The Local Education Authority is required to determine whether the provision of transport for pupils of compulsory school age is necessary to facilitate the attendance at a designated school of the pupil concerned. If such transport is deemed necessary then the transport must be provided free of charge.
There is no free transport for any children of nursery school age.
The LEA provides free transport:
- Where a child resides over two miles walking distance from their nearest appropriate primary school;
- Where a child resides over three miles walking distance from their nearest appropriate secondary school.
Extensions Beyond the Minimum (Statutory) Provision
The LEA provides free transport for pupils of compulsory school age:
- To the nearest suitable Welsh medium (whether designated or in a traditionally Welsh area) or a Voluntary school under the criteria identified above.
- Where the route to school is considered to be hazardous by the County Borough Council.
- Where a child requires transport on medical grounds and no suitable public transport exists.
- Where transport to an identified school is essential and specified in a pupil's statement of Special Educational Needs. This would normally be on medical, social or educational grounds, and would be deemed essential in relation to other criteria identified in this policy.
The LEA may provide concessionary transport, at a cost, where a pupil does not qualify on the above criteria but can be placed on an existing contract transport route that has empty seats. In these circumstances:
- The termly cost is presently £50 per child, payable by parents. This fee is subject to annual review.
- Concessions may be withdrawn on giving reasonable notice, with a pro-rata rebate, when seats become unavailable.
Under the Transport Act 1995, however, concessionary fares cannot be made available where public service transport runs along a school route at convenient times for the start and finish of the school day.
The LEA will assist with travelling expenses for parents of pupils who have been placed by a Statement of special educational needs, at a residential special school which is more than 100 miles from their home. Such expenses will be offered to parents who wish to attend the statutory Annual Review meeting, by what is considered to be the most cost effective way. They will include:
- Provision of transport by the Authority
- In particular circumstances, a cash payment to parents may be available for transporting pupils who meet all the criteria, if deemed by the LEA to be more cost effective
- Providing a ticket (or its cash equivalent) for one or both parents on public transport.
Assistance may also be given when a pupil who normally travels in a vehicle provided for a group, is unable to travel at the same time as the group because of his/her ill health. Medical certification will be required.
The LEA will not normally assist with travelling expenses for other functions or meetings.