Travel assistance to school or college for students aged 16 - 25

Summary

Please note there is no statutory requirement to provide travel assistance for post 16 students. 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.

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

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


Check your eligibility

Students aged 16-19 years old

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, 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 you to reasonably access your education 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 a
  • 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.

If you are a student aged 16-19, in assessing the eligibility for travel assistance, we will consider the following:

  • Whether you are currently in receipt of any funding from the 16 to 19 Bursary Fund (Gov.uk) and how much you receive.
  • The location of your sixth form unit or college that you would like to attend (if this is not local, we would need to know that the course being taken is not available locally)
  • Whether the sixth form unit is an extension to the school you previously attended and named in your Education Health Care Plan (EHCP).
  • The distance from your home to your education or training establishment and the journey time.
  • Whether you have special educational needs (SEND) and/or mobility difficulties which would impede your access to your educational placement, either independently or otherwise, for example, if you are a wheelchair user.
  • Whether you have a SEND which would make it unsafe for you to travel independently.
  • Whether the public transport journey to the nearest suitable placement is too complex for you to be expected to travel independently.

Financial contribution

Where it is agreed that travel assistance is required, we will ask you or your parent/carer to contribute towards the transport costs. However, if your family or you experience severe financial hardship, we will consider delaying, reducing, or waiving the charge for post-16 students.

For the academic year 2020/2021 the contribution are as follows:

  • £547.20 if your family is in receipt of the maximum Working Tax Credit and/or you continue to meet the eligibility criteria for free school meals; if you are in care; a care leaver; if you are in receipt of Income Support/Universal Credit in your own right; if you are disabled and receive Employment Support Allowance/Universal Credit and either Disability Living Allowance or Personal Independence Payment in your name; or
  • £756.20 for all other students.

These contributions will increase to £551 and £760 respectively for the 2021/22 academic year.

In recognition that there may be circumstances where a family or a young person experiences severe financial hardship, the council has discretion to consider delaying, reducing or waiving the charge for post-16 students. To be considered, your parent/carer or you must provide the following evidence:

  • you cannot pay the financial contribution because if you do so you would not be able to meet your essential living needs and
  • you were unsuccessful in applying for a government 16-19 bursary (Gov.uk) and, your provider's emergency hardship fund if available.

We will then consider:

  • whether the financial hardship is likely to be temporary, and therefore we will consider delaying or extend the period over which the charge will be made.
  • reducing the charge to enable you or your family to meet your essential living needs.
  • if there is evidence that financial hardship is likely to be long-lasting and severe, we will consider waiving the charge entirely.

Students aged 19-25 years old

If you have an EHCP we will consider whether assistance with travel is necessary to enable you to attend your education placement. If so, you will not need to provide a financial contribution.

If you are a post-19 student and starting a new course and need travel assistance, you must provide the following evidence that you cannot make the travel arrangements yourself.

  • What other arrangements have you considered or tried and why they were not suitable.
  • If there is a family member or carer who is willing and able to transport you and if not, why it would not be possible or reasonable for them to do so.
  • If you are in receipt of higher rate mobility component of the Personal Independence Payment or Disability Living Allowance to assist with your mobility problems, but there are factors limiting its use, you should provide details of them.
  • If you have access to a 'Motability vehicle'.
  • Any other needs or circumstances that may need to be considered, along with any recent supporting evidence.

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


How to apply

Children and young people with an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP)

If you think you may be eligible for travel assistance, please apply online:

Apply for travel assistance for children and young people aged 16-25

If you are starting college or starting with any other post-16 provider in September 2021, you should submit your application by 30 April and we will aim to tell you the outcome by the end of May. For applications received by 30 April, if it is agreed, travel assistance will be put in place for the start of the Autumn term.

Once we have received your application, we may contact your SEND caseworker or the SEND Admissions team for further information.

If you submit your application after 30 April, we will aim to tell you the outcome by the end of May or within 20 working days of receiving your application, whichever is later. However, please note that if you submit your application late, travel arrangements may not be in place for the start of September and you may therefore have to arrange your own transport until travel arrangements are in place.

If your allocated college provider changes, and you believe that you may be eligible for travel assistance, you should apply as soon as possible to ensure transport is in place for September.

Children and young people without an Education, Health and Care Plan

If you believe that travel assistance is necessary for you to access your educational establishment, please apply online:

Apply for travel assistance for children and young people aged 16-25

If you will be starting a college or staring with any other post-16 provider in September 2021, you should submit your application by 30 April and we will aim to tell you the outcome by the end of May. For applications received by 30 April, if it is agreed, travel assistance will be put in place for the start of the Autumn term.

If you submit your application after 30 April, we will aim to tell you the outcome by the end of May or within 20 working days of receiving your application, whichever is later. However, please note that if you submit your application late, travel arrangements may not be in place for the start of September and you may therefore have to arrange your own transport until travel arrangements are in place.


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, minibus, 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 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