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Hertfordshire County Council

Home to school transport

It's important to think about how your child gets to school. Very few children can get free home to school transport.

Consider some of the options for getting your child to school:

Buy spare seats on buses or coaches that we run.

Half fare bus travel for 11-18 year olds

Use the school locator to find a school near you.

Find bus timetables and routes.

Home to school transport policy

When you apply for a school, we'll automatically consider whether you're entitled to free school transport. You don't need to apply separately.

We'll only contact you if you are entitled to free transport.


There are different policies for:

Read more about school transport for pupils with special educational needs or disabilities.

You can also find out about our Sustainable Modes of Travel Strategy (PDF 2.4mb) Opening a new window for schools and colleges.


Our home to school transport policy is separate to our school admissions policy. You can apply for a place at any school but your child will only have 1 nearest suitable school for transport purposes.

That means the nearest suitable school for transport can be different from the “nearest school” used for allocating places under our admission rules. There is one exception which relates to children aged 11 to 16 from families on a low income.

When considering who is eligible for free home to school transport, we take various factors into account:

Distance

Your child could get free transport to school if they attend their nearest suitable school, inside or outside Hertfordshire, where the distance from home to school is:

  • more than 2 miles from home for children aged under 8
  • more than 3 miles from home for children aged 8 and over.

The "nearest suitable school" is identified by considering whether your child could have been offered a place at the school, regardless of whether you applied for it. Faith schools are included in this process where we can allocate children to that school.

Distance is measured using a network of roads, cycleways and footpaths which can be accessed throughout the year.   

Low income

Your child might be able to get free home to school transport if your family has a low income. That's if your child is entitled to free school meals or you get the maximum level of Working Tax Credit.

Children aged between 8 and 11 and living more than 2 miles from their nearest suitable school may be able to get home to school transport. The 2 mile limit will be measured along the nearest available route of pavements and roads.

Children in Year 7 to Year 11 (compulsory secondary school age) who are eligible will get free transport either to:

  • 1 of the 3 nearest schools within 6 miles of the child’s home. This is where the child lives between 2–6 miles from that school, or
  • the nearest school preference based on the family's religion or belief. The school must be the nearest school to the home address having regard to the relevant religion or belief, and be within 2–15 miles of the home address.

We review eligibility based on low income each year.

Safety

Your child will be eligible if they attend their nearest suitable school which is:

  • less than 2 miles from home for children aged under 8

  • less than 3 miles from home for children aged 8 and over

but where it is considered unsafe for them, accompanied as necessary, to walk the route with reasonable safety.

Your child will remain eligible for as long as the route remains unsafe.

Special educational needs and disability (including mobility difficulties)

Transport will be provided if your child's statement of special educational needs or education, health and care (EHC) plan says that it should be provided.

Otherwise, we consider transport on a case by case basis in line with the home to school transport policy (PDF 567kb) Opening a new window.

If you're a parent or carer with a disability which stops you taking your child to school, we'll look at your child's individual needs and the Equality Act 2010. Where eligible, we'll help the child to attend a school within:

  • 2 miles from home for children aged under 8

  • 3 miles from home for children aged 8 and over.

If your circumstances change

Contact us if your circumstances change after you apply for a school.

Exceptional cases

If you have exceptional circumstances, you can ask for your child’s case to be considered by a transport appeal panel.

If you move house or your circumstances change, we'll look again at whether your child can get home to school transport.

Families living near the county boundary

We include schools in neighbouring counties when considering the nearest
suitable school for transport purposes. If you live near the boundary, you might find your nearest suitable school for transport purposes is in a neighbouring county. You might want to take that into account when deciding on your school preferences.

Families living near the county boundary

When we consider the nearest suitable school for transport purposes, we include schools in neighbouring authorities.

So if you live near the boundary, you might find that your nearest school is outside of Hertfordshire.

Some of the areas affected are:

  • Bovingdon
  • Breachwood Green
  • Brent Pelham
  • Carpenders Park
  • Cockernhoe
  • Eastwick
  • Flaunden
  • Furneux Pelham
  • Gilston
  • Hexton
  • Kings Walden
  • Lilley
  • Long Marston
  • Maple Cross
  • Markyate
  • Mill End
  • Northwood
  • Offley
  • Pepperstock
  • Puttenham
  • South Oxhey
  • Stocking Pelham
  • Whitwell
  • Wilstone.

 

Priority areas used for school admission decisions aren't relevant when considering whether a child has a statutory entitlement to school transport.

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