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Home to school travel assistance for children and young people with SEND or an EHCP

If your child does not have a Statement of Special Educational Needs (SSEN) or an Education Health and Care Plan (EHCP), or is currently undergoing an assessment for an EHCP, please see School transport for children in mainstream school.

Children with a disability aged five and over who are living in Surrey may also be eligible for a free bus pass for disabled people. For further information please see eligibility and how to apply.

Is my child eligible for free travel assistance?

Children aged 5-16 (including 4 year olds who are in reception), are eligible for free travel assistance if they are attending their nearest suitable school with places available, and this is:

  • beyond 2 miles, and they are aged under 8; or
  • beyond 3 miles, and they are aged between 8 and 16.

Is there any support for children with an EHCP who live relatively close to their school?

Some children who live within the statutory walking distance (under 2-3 miles, depending on their age) may be eligible for travel assistance.

These children must also be attending their nearest suitable school with places available, but:

  • they cannot walk to school in reasonable safety, even when they are accompanied by a responsible adult, or;
  • their SEN or disability means they are unable to walk even short distances, even when they are accompanied by a responsible adult.

Eligibility for these children will be assessed on an individual basis, and may require a medical assessment.

How do I apply?

If your child has been given a school place through an EHCP or SSEN for the 2017/18 academic year, they may be entitled to travel assistance under our Travel Assistance Policy for Children and Young People with SEND - Pre 16.

If you are applying for travel assistance for the 2018/19 academic year, please see our September 2018 Travel Assistance Policy.

If you think your child meets the eligibility criteria, please contact the SEND Travel Assistance Team:

  • Email: sendtravel.assistance@surreycc.gov.uk
  • Telephone: 0300 200 1004

What types of assistance are available?

  • Independent Travel Allowance - Flexible allowance that supports families and young people to make their own home to school travel arrangements. It can help towards covering the costs of running a family car, paying another member of the family or trusted friend to take your child to school when you are unable to, or to assist with childcare, enabling you to make the journey.
  • Option to share school runs with the council – you transport your child/young person some or most of the time (on set, regular days), and the council covers the days or times you can't do.
  • Assistance with getting your other children/young people to school, so that you can take your SEND child/young person, where this is the most cost-effective option.
  • Independent travel training - available from September 2018, supporting young people to gain skills and confidence to be able to travel independently to school or college.
  • Coach, minibus or taxi - to transport your child from their permanent home address to school and back. If we offer to provide you with a taxi or a minibus, your child is likely to travel with other pupils.

Post 16 SEND Travel Assistance

Many young people with SEND are able to travel independently using public transport. These young people can take advantage of the following available schemes:

  • Surrey Student Fare Card - reduced rate travel to the education provider for young people aged 16-18.
  • Disabled person's bus pass - travel anywhere in Surrey, at any time, for free. If you have difficulty travelling you could be entitled to travel with a companion.

Information about local and national transport schemes supporting learners aged 16-18 in further education and continuing learners aged 19 and over can be found within Surrey's Transport policy statement (PDF).

Who is eligible?

The council recognises that some young people will require additional support with travel to education or training. In order to be considered for travel assistance, a young person needs to:

  • continue to hold an EHCP/SSEN;
  • have started their current programme of education/training prior to their 19th birthday;
  • be attending the nearest appropriate qualifying education provider (unless agreed otherwise stipulated within the EHCP or SSEN) that is more than three miles walking distance from their home, unless the young person's disability impacts on their ability to walk this distance, or if the walking route is deemed unsafe;
  • be attending a full-time, non-advanced, publicly funded course of at least one academic year's duration;
  • not be in receipt of help towards their travel costs from any other source (with the exception of the Surrey's Student Fare Card).

Where it is agreed that additional assistance is required, this will normally take one of two forms:

  • reimbursement of train and/or bus travel, where students are able to travel independently on public transport;
  • independent travel allowance where students are not able to travel independently, but where parents or carers are able to provide transport.

In exceptional cases, the council may make alternative arrangements, including contracted minibus or taxi transport, to support the young person to access their education.

Pupils in Year 11 staying on in education will need to reapply for travel assistance on an annual basis. Where a young person changes school/college after 16, his or her eligibility will be re-assessed, and he/she will also need to reapply for travel assistance each year.

Apply for Post 16 SEND travel assistance

If you are applying for Post 16 travel assistance for the 2017/18 academic year, please see our Travel assistance for children and young people with an EHCP/SSEN 16+.

If you are applying for Post 16 travel assistance for the 2018/19 academic year, please see our September 2018 Travel Assistance Policy.

Apply for 16+ travel assistance.

You can apply online above, or alternatively contact us via email: sendtravel.assistance@surreycc.gov.uk

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