Free school transport is for children from reception up to year 11 who meet the eligibility criteria and live in the Dorset Council area. 

Eligibility criteria for free school transport

The table shows which students are eligible. This is based on the safe walking distance from the school and other criteria:
Year group School type Distance from school Additional criteria
Reception to year 4 Catchment or nearest 2 or more miles (shortest walking) N/A
Year 5 to year 11 Catchment or nearest 3 or more miles (shortest walking)


Year 5 to year 6 Catchment or nearest 2 or more miles (shortest walking) See qualifying benefits.
Year 7 to year 11 3 nearest schools between 2 miles (shortest walking) and 6 miles (shortest driven) See qualifying benefits.
Year 7 to year 11 nearest religious/faith school between 2 miles (shortest walking) and 15 miles (shortest driven) See qualifying benefits.

  Some students who live closer than 2 miles to the school, could get free school transport if their walking route from home is considered unsafe to walk when accompanied by an adult. Check if you are eligible and apply.

Qualifying benefits

If you claim the highest level of Working Tax Credits, you must send a full copy of your recent tax credits letter.

If you are applying on religious or faith reasons, you must include evidence to support this claim or tell us if you gave this when you applied for the school place.

Find out more in the home to school transport policy.

Apply for free school transport

Apply using the online form. If you are unable to do so, use the free school transport paper application form.

Start now

Re-apply for school transport if you've moved

If you are moving house or school, please tell us as you need to re-apply for school transport.

Start now

  Appeal a school transport decision

Find out how to appeal a school transport decision.

Students in years 12 and 13 (also called post 16 transport)

Children over 16 can not get free school transport for school or college. However, they may be eligible to pay for school transport through the Surplus Seat Travel Scheme. We can assist with travel expenses for post 16 in certain circumstances. Some establishments also provide bursaries to individual students. Contact the school or college for more information.