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Pre-16 transport (mainstream)

Introduction

As a parent/carer you are responsible for ensuring the necessary transport arrangements are made so that your children can attend school.

In some cases, children attending mainstream school may qualify for home to school transport. In order to be eligible for travel assistance all the following criteria must be met.

Eligibility

Criteria for primary aged children (4-11)

  • live within the boundaries of Cambridgeshire Local Authority; and
  • be registered at their nearest suitable school*; and
  • that school is more than 2 miles from their home, by the shortest available walking route.

Criteria for Secondary aged children/young people (11-16)

  • live within the boundaries of Cambridgeshire Local Authority; and
  • be registered at their nearest suitable school*; and
  • that school is more than 3 miles from their home, by the shortest available walking route.

A child/young person’s nearest suitable school is;

  • their nearest school; or
  • their catchment school (if this is different from their nearest school); or
  • the next nearest school, as designated by the Council, in cases where an application has been made and refused at both the catchment and nearest schools.

Important information

  1. A Child/young person will not be eligible for travel assistance if;
  • you do not apply for your nearest suitable school; or
  • they are attending your preferred school, and that school is not your nearest suitable school; or
  • they are attending an alternative school designated to you by the Local Authority, but you had not applied for and been refused a place at your nearest suitable school.
  1. For addresses around the borders of Cambridgeshire the nearest school may be located in another local authority area.
  2. Some secondary schools operate their own catchment areas, as a part of their school admission arrangements, which extend beyond the area recognised by the Council for home to school transport purposes, Such circumstances will be identified within the online schools directory, available at cambridgeshire.gov.uk/admissions

Some secondary school children may qualify for help with transport costs under 'Extended Secondary Rights for Low Income Families'.

To do so, your child must meet the following criteria:

  • be entitled to free school meals or be from a family receiving the maximum level of Working Families Tax Credit (with no reduction due to income)
  • be attending secondary school at one of their 3 nearest schools between 2 and 6 miles from their home address or their nearest denominational school (on grounds of religion or belief) between 2 and 15 miles from their home address.

The Council considers requests for transport assistance in cases where a child/young person is unable to walk the expected maximum 2 or 3 mile distance to their nearest suitable school, as they have a long term medical condition / disability which ordinarily prevents them from doing so, even when accompanied. In such cases medical evidence will be sought to support the child/young person’s request. Please note that any charges that the child/young person’s GP/Consultant choses to levy for their services will not be met by the Council.

The Department of Transport (DfT) have recently implemented Public Service Vehicle Accessibility Regulation 2000 (PSVAR) legislation requiring any vehicle of 22 or more seats, carrying paying passengers, to meet new accessibility requirements, i.e. low access, wheelchair accessible. Full information about this change in legislation is available on the www.gov.uk website.

Unfortunately, as a result of this change in legislation, the network of transport providers in Cambridgeshire are unable to provide a sufficient number PSVAR compliant vehicles to serve all routes where the Council currently offers spare seats for purchase by families whose children are not entitled to free transport. We have, therefore, taken the very difficult decision to cease spare seat provision on vehicles of over 22 seats for children aged 5-16 with effect from September 2021.

Home to School Travel Assistance Policy

If you feel your child requires transport as a result of their Special Educational Need/Disability please see transport for pupils with Special Educational needs.

Apply for School Transport

If your child is starting primary or secondary school in September for the first time and you believe they meet the above criteria, you will need to complete an application for transport assistance using the button below. To guarantee your child's arrangements are in place in time for September, please make sure you apply before the end of the summer term.

You will receive information about bus allocation and a timetable with your child's bus pass.

If you have read all the information and believe you are eligible, please click the button below to apply.

If you would prefer to complete a paper application form instead of using the online system, a copy can be found below.

pre-16-2023-application3.54MBpdf
Size: 3.54MBFile format: pdf

Lost, stolen or damaged travel pass

If you have lost your travel pass, or it has been damaged, be advised that there is a charge of £8.50. A stolen travel pass will be replaced free of charge, when you provide a valid Police Incident Number.

Behaviour on a school bus

All pupils who use transport provided by the Council are expected to abide by the Travel Code of Conduct. Pupils who fail to abide by the Code of Conduct when using transport provided by the Council may be banned from using the transport for a set period. It will become the responsibility of the pupil's parent, carer or guardian to arrange transport to and from school for this period of time.

Appeals

School Transport - Home to School Transport Reviews and Appeals

Frequently Asked Questions

In order to qualify for Pre-16 Mainstream Transport, all of the following criteria must be met:

Criteria for primary aged children (4-11)

  • live within the boundaries of Cambridgeshire Local Authority; and
  • be registered at their nearest suitable school*; and
  • that school is more than 2 miles from their home, by the shortest available walking route.

Criteria for Secondary aged children/young people (11-16)

  • live within the boundaries of Cambridgeshire Local Authority; and
  • be registered at their nearest suitable school*; and
  • that school is more than 3 miles from their home, by the shortest available walking route.

A child/young person’s nearest suitable school is;

  • their nearest school; or
  • their catchment school (if this is different from their nearest school); or
  • the next nearest school, as designated by the Council, in cases where an application has been made and refused at both the catchment and nearest schools.

No. If you choose for your child attend a school which is not assessed by the Council as being the nearest suitable school or they are attending an alternative school designated to you by the Local Authority but you had not applied for and been refused a place at your nearest suitable school, you will not be eligible for transport.

No. Secondary school’s that operate their own catchment area extend beyond the area which is recognised by the Council for home to school transport purposes. Such circumstances will be identified within the online school’s directory, available at cambridgeshire.gov.uk/admissions

Some secondary school children may qualify for help with transport costs under the ‘Extended Secondary Rights for Low Income Families’. To do so, your child must meet the following criteria:

  • Be entitled to free school meals or be from a family receiving the maximum level of Working Families Tax Credit (with no reduction due to income)
  • Be attending secondary school at one of their 3 nearest schools between 2 and 6 miles from their home address, or their nearest denominational school (on grounds of religion or belief) between 2 and 15 miles from their home address.

In cases where a child/young person is unable to walk the expected maximum 2 or 3 mile distance to their nearest suitable school due to a long term medical condition or disability which ordinarily prevents them from doing so, even when accompanied, the Council will consider transport requests.

Medical evidence will be sought to support the child/young person’s request. Any charges that the child/young person’s GP/Consultant chooses to levy for their services will not be met by the Council.

If your child is starting primary or secondary school in September for the first time and you believe they meet the eligibility criteria, you will need to complete an application for transport assistance using the online form. To guarantee your child's arrangements are in place in time for September, please make sure you apply before the end of the summer term.

Once your eligibility has been assessed, you will receive information about bus allocation and a timetable with your child’s bus pass.

You will receive information about bus allocation and a timetable with your child's bus pass. Bus passes are usually allocated before the start of the school term or within 15 working days after the application has been made, whichever is longer.

If your circumstances have remained the same, and your child is still aged 4-16 then you do not need to apply every year for Pre-16 transport.

If your circumstances change then you must update us. Please email edtransport@cambridgeshire.gov.uk with full details of the pupil and the changes required. Please be advised, a change of home address will result in eligibility for transport to be reviewed, this would be reviewed on a case-by-case basis but could result in transport no longer being provided.

Yes, if your bus pass is lost or damaged you can apply online for a replacement. This will cost £8.50. Stolen bus passes will be replaced free of charge when you provide a valid Police Incident Number.

Prior to the start of the school term, or 15 working days from submission of a completed application, whichever is longer. If specialist transport (i.e., wheelchair or specially trained staff) is required, this may take longer to procure and organise.

In order to process transport applications, eligibility for home to school transport must first be confirmed. Once eligibility has been confirmed, Passenger Transport need to determine what transport or route is available for your child. In the event that new transport needs to be procured, this may increase the 15 working day time frame.

Please visit our website for up-to-date information on our appeals process and advice on next steps. https://www.cambridgeshire.gov.uk/residents/children-and-families/schools-learning/school-transport/home-to-school-transport-reviews-appeals

Transport is only provided at the start and end of the school day. Should your child need collecting before the end of the school day, it is the responsibility of the parent to make arrangements for them to be collected.

Contact the Passenger Transport Service

Need to get in touch with us? Please find all contact information here.