Apply for under 16 travel assistance to school

You should check if your child is eligible for travel assistance to a specific school before you apply for a place at a school, as your choice can affect your child's eligibility for travel assistance.

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

If your child has an EHCP you may be eligible for travel assistance. You will need to submit an application form for travel assistance. Once we have received your application, we may contact your child's SEND caseworker or the SEND Admissions team for further information.

If your child will be starting a new school in September, you should submit your application by the end of March and we will aim to tell you the outcome by 17 May. For applications received by the end of March, if it is agreed, travel assistance will be put in place for the start of the Autumn term.

If you submit your application after the end of March, 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 for your child to get to school until travel assistance is in place.

If your child is changing school during the academic year you should apply for travel assistance as soon as you know the start date. We will aim to tell you the outcome within 20 working days of receiving your application, although at busy times of the year (June to September) this may take longer.

Apply for free travel assistance for children under 16 years of age


Reception - mainstream

If you are applying for a mainstream place in Reception you will need to apply for travel assistance if it is needed. As travel assistance is not available until the start of the term after the child's fifth birthday, you should apply at the start of the term in which the child turns five years old.

We will aim to tell you the outcome within 20 working days of receiving your application. If it is agreed, travel assistance will be put in place for the start of the term after the child's fifth birthday.

Apply for free travel assistance for children under 16 years of age


Year 3 or Year 10 at a University Technical College or Studio School - mainstream

If you are applying for a mainstream place in Year 3 or a place in Year 10 at a University Technical College or Studio School, you will need to apply for travel assistance if it is needed. For applications received by the end of May, we aim to tell you the outcome by the end of June. If it is agreed, travel assistance will be put in place for the start of the Autumn term.

For later applications, we will tell you the outcome by the end of June 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 for your child to get to school until travel assistance is in place.

Apply for free travel assistance for children under 16 years of age


Secondary admission - mainstream

If you apply on time for a mainstream place for initial entry in September and receive a school place on national offer day, we will automatically assess your child's eligibility for travel assistance. You do not need to apply separately for this unless your address has changed since applying for a school place.

We will write to you by the end of April in the year of admission, if your child is entitled to travel assistance.

Alternatively, If you think your child may be eligible travel assistance you can submit an application form. Applications will be processed within 20 working days of receipt. For applications received by 31 March, if it is agreed, travel assistance will be put in place for the start of the Autumn term.

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 for your child to get to school until travel assistance is in place.

Apply for free travel assistance for children under 16 years of age


If your address changes after applying for a school place

If you have moved address since applying for a school place, and you believe that you may be eligible for travel assistance, you will need to complete an application as soon as possible.

Apply for free travel assistance for children under 16 years of age


If you apply late for a school place or your allocated school changes

If either of the following apply:

  • you apply late for a school place and receive your offer of a place after the national offer day, or
  • your allocated school changes (for example, following a waiting list offer or a successful appeal)

and you believe that you may be eligible for travel assistance, you should apply as soon as possible to ensure travel assistance is in place for September.

For applications received by the end of May, we aim to tell you the outcome by the end of June. For later applications, we will tell you the outcome by the end of June or within 20 working days of receiving your application, whichever is the later.

Apply for free travel assistance for children under 16 years of age


In-year admission (if you apply for a school place outside the normal admissions round)

If you are applying for a place at a school outside of the normal admissions round and believe you may be eligible for travel assistance, you should complete the application form as soon as possible. We aim to tell you the outcome within 20 working days of receiving a completed application.

Where travel assistance is agreed, our usual practice is to have travel assistance in place within 10 working days from the date travel assistance is agreed. This timescale may be exceeded in certain circumstances, such as where specialist passenger assistant needs to be sourced to meet medical needs of a child with an EHCP. If it is clear the 10 working day timeframe is likely to be exceeded, we will let you know as soon as this is evident and confirm a date for further updates/transport to begin.

Apply for free travel assistance for children under 16 years of age

We will contact you with the outcome of your application, and if you are eligible we will allocate you the appropriate form of travel assistance.

Successful applications

You cannot choose the type of travel assistance you will receive for your child. We will allocate you one of the following types of travel assistance:

  • Bus pass
  • Train pass
  • Seat on a contract vehicle (coach, minibus, or taxi)
  • Reimbursement for petrol or public transport
  • Travel allowance (children with an Education, Health and Care Plan only)

For bus, train, coach, minibus, or taxi: we will send you your child's free travel ticket or pass and information about the route. We will give you pick-up times for the school transport vehicles that we organise. Please see our: Home to school transport frequently asked questions leaflet (PDF) about travelling to school on the above modes of transport.

If your child is travelling on public transport you are responsible for checking the times of the bus or train to make sure your child arrives at school on time.

For petrol or public transport 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 with any supporting evidence required. If you require additional forms email: travel.assistance@surreycc.gov.uk

We may allocate you reimbursement under the following circumstances:

  • If a Surrey pass is not appropriate, such as where a child is travelling to an out-of-county school. You will be able to claim for the cost of public transport. The reimbursement will be for the lowest equivalent public transport rate between your child's home and the school.
  • If no public transport service is available and you take your child to school by car. You will be able to claim a petrol allowance for the journeys undertaken. The reimbursement will be calculated using Surrey County Council's approved mileage rates and the shortest road route from the home address to the school. For car users taking more than one child, only a single claim will be considered per family.