1. Post 16 provision

Young people have to stay in education, training or enter employment until they're 18 years old.

When your child is deciding which course, school or college to attend, you should both consider:

  • the different transport options available
  • what time you have to arrive and leave
  • how much it will cost you

There's no automatic entitlement to home to school or college transport once a student is over 16, even if they've had free transport in the past. 

We're committed to supporting young people to access education and training after 16 years, so we've put this plan together to help them.

1.1 School sixth form transport

Independent bus companies provide all school transport to mainstream schools with sixth forms in Dorset. 

Contact the bus company directly if you want to buy a seat on one of these services. They decide what availability there is and what to charge.

Schools with sixth forms and which bus company they use
School  Contractor

Allenbourn Middle School
The Blandford School
Dorchester Middle School
Ferndown Middle School
Ferndown Upper School
Lytchett Minster School
St Michael's Middle School
The Purbeck School
Queen Elizabeth School
Shaftesbury School
The Thomas Hardye School
West Moors Middle School

Go South Coast
operating as:
Morebus and Damory

Phone: 01202 338420

Beaminster School
The Sir John Colfox School
The Woodroffe School 
Budmouth Academy

First Wessex

Email: dorsetschools@firstbus.co.uk
Phone: 07866 979781 If your call is not answered, please text or leave your number and the company will call you back

Sturminster Newton School

Vale Coaches
Email: valecoaches@gmail.com
Phone: 01963 363000

Gillingham School
The Gryphon School

South West Coaches
Email: schools@southwestcoaches.co.uk
Phone: 01935 475872

Budmouth College

Public services provided by First Bus
Phone: 07866 979781

1.2 Bursary scheme

Every school and further education (FE) college has a mandatory 16 to 19 bursary fund. The school or college manages how you claim this bursary. Some schools provide other support to help you reach the school. Contact your school or college directly to find out more [link?].

1.3 FE college transport 

Colleges have transport routes available to help students access their course. Contact your college to find out what's available. Apply for transport as soon as you can so that it's available for the start of your course. 

If you attend a post 16 FE setting you can also apply for a seat under the Surplus Seat Travel Scheme if there are routes that can help you attend your setting and you meet the terms.

They may also qualify for further assistance under travel assistance for students with SEND or compelling medical circumstances.

1.4 Apprenticeships and traineeships

If you want to start an apprenticeship or traineeship, you must speak to the learning provider. They can tell you if there's any transport assistance available. Employers and learning providers should think about your transport arrangements when they plan any off-the-job training, especially if they're outside working hours.

You're also eligible for the 16 to 19 bursary scheme if you're studying within a traineeship.

1.5 Public transport

Some local public transport operators have concessionary fares or discount schemes for students:

Table showing student discounts with local travel operators
Transport operator  Contact  Discount information
Damory / Morebus 01202 338420 school bus pass
First Group 0345 646 0707 Contact bus operator
Yellow Buses 01202 636110 Contact bus operator
First Great Western 0345 7000 125 16 to 25 railcard
South Western Railway 0345 6000 650 16 to 25 railcard

Students with a disability

There are some situations where you may be entitled to a free bus pass for off-peak travel on public transport if you have a disability. 

2. Travel assistance for students aged 16 to 18 with special educational needs and/or disability (SEND) or compelling medical circumstances

2.1 Criteria for additional support

Young people aged between 16 and 18 who meet the criteria may also get additional support when:

  • a professional assessment clearly indicates that a young person wouldn't be able to access existing public transport routes to a place of learning because of their SEND 
  • they are within the 3 mile distance criteria of a school but a professional assessment clearly indicates that they wouldn't be able to access their place of learning because of their SEND

2.2 Supplementary information

Types of transport assistance we may provide are:

  • Personal Travel Budgets (PTB): these are for children and young people who have an education, health and care (EHC) plan
  • contract bus or council fleet
  • minibus
  • taxi
  • vehicle used by other council departments
  • fuel contribution, if it's a cost-effective solution; families should be prepared to use their own vehicle where there's no suitable or appropriate alternative arrangement in place. The rate we pay to families is for the shortest available driven route only, at 13p per mile times return journey/s

2.3 Terms and conditions for transport support

We provide dedicated transport depending on the following conditions:

  • we only provide assisted transport  for one inward and one outward journey to/from college at the beginning and end of the college day. This may not be according to the start and finish of the timetable day
  • we only provide assisted transport between the same pick-up or drop-off points each day. If you need other destinations your parent or carer will need to organise and pay for them
  • we don't provide transport for induction days, taster days or work experience
  • transport assistance will stop if you move outside the Dorset Council area partway through your course; you must apply to your new local authority for transport assistance
  • we expect you to travel by public transport where it's available. You may be able to get independent travel training to help you use buses or trains. Contact your school or college as they may be able to access limited funds through Dorset Council to support independent travel training
  • students who travel on contract bus routes or by taxi with other students have no choice what time their journeys are to and from school or college

2.4 Applying for transport assistance

Make sure you send your transport assistance application to the Dorset Travel Team by 31 May before the start of your course. 

You must re-apply for transport assistance for each year of study. 

2.5 Charges and contributions

All young people have to contribute towards the cost of transport. For 2021 to 2022 we've set the amount you have to contribute at £800.

This amount is reduced by 50% (consistent with the overall post 16 transport provision) if your family gets the highest amount of Working Tax Credit or you're entitled to free school meals.

In exceptional circumstances we may remove the eligibility criteria that says a student has to 'live over 3 miles from their nearest and/or appropriate school or college' for a young person with significant disability and/or mobility. This means their contribution would be reduced by 50%.

We won't charge you for a contribution for travel assistance if you're currently studying for a course that you started before September 2017.

3. Post 16 reduced rates for the Surplus Seat Travel Scheme

We're committed to supporting families in accessing post 16 education. We've set up the local authority 16 plus assistance scheme. This is where a post 16 student can qualify for either:

  • a 50% reduction in the cost of their travel pass (including passes provided by the OSOO contractors)
  • or a 50% reduction in the £800 contribution towards transport we provide

The 50% reduction in cost is not available on public transport routes or rail. 

Students must meet all of the following criteria to qualify for assistance under the local authority 16 plus assistance scheme; they must:

  • live in the Dorset Council area
  • be under 19 years old on 31 August before the start of the academic year, or up to 25 years old if their EHC plan (or Section 139a) identifies that they need transport
  • live more than 3 miles away from their nearest and/or appropriate school or college
  • be in full-time education; this means 16 hours or more over 3 or more days a week
  • be in a family who gets the highest amount of Working Tax Credit or Universal Credit, or the student is entitled to free school meals

The exceptions to these criteria are:

  • if the student has had a compelling medical circumstance before post 16 which meant they had to have transport support and they're making a case for it to continue
  • or if the student has a compelling medical circumstance that begins during post 16 education (this only applies to the nearest school or college only and the appropriate medical officer must provide supporting evidence)

More information about what we provide: 

  • we only provide assisted transport  for one inward and one outward journey to/from college at the beginning and end of the college day. This may not be according to the start and finish of the timetable day
  • we only provide assisted transport between the same pick-up or drop-off points each day. If you need other destinations your parent or carer will need to organise and pay for them
  • we don't provide transport for induction days, taster days or work experience
  • transport assistance will stop if you move outside the Dorset Council area partway through your course; you must apply to your new local authority for transport assistance

4. Post 19 transport

We have to provide free travel assistance (EHC plan highlights) to a young person aged between 19 and 25 if we think it necessary for them to access an education institution or training under Section 508F of the Education Act 1996.

5. General terms and conditions

5.1 When can you use a travel pass (on public transport) or use an OSOO seat?

You can use a travel pass or an OSOO seat:

  • if you're travelling on coaches or other contract transport arrangements that don't involve season tickets; you can't choose the outward or return journey details
  • if you're using a season ticket they are usually available to use between designated stops and journeys and for an agree time, morning and afternoon
  • to travel in the evenings and at weekends at a reduced rate, but only with some bus operators who have introduced a fare card system. Check with your school, college or local bus operator

You can't get tickets that can be used across different transport providers. 

5.2 Out of Dorset Council area colleges that are beyond daily travel distances

You should speak directly to your college about transport support arrangements if you're attending a college that's a considerable distance away from the Dorset Council area. Find out more information about grants and bursaries for adult learners

5.3 Complain about school transport assistance

Contact our School Admissions Team for queries and complaints about transport entitlement.

Contact Dorset Travel Team for information about:

  • queries
  • complaints about the method of transport
  • vehicles
  • contractors
  • drivers
  • bus passes
  • costs and charges
  • behaviour and safety

Complain about travel to a school that uses the One School One Operator (OSOO) model

Contact your school's bus operator about routine operational matters if they use the OSOO model for school transport. 

Complain about school transport assistance entitlement for children with an EHC plan

Contact our 0 to 25 SEND Assessment Team for questions or complaints about transport entitlement for children who have an EHC plan. Read our home to school transport policy for more information about appealing a school transport decision

5.4 Consultations to review school transport policies

We review the home to school transport policy and the post 16 transport support policy every year so that we keep them up to date with any changes to costs. We consult with young people and their parents if we need to make changes. Find the latest consultations

5.5 References

Read sections of the Dorset home to school transport policy for more information on:

6. Appeal a school transport decision

You can appeal if you've been refused school transport. School transport includes:

  • free transport
  • paid transport through the Surplus Seat Travel Scheme

You can appeal if:

  • you've been refused free transport
  • your application was incorrectly processed and, as a result, you've not been allocated free or paid transport
  • you're appealing due to the safety of your child's walked route to school

We have a two-stage transport appeal process. 

Stage 1 of the appeal process

You can submit a transport appeal form with full supporting evidence. You must submit this within 20 days of receiving the letter from us advising you that you're not eligible for school transport assistance. Senior managers within the council will review the evidence to confirm:

  • there are no grounds for exceptional circumstances
  • the application for transport has been processed in accordance with the home to school transport policy
  • there are no road safety issues that suggest an incorrect decision was made

We will notify you or the young person in writing within 20 days of the result of the appeal review. If you're still not satisfied with the outcome of this review, you have 20 days to request that your appeal moves to Stage 2 of the appeal process.

Stage 2 of the appeal process

Stage 2 is where the Children's and Adult Services Appeal Panel review the evidence. 

The following documents will be submitted to the Committee:

  • a copy of the transport appeal form
  • our statement justifying the reasons for the decision
  • your original application
  • any other supporting documents

If an appeal goes ahead, you can attend to present the case and may be accompanied at the hearing. The Committee's decisions are binding on all parties (but don't necessarily set precedence) but if you feel there's been an error in the way the Committee made its decision, you may make a complaint to the Local Government Ombudsman. 

We can only hear transport appeals for Dorset resident pupils. If you live in a neighbouring authority you will need to appeal to your home authority. 

You can only submit one transport appeal for the same journey in each academic year. 

Schools and sixth forms

Schools and sixth forms transport assistance information:

Schools and sixth forms transport assistance information
School or sixth form contact Transport support

Budmouth Technology College
Chickerell Road

01305 830560

Students who have been eligible for free school meals in the past or who may be from disadvantaged economic circumstances should apply for the bursary fund. This is government money which is administered by schools. 

Get an application form for the bursary from your tutor, the Sixth Form Office or from the website. Hand your completed application form to the Sixth Form Office.

The exact amount you may receive depends on a number of factors, including:

  • how well you attend lessons
  • tutor time
  • other compulsory activities

You can apply for the bursary if your situation changes at any point in the year. Contact the Sixth Form Office if you have any questions. 

Beaminster School and  The Sir John Colfox joint sixth form


The joint sixth form provides the guaranteed bursary to students who are eligible. There are also discretionary bursaries that will support a range of students to remain in post 16 education, including travel. 

Find out more about the  Beaminster School and The Sir John Colfox Joint Sixth Form 16 to 19 bursary fund.

Ferndown Upper School
Cherry Grove
BH22 9EY

01202 871243

Contact the school for information about the Free Bournemouth Bus service. For other routes you'll need a bus pass which you can buy from Dorset Council.  A bursary option is available to support sixth form students from low income families, which can be used towards the cost of transport.

Contact the school to find out more. 

Gillingham School
Hardings Lane

01747 822222

This school provides 2 modes of transport:
  • a 57-seater bus that runs in the Wincanton area
  • a minibus that can take 16 students (mostly sixth formers)

The school decides the route based on the most popular routes of the students that apply each year. 

If you're struggling with transport payments you can get a financial assistance form from the school office. The assistance you get depends on your circumstances and benefits you get. The school doesn't cover the total transport cost, but they pay towards it. 

Contact the school for more information. 

The Gryphon School
Bristol Road

01935 813122


The school contracts a number of buses to and from the surrounding areas. They may offer a transport subsidy to sixth form students who use these buses.

Sixth form students from low-income families can apply for a 16 to 19 bursary that they can use towards the cost of transport. Find out more on the school website.

Queen Elizabeth's School
Wimborne Minster
BH21 4DT

01202 885233



QE School has a bursary scheme that can support students to attend sixth form.

The 16 to 19 bursary for QE is designed to support the most vulnerable students in post-1 education. A student must be on a full-time study course and be one of the following:

  • a child in care
  • a care leaver
  • a young person who gets Universal Credit
  • a disabled young person getting Disability Living Allowance (DLA) and Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)

Find out more about the QE School bursary.

The Thomas Hardye School
Queen's Avenue 

The school has a number of bursaries to support students to stay on for sixth form. There are 4 tiers of bursary, plus an Education Support Grant, including:

  • high priority bursary for children in care
  • on Income Support or Universal Credit
  • disabled young people on Disability Living Allowance (DLA) and Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)

There are 3 tiers of the discretionary bursary which can all contribute to course and transport costs.

Find out more about the Thomas Hardye School sixth form bursary.

St Peter's School
St Catherine's Road

01202 437204

St Peter's School has school buses for students. There's a student financial support package based on income. Students who meet the set criteria and have good attendance can get help with the costs of travel, books and trips.

Find out more about St Peter's School sixth form

Shaftesbury School and Sturminster Newton High School

Shaftesbury and Sturminster Sixth Form has a bursary fund to support students in post 16 education who have financial issues that may impact on their study time. 

Students who are highly vulnerable are:

  • looked after children
  • care leavers
  • students who get Income Support
  • students on Employment Support Allowance or Disability Living Allowance

They will receive a bursary in 3 termly instalments. 

Students who are eligible for free school meals or their family has an income below £26,000 can apply for assistance for the cost of:

  • transport to school
  • equipment
  • educational visits

Payments will be made from the bursary fund each term if the student is eligible. The fund goes towards costs but won't cover them in full. 

We may be able to support students on a family income of £26 to £30,000 if we have enough funds available. 

If there's enough money left after all needs have been met, we will also provide a termly lump sum to all eligible students to go towards the costs of staying in education. 

Find out about financial support for students at Shaftesbury School.

Woodroffe School Lyme Regis

01927 442232


The school runs a Learner Support Bursary Scheme. The aim of this grant is to provide some financial support towards educational costs for eligible students who are aged 16-18, currently attending the Woodroffe School sixth form and following a full-time course. The grant may be used, for example, to help towards the costs of:

  • school transport
  • uniform
  • books
  • equipment
  • materials
  • study/field trips
  • educational visits

It may take the form of vouchers for the school shop, direct payment for school events and visits or payment towards school transport.

Some payment may be made directly to the student via BACS. Receipt of this and future payments will be dependent on student attendance, punctuality and commitment to learning. Grants will be made each half term or as appropriate.

The Learner Support Bursary is available for any students who require financial support for their education, particularly if they are from a family on a low income and/or in receipt of child tax credits.

Find out about the Woodroffe School's Learner Support Bursary Scheme on their website

Contact the school for more information. 


College transport assistance information:

Colleges transport for post 16 students
College and contact information Transport support

Kingston Maurward College

01305 215032


Courses leading to a qualification are free for British citizens, aged under 19 years on 31 August in the academic year you start your course. There may be some additional costs for clothing/kit and trips depending on your course.

You can apply to the Bursary Fund for extra help towards the cost of:

  • transport
  • food
  • equipment
  • childcare

You can apply if you meet one of the following criteria:

  • your household level of income is under £20,000 per year
  • you're in care or a care leaver
  • you're receiving Income Support/Universal Credit
  • you're receiving Employment Support Allowance in the Work-Related Activity Group
  • you had free school meals in year 11 – in which case you will receive a free college meal

If you're aged 19 or over you will be liable for tuition fees unless you get fee remission. The fee for a full-time Level 1 and Level 2 course in 2018 to 2019 is £1,600. This is subject to change each year. Contact us for details on fees for Level 3 courses. 

Fee remission is currently available to most UK/EEA citizens aged 19 or over, who are studying a Level 1 or 2 course and are:

  • between the ages of 19 and 23 and have not previously achieved a full Level 2 qualification (5 GCSE’s A-C/9-4 or equivalent)
  • between the ages of 19 and 23 and have not previously achieved a full level 3 qualification (2 A levels or equivalent)
  • unemployed and receive Employment Support Allowance in the Work Related Activity Group, Job Seekers Allowance, Universal Credits or any other state benefit such as housing benefit, Income Support, Working Tax Credit
  • receive low income – must earn less than £15,736.50 annual gross salary

Exceptions include the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man.

Those applying for Level 3 courses will be able to apply for the advanced learner loan. These loans are non-means-tested and you won’t have to pay anything back until you earn more than £25,000 a year. Find out more on the GOV.UK website

Find information about all funding on the Kingston Maurward college website

Currently those students who attend College 3 days or more pay: 

  • per week: £29.00
  • yearly charge: £1,016.00

The prices for 2018-19 have yet to be finalised and may still be subject to change. Payments can be spread out across the year via standing order and all students can be issued with a payment schedule. 1 day return charge: £10.00 

Weymouth College
Cranford Avenue

01305 764766

peter_atkins@weymouth. ac.uk

Weymouth College is committed to ensure that financial hardship is not a barrier to support students stay in further education, particularly those who are economically or socially disadvantaged.

If you are already studying or you plan to study at Weymouth College, you can apply to Weymouth College for discretionary support funds to help you with your course-related costs such as:

  • travel
  • equipment
  • trips
  • lunch
  • stationery
  • childcare support

There are a number of schemes available:

  • 16-18 Guaranteed Bursary
  • 16-18 Discretionary Bursary
  • 19+ Discretionary Learner Support including childcare
  • Advanced Learner Loan Bursary Fund including childcare
  • Free Meals Scheme

Download the application form to apply for these funds.

Read the  student finance guidebook for more information.

Contact the Student Services Team on Tel: 01305 764807 or Email:collegebursaries@weymouth.ac.uk

Find out about Weymouth College's funding and financial support

Check Weymouth College website for the conditions for accessing the bursary. 

Bournemouth and Poole College
North Road
BH14 0LS

Student Financial Support

16-18 year old students

Vulnerable and Discretionary Bursaries; including College Meal and Travel Support

At Bournemouth and Poole College, we can support with the cost of your course and travel costs. If you're a student who is either in care or leaving care, you would be eligible to apply for a vulnerable bursary, which could include a monthly payment, paid direct to you to help you with those little extras, as well as receiving a College Meal Card and Travel Pass.

Discretionary bursaries are for those students who have a lower income within their families and are currently receiving one of the benefits stated in the criteria

For more information, see our student finance guidebook.

Contact the Student Services Team on:

Tel: 01305 764807
Email: collegebursaries@weymouth.ac.uk

Find out about Student Finance Support on the StudentFirst website for Bournemouth and Poole College

Read more about student finance on the Bournemouth and Poole College website

Brockenhurst College
Lyndhurst Road


Students may be assisted from the Discretionary Bursary Fund if they meet the following criteria:

  • aged 16-18 at the start of the course
  • studying a state-funded course at Brockenhurst College, including our skills centres (most 16-19 full time programmes meet this criteria)
  • living in a household where the total annual household income is less than £26,000

Level of funding offered

For example, a student who qualifies for a Discretionary Bursary (they live in a household where the total annual income is less than £22,500) will be eligible for:A contribution of 50% towards a College Travel Pass.

Essential Course Costs.

Find out about bursaries and financial support available at Brockenhurst College.

Yeovil College
Mudford Road
BA21 4DR

16-19 Bursary Funds
To help meet the costs associated with accessing learning, students experiencing financial difficulty can apply for assistance in the form of a bursary.
Funds are allocated through a means assessed system. Funds are provided by the Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA).
Guaranteed bursary:

  • Children in Care
  • Care Leavers
  • students aged 16 to 19 who receive Income Support or Universal Credit in their own name
  • students who receive Employment Support Allowance (ESA)/Universal Credit and Disability Living Allowance (DLA)/Personal Independence Payment (PIP) in their own name. Learners must receive both benefits to qualify

Discretionary Bursary:

  • students aged 16 to19 whose household income falls below £30,000
  • students aged 19 or over and living in the parental home who can provide evidence of personal income of below £30,000
  • students aged 19 or over and living independently or with a spouse/partner and can provide evidence of household income below £36,000
  • learners who receive an Adult Learning Loan.

Proof of eligibility must be enclosed with your application. Applications without evidence will be returned. See application form for details.

Find out about bursaries and support at Yeovil College

Wiltshire College Salisbury campus
Southampton Road

01225 350035


Find out about travelling to Wiltshire College.  You;ll find information about support available including bus passes for different campuses including Salisbury and Trowbridge. 

Studying at the Salisbury Campus

Alternative bus pass options

Salisbury Reds offer a Young Person’s network ticket which can be purchased either from the bus driver or from the Salisbury Reds shop in Salisbury.

Find out more information on the Salisbury Reds website.

Alternatively Go Southcoast offer a Wiltshire College and University Centre pass to students which can be purchased online. The termly cost is dependent on whether you are travelling from Wiltshire, Dorset or Hampshire and for a small supplement you can upgrade the pass to unlimited travel on the network.

FE Students travelling from Hampshire or Dorset with a household income under £25,000

If you're travelling by bus, you'll need to apply to the college bursary fund and download and apply for a College Go SouthCoast pass. If you' re not eligible for the above bus passes and are coming by train or other method of transport, you can download a College Public Transport Award and you will be given a cash award to help with your travel costs. Contact Customer Services at Salisbury for further information on travel options 01225 350035.

Studying at the Trowbridge Campus

FE Students who are not eligible for the above passes and who are travelling from other locations.

If you're not eligible for the above bus passes and are coming by train or other method of transport, you can download a College Public Transport Award form and you will be given a cash award to help with your travel costs.

All FE students who apply and are eligible for a bursary will automatically be assessed for transport help and may receive some funding towards the above transport costs. You will be notified in September of any award made.

Contact Customer Services at Trowbridge for further information on travel options 01225 350035.

Education and Early Help (SEND) Team

Name: Education and Early Help (SEND) Team near you
Full contact details

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