Students aged 16-19 and 19-25 - Help with the cost of travelling to school or college

Summary

There is no statutory requirement to provide travel assistance for Post 16 students.

Most students aged 16-19 will be expected to take advantage of either the 16-17 Saver Card or Surrey's Student Fare Card (for reduced rate bus and/or rail travel) when they travel to education or training. However, some students aged 16-19 may be able to access travel assistance where it is necessary to enable the young person to reasonably access their education or training.

Some young adults aged 19-25 years old will be considered for travel assistance if they have an Education, Health and Care Plan and that assistance is necessary to enable them to maintain attendance at their education placement.

For full details, you should read our Home to School/College Travel and Transport Policy 2020-21 (PDF). Please also see our Guide to parents on extenuating circumstances.

The council has reviewed and published its Home to School Travel and Transport Policy for the academic year 2020-21 onwards. Details of the consultation process have been made available online, including a summary of the key decisions made by the Cabinet Member for All Age Learning.

The information on this page applies to mainstream children and children with an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP).

Will you qualify for travel support?

Students aged 16-19 years old

We will exercise our discretion to provide travel assistance for students aged 16 to 19, where we consider that travel assistance is necessary to enable the young person to reasonably access their education or training.

Education or training refers to learning or training at a school, further education institution, council maintained or assisted institution providing higher or further education, establishment funded directly by the Education Skills Funding Agency, or learning provider delivering accredited programmes of learning, which lead to positive outcomes and are funded by the council, for example, colleges, charities and private learning providers.

Most students will be able to reasonably access their education or training independently and will not need any support with those arrangements. However, some students, especially those with special educational needs or disability, may need support with travel arrangements to reasonably access their education or training. We are clear that as young people with special educational needs or disability approach adulthood, where travel assistance is appropriate it will be provided to support the young person's independence.

In assessing eligibility for travel assistance for students aged 16-19, we will consider the following:

  • Whether the student is currently in receipt of any funding from the 16 to 19 Bursary Fund and to what value
  • The location of the sixth form unit or college the student would like to attend (if this is not a local provision, the local authority would need to know that the course being taken is not available locally)
  • Whether the sixth form unit is an extension to the school previously attended by the student and named in their EHCP
  • The distance from the student's home to their education or training establishment and the journey time
  • Whether the young person has SEND and/or mobility difficulties which would impede their access to their educational placement, either independently or otherwise, for example, a wheelchair user
  • Whether the young person has SEND which would make it unsafe for them to travel independently
  • Whether the public transport journey to the nearest suitable placement is too complex for the young person to be expected to travel independently

Financial contribution

Where it is agreed that travel assistance is required, we will ask students or their parents/carers to contribute towards the transport costs. For the academic year 2020/2021 the contribution will be as follows:

  • £547.20 for students whose families are in receipt of the maximum Working Tax Credit and/or who continue to meet the eligibility criteria for Free School Meals; students in care; care leavers; those on Income Support/Universal Credit in their own right; disabled young people who receive Employment Support Allowance/Universal Credit and either Disability Living Allowance or Personal Independence Payment in their name; or
  • £756.20 for all other students.

In recognition that there may be circumstances where families or a young person experiences severe financial hardship, the Council has discretion to consider delaying, reducing or waiving the charge for post-16 students. In order to be eligible for consideration, the parent/carers or young person must demonstrate the following by way of evidence:

  • that the charge is not affordable because they would not be able to meet their essential living needs by the payment of the charge; and
  • that they have applied for a government 16-19 bursary and, where available, their provider's emergency hardship fund, and have been refused.

To apply, the parent/carer or young person must provide details of any financial circumstances of the household which evidence the above criteria and evidence of application to national and local bursary and hardship schemes. In making a decision, the Council will consider whether the financial hardship is likely to be temporary, and therefore if it is reasonable to delay or extend the period over which the charge will be made. The Council will consider reducing the charge to a level that is reasonable to enable the family/young person to meet their essential living needs. Where there is evidence that the financial hardship is likely to be long-lasting and severe, the Council will consider waiving the charge entirely.

Young adults aged 19-25 years old

We will consider whether assistance with travel is necessary to enable young adults with an EHCP to maintain attendance at their education placement. If it is identified that assistance is necessary, then there would be no financial contribution expected from the young adult.

For post-19 students starting a new course, evidence must be provided to demonstrate why it is necessary for us to provide assistance and why the young adult cannot make the travel arrangements themselves. To assess this and understand the individual circumstances, we would need to know:

  • What other arrangements have been considered or tried and why they are not suitable
  • If there is a family member or carer who is willing and able to transport the student and if not, why it would not be possible or reasonable for them to do so
  • Whether the student is in receipt of higher rate mobility component of the Personal Independence Payment or Disability Living Allowance, the purpose of which is to assist those who have mobility problems, with severe difficulty walking or who need help getting around outside - we would normally expect this benefit to be fully utilised and if there are any factors limiting its use you should provide details of them
  • Whether there is a 'Motability' vehicle for which the student may or may not be the driver
  • Any other needs or circumstances that may need to be taken into account along with any recent supporting evidence that can be provided

Each request will be assessed on a case by case basis, considering the law, council policy and any supporting information provided.

How to apply

If you think you may be eligible for travel assistance, please complete the application as follows:

Please complete your application by 8 July 2020.

Applications received after 8 July may not be processed in time to have travel assistance arranged for the start of the Autumn term.

Successful applicants

If you are eligible, you will not be able to choose the type of travel assistance you will receive and will be expected to travel by the cheapest form of transport so we can provide the most cost-effective service.

The forms of transport assistance available are:

  • Seat on a contract vehicle (coach, mini bus or taxi)
  • Reimbursements for petrol or public transport

If we allocate you a seat on a contract vehicle we will send you information about the route and provide you with pick-up times.

If we allocate you reimbursement, we will send you a claim form and details of what can be claimed. You will need to complete this at the end of each term, and return it together with tickets and receipts (we cannot reimburse you for lost tickets or receipts). If you require additional forms email passenger.transport@surreycc.gov.uk.

Unsuccessful applicants

If you are not eligible, you may be able to apply for a Surrey's Student Fare Card or you may be able to purchase a concessionary seat on existing transport for your journey, if a spare seat is available. You may also want to ask your college or sixth form for details of any bursary schemes they may have to help with expenses. If your application for home to school transport has been unsuccessful you can also appeal the decision.


Files available to download