with challenging behaviour
  • emphasis will be put on modes of travel assistance other than bus and taxi, where it is financially beneficial to us (for example, parents may be offered mileage payments to enable them to transport their children to school)

Travel support for 16 to 19 year olds

We are not making any changes to the eligibility criteria in our existing 16 to 19 travel assistance policy, but we are rewording it to make it clearer for parents and practitioners. The proposed wording can be found in the consultation questionnaire.

The policy ensures that those most in need of support receive it and those who are able to pay the cost of their transport do so. This includes those aged 16 to 18 and those who started their course before their 19th birthday.

We prioritise the following groups:

  • those on a low income
  • those with SEND
  • those with medical needs
  • looked after children and young people

Travel support for 19 to 25 year olds

The introduction of the over 19 policy ensures that young adults with significant SEND, who would be unable to travel to their education placement independently, get the right support to remain in education, while increasing their independence. The eligibility criteria for this policy is outlined in the consultation questionnaire.

As adults, the majority of learners will be able to make their own transport arrangements. However, in circumstances where a young adult is unable to make the journey, we will consider whether transport assistance should be provided.