Pre-16 transport for pupils with special educational needs (SEND)

Introduction

Most children/young people in Cambridgeshire with special educational needs and/or disability (SEND) attend their nearest suitable mainstream school, and do not require travel assistance which differs from mainstream arrangements.

Eligibility

Eligibility for travel assistance will be assessed on an individual basis and, where agreed, assistance will be provided in the most cost effective and appropriate way, whilst meeting the child/young person’s assessed needs.

To qualify for travel assistance, the child/young person must;

  • Live within the boundaries of the area covered by Cambridgeshire County Council; and
  • Have an Education, Health & Care Plan (EHCP); and
  • Be attending the school that is the nearest suitable school/the school designated by the Council as able to meet their needs; and
  • Live more than 2 miles for primary aged children or 3 miles for secondary aged children, from their nearest suitable school*

This is the nearest school assessed by the Council as being able to meet the child/young person’s needs, as outlined within their Education Health and Care Plan.

It is important to consider that should your child attend a school which is not assessed by the Council as being the nearest suitable school able to meet their needs, you will be responsible for making and funding all travel arrangements.

Assistance will be provided where the Council assesses that a child/young person with or without an EHCP is unable to walk the expected maximum 2 or 3 mile distances to their nearest suitable school, as their Special Educational Need and/disability ordinarily prevents them from doing so, even when accompanied. Additional information and evidence will be requested to support such requests.

In exceptional circumstances, children may be placed by the Council in an education setting outside Cambridgeshire. Where it is agreed that this is the case, travel assistance would be available.

Travel arrangements for eligible children/young people can be provided in the following ways, considering independence and sustainability:

  • A place on an existing vehicle
  • A Personal Transport Budget, giving families flexibility about how to get their child to school

We do not offer individual transport unless there are exceptional circumstances that have been assessed and agreed by the eligibility team.

Needs will be assessed on an individual basis, based on information held within a child’s EHCP and information from those who know the child, including their parents and the school.

Travel arrangements are reviewed as part of your child’s annual EHCP review. This gives the opportunity to consider whether the current arrangements continue to meet your child’s identified needs and stated outcomes.

During the year there may be other children joining and leaving routes. It is not always possible to advise families about these changes in advance.

The Council also has a legal obligation to review and re-tender transport contracts on a regular basis. However, any review of this nature will be communicated with parents/carers prior to any changes being made.

Home to School Travel Assistance Policy

The Home to School Transport Assistance Policy covers mainstream, SEND and post-16 education transport.

Apply for SEND Pre-16 Transport Assistance

If you believe your child meets the above eligibility criteria you will need to complete an application for transport assistance using the button below.

We recommend that you apply for transport as early as possible. Applications are normally assessed within 10 working days of receipt.

If your child is starting primary or secondary school in September for the first time, please make sure you apply before the end of the summer term to guarantee your child's arrangements are in place in time for September.

Where transport assistance is agreed, please note this it may take up to 10 working days for arrangements to be put in place.

SEND Transport Charter

The SEND transport charter outlines the responsibilities of all stakeholders involved in the transport provision of your child.

Appeals

School Transport - Home to School Transport Reviews and Appeals

Frequently Asked Questions

To qualify for travel assistance, the child/young person must;

  • Live within the boundaries of the area covered by Cambridgeshire County Council; and
  • Have an Education, Health & Care Plan (EHCP); and
  • Be attending the school that is the nearest suitable school/the school designated by the Council as able to meet their needs; and
  • Live more than 2 miles for primary aged children or 3 miles for secondary aged children, from their nearest suitable school*

This is the nearest suitable school assessed by the Council as being able to meet the child/young person’s needs, as outlined within their Education Health and Care Plan.

No. If you choose a school which is not assessed by the Council as being the nearest suitable school able to meet their needs, you will be responsible for making and funding all travel arrangements.

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 10 days after the application has been made, whichever is longer.

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.

Most students will be placed on an existing vehicle. Needs are assessed on an individual bases, based on information held within a child’s EHCP and information from those who know the child.

We do not offer individual transport. In some cases, exceptional circumstances may arise. Such circumstances would be assessed and agreed by the eligibility team and individual transport may be agreed on a temporary basis.

Parent/carers will be informed of their new transport provider and can contact them to arrange a meet and greet with transport staff. They will also be able to advise of pick-up and drop off times at this point.

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.

Where a child/young person with SEND has been identified as being eligible for travel assistance, parents/carers may be offered the option of a PTB. PTBs are discretionary payments made to parents/carers in exchange for full responsibility for transporting their child safely to and from school. Payments are calculated using a flat rate fee of £0.40 per mile for four journeys (home to school and return x 2) per school day. If there is a more cost-effective option (such as a shared transport arrangement), a PTB will not normally be agreed.

Transport is reviewed annually as part of your child’s EHCP review. This could result in changes to their transport being made dependent on their needs at that time. The Council also have a legal obligation to review and re-tender routes on a regular basis which may also result in changes to your child’s transport. Where this is the case, a member of the transport team will be in contact with you prior to any changes being made.

Throughout the year, there may be other children joining or leaving routes. It is not always possible to advise families of these changes in advance.

We understand that continuity is important and, where possible, we will aim to provide the same driver and passenger assistant. We are unable to guarantee this as there may be changes outside of our control, e.g., changes to staff working for the operator may mean a new driver/PA or when drivers are on holiday.

The Council also has a legal obligation to review and re-tender transport contracts on a regular basis and cannot guarantee the same operator or driver following a review. Transport is also reviewed as part of your child’s annual EHCP review. However, any review of this nature will be communicated with parents/carers prior to any changes being made.

Contact the Passenger Transport Service

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