How do I find out if my child is eligible for travel assistance?

We will talk with you, look at how you can get your child to school and what we can do to assist you:

If you have moved house or need more information, contact the SEN Travel Team or speak to your local Education and Early Help (SEND) Team.

Find out about post 16 SEN travel assistance for young people with SEND.

Who is eligible for travel assistance

This table shows the distances that mean your child is eligible for travel assistance:

Eligibility for school travel assistance
Year group School type Distance from school Other criteria
Reception to year 4 Catchment or nearest 2 or more miles (shortest walking distance) No
Year 5 to year 11 Catchment or nearest 3 or more miles (shortest walking distance) No
Year 5 to year 6 Catchment or nearest 2 or more miles (shortest walking distance) Yes
Year 7 to year 11 3 nearest schools Between 2 miles (shortest walking) and 6 miles (shortest driven) Yes
Year 7 to year 11 Nearest religious/faith school Between 2 miles (shortest walking) and 15 miles (shortest driven) Yes
Post-16 young people with SEND (EHCP) Nearest college, sixth form or special school Over 3 miles from school or college to home Yes; SEND

Check your school catchment area.

Other criteria could be if you:

You can find further details in the Home to School Transport Policy 2021 to 2022.

Find out about other travel options if you're not eligible for school travel assistance.

Other grounds for assistance

We may give consideration if your child is unable to walk or cycle to school (physically or safely) due to either a:

  • significant disability
  • mobility need

Speak to your SEN Planning Coordinator if you feel this is the case.

Home to school route safety

Some children may be unable to walk to their catchment or nearest school, with an adult, as the route is unsafe. When assessing the safety of the route, we consider traffic flow, collision history and gap analysis.

Find out more about home to school route safety. This includes information on how:

  • routes could be unsafe
  • to get a route checked for safety

Types of SEN travel assistance we offer

Single traveller with 1-to-1 passenger assistant (PA)

Single traveller with 1-to-1 PA means that your child does not travel with other students. A 1-to-1 PA supports your child and ensures their safety when travelling.

Single traveller

Single traveller means that your child does not travel with other students.

Shared vehicle with 1-to-1 passenger assistant (PA)

Share vehicle with 1-to-1 PA means that your child travels to their educational provision with other passengers who are eligible for SEND travel assistance. They are supported by a 1-to-1 PA who ensures their safety when travelling.

Shared vehicle with shared passenger assistant (PA)

Shared vehicle with shared PA means that your child travels to their educational provision with other passengers who are eligible for SEND travel assistance. Your child shares a PA who supports your child and others to ensure their safety on transport.

Shared vehicle

Shared vehicle means that your child travels to and from their educational provision with other passengers who are eligible for SEND travel assistance.

Independent travel training

Independent travel training is an amazing opportunity for your child to gain skills for travelling independently. One of our trainers works with your child on a 1-to-1 basis to support them to use public transport to get to their educational provision.

Contact the SEN Travel Team if you’d like more information on independent travel training.

Personal travel budget (PTB)

personal travel budget (PTB) is where Dorset Travel provide you with an allowance each month which you can use to organise your own transport. You can use this to support with the cost of your child's transport, including:

  • fuel
  • taxis
  • bus passes
  • other expenses

Petrol, wear and tear

Petrol, wear and tear is where Dorset Travel reimburses the cost of fuel when taking your child to and from their educational provision.

Mainstream travel

Mainstream travel is where your child travels to school on one of our mainstream school transport routes.

School transport details

Supported travel is only available:

  • for one inward and one outward journey to and from school or college at the start and end of the day. This may not be according to the start and finish of the timetable day
  • between the same pick up and drop off points each day. If the child needs picking up or dropping off from elsewhere, the parent or carer will have to sort and pay for this

School transport does not cover induction and taster days or work experience.

If students move outside of the Dorset Council area during their course, they must apply to their new council for support.

Special educational needs (SEN) Travel Team

Email: sentravelteam@dorsetcouncil.gov.uk
Tel: 01305 225023
Full contact details