Getting to school

Guide to school travel

Guidance for parents on school travel options

Bus

Plan your journey to school using our passenger transport journey planner

Train

View maps, timetables and plan a journey by rail connecting with buses

Walk or bike

Plan a journey to school using our walking or cycling journey planner

Car Share

Join www.suffolkcarshare.comto find other people wanting to make similar journeys

Park & Stride

Park your car in less congested areas and get some exercise by walking the rest of the way to school

Getting to college or sixth form

Bus

Plan your journey to school using our passenger transport journey planner

Train

View maps, timetables and plan a journey by rail connecting with buses

Walk or bike

Plan a journey to school using our walking or cycling journey planner

Car Share

Join www.suffolkcarshare.comto find other people wanting to make similar journeys

Park & Stride

Park your car in less congested areas and get some exercise by walking the rest of the way to school

SEND travel

Travel support for pupils and learners with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND)

Statutory school age pupils

The school travel policy (PDF, 2MB) provides Suffolk County Council funded travel for children of compulsory school age (5 years up to 16 years) who live:

  • two miles or more from the TPACloseTransport Priority Area in which free transport is offered to a particular school. In most cases this follows the catchment area used by Admissions but for locations close to a free school, this does not always follow the catchment area used by Admissions.* or nearest schoolCloseIn some circumstances, you may live in an area of Suffolk where your catchment school is not your physically closest school. As you may be eligible for free transport (if both schools meet the distance criteria) you will need to contact us so we can assess this if they are under 8 years old; or
  • three miles from the TPACloseTransport Priority Area in which free transport is offered to a particular school. In most cases this follows the catchment area used by Admissions but for locations close to a free school, this does not always follow the catchment area used by Admissions. or nearest schoolCloseIn some circumstances, you may live in an area of Suffolk where your catchment school is not your physically closest school. As you may be eligible for free transport (if both schools meet the distance criteria) you will need to contact us so we can assess this if they are over 8 years old.

*TPACloseTransport Priority Area in which free transport is offered to a particular school. In most cases this follows the catchment area used by Admissions but for locations close to a free school, this does not always follow the catchment area used by Admissions.'s will not apply from September 2019

Where a child or young person is placedCloseThe child has been placed at a school by a Local Authority Officer; this includes a placement at the nearest suitable school with places available if none of you preferences can be met or to a special school or specialist unit on the grounds of special educational needs. in a particular educational setting as a result of their identified SEN, the Local Authority will advise if travel will be available in line with statutory requirements.

Post 16 learners

For post 16 students, the Post-16 Travel Policy (PDF, 741KB) applies, but for a student aged 16-25 who cannot walk because of their SEN, a disability or mobility difficulties may be entitled to transport irrespective of the minimum distance.

All students must contribute to their transport costs post-16. Transport assistance may be provided to students with a learning disability who begin a course after their 19th birthday. In these cases, agreement would be required by Suffolk County Council.

Some colleges in Suffolk may be able to assist students through 16-19 bursary funds held by school and college providers. You should contact your college directly to find out more.

Please Note: For any child or young person with SEN or a disability, they may be entitled to Suffolk County Council funded travel irrespective of the distance from the school if they cannot be reasonably expected to walk to school/college because of their SEN or mobility difficulties.   If you think this applies to you, or you have been refused school or post 16 travel and have exceptional circumstances you would like us to consider further, please find out more here.

  Further information

Pay

Invoices

You have an option to pay half-termly. Details on how you do this are available as you go through the payment process online.

Pay my invoice

You can also pay your invoice by calling 0800 0902911.

Please make your payment using our automated telephone payment service by calling 0800 090 2911, open 24hours

Please also remember to submit your photoform

Passes (Replace lost/stolen)

If your pass is lost, stolen or broken then it will need to be replaced at a cost of £10

Apply and pay for a replacement pass

If you wish to replace the photo on your pass there is a fee of £10

Guidance, Policies & FAQ's

FAQ's


What steps do Suffolk County Council take to ensure that transport providers meet the requirements of schools in respect to safeguarding?

The Passenger Transport Unit (PTUClosePassenger transport unit) firstly requires that any company seeking to tender for work must apply to be on a list of approved suppliers. This is the first stage in assuring SCCCloseSuffolk County Council that the company is reputable and covered by all necessary legislation and insurances. Only companies on this list may tender for contracts issued by the PTUClosePassenger transport unit. All contracts issued by the PTUClosePassenger transport unit are bound by the Terms and Conditions of Contract. Clause 8 specifies requirements in respect of DBSCloseDisclosure and Barring Service clearance and other conditions relating to staff employed on the contract. It is the Employers responsibility to ensure that their staff has the necessary checks in place before allowing them to work on SCCCloseSuffolk County Council routes in accordance with the terms of their contract. Currently all contracts where children or vulnerable adults are transported (or where they may potentially be carried) are subject to this condition which is specified on all tender documents.

How is this monitored?

The contractorCloseAn external company that delivers services under contract to Suffolk County Council is required to provide the PTUClosePassenger transport unit with a list of all drivers and passenger assistants who may potentially assist in delivering the contract. Depending on the type of transport, different processes are in place to ensure that all these staff have cleared the necessary checks.

What are these different processes?

In the case of taxi drivers the PTUClosePassenger transport unit must be assured that the driver is properly licensed by the district authority. In order to be licensed they must have cleared the DBSCloseDisclosure and Barring Service process. In the case of bus drivers, passenger assistants and community transport drivers, the check is carried out by the PTUClosePassenger transport unit. When this is satisfactorily completed a photo ID badge is issued. In all of the above cases no person is allowed to deliver the contract until such times as all the checks have been completed. A secure database of all approved drivers and passenger assistants is maintained by the PTUClosePassenger transport unit.

Does this mean that all staff have no convictions?

No, some DBSCloseDisclosure and Barring Service disclosures may have criminal convictions disclosed.

What happens in these cases?

There is a strict procedure in place to examine any criminal convictions to determine if there is any risk arising from them. In these cases the applicant may be asked to provide further details of the convictions in writing, at an interview, or both. This evidence is then assessed by a panel of at least three senior officers in the PTUClosePassenger transport unit and a decision reached on the suitability of the applicant. In cases where there is doubt the matter is referred to the Safeguarding team for advice and guidance.

What happens after this?

In some cases the applicant may be advised that they are unsuitable and may be given a time period after which they can re-apply and be considered again. This time period will be dependant on the nature of the offence disclosed. In other cases it may be decided that the nature of the offence precludes the applicant from working on contracts. In both cases the applicant will be advised of this in writing and (if different) the employer will also be advised of the decision.

Is anything else done after this?

Monitoring checks are carried out at schools to ensure that employees are on the database. As a contract condition Passenger assistants must also attend training days where safeguarding matters may be on the agenda. A guidance leaflet (PDF, 58KB) has also been produced for drivers and passenger assistants with approval and input from the Safeguarding team. This gives advice on best practice and what to do in the event of problems. Should the PTUClosePassenger transport unit be advised by the police of subsequent convictions that are related to the employment the case would be reopened and further evidence requested to establish if the employee is still suitable. Depending on the severity of the offence the employee may be temporarily suspended from the contract pending the outcome. In all cases the Contract terms reserve the right of the PTUClosePassenger transport unit to remove a person from the work and failure to comply with this term can result in the termination of the contract.

Download the information contained on this page. (PDF, 20KB)

Suffolk County Council as part of the Suffolk Brokerage Service will encourage operators, schools, parish councils and all other interested stakeholders to work together to:
  • highlight and capture demand of potential future passengers
  • facilitate discussions to ensure financially viable transport routes
  • help discussions between transport operators, schools and parish councils to calculate what the funding gap might be to make a transport route financially sustainable
  • facilitate discussions with local volunteers that may be willing to drive for Community Transport Organisations for their local area.

Transport operators can help by:
  • proactively having discussions with schools in their local area
  • promoting current transport services, routes and fares with local parish councils
  • having discussions with local communities on future passenger demand
  • capturing information from customer enquiries on potential future demand.
Suffolk Local Solutions and how these can be developed with schools:
  • With a group of schools SCCCloseSuffolk County Council developed a range of potential Local Solutions. 
  • The Local Solutionsmenu provide potential ideas that could make savings and/or mitigate impact of the future policy changes. The Local Solutions will work side-by-side phasing in the new school travel policy and include working with schools, colleges, local communities and/or parish councils.  SCCCloseSuffolk County Council would need to agree the detail prior to implementation.  Part of the agreement would include an assessment of the impact on the health and well-being of the children affected.
  • Suffolk Brokerage Service can provide capacity building support and facilitate the development of Local Solutions. Please email passenger.transport@suffolk.gov.uk for further information.

Schools and operators already taking an active role in the service

School Travel Links

Guide to School Travel
Guidance for parents on school travel options

Suffolk County Council
www.suffolk.gov.uk

Suffolk’s Local Offer: (for those with special educational needs)
www.suffolklocaloffer.org.uk

School Travel Consultation
School and post 16 travel consultation

English National Concessionary Travel Scheme
http://www.suffolkonboard.com/concessionary-travel

16-19 Bursary Fund
www.gov.uk/1619-bursary-fund

Endeavour Card
www.endeavourcard.co.uk

Bus Operators in Suffolk
www.suffolkonboard.com/operators

Suffolk Journey Planner
www.suffolkonboard.com/planner

Connecting Communities rural transport services
www.suffolkonboard.com/cc


School minibus operation contacts

New and Used Vehicle Purchase and Leasing
Helpdesk
procurement@schoolschoice.org
01473 260266

Vehicle insurance
Insurance Team
Insurance@suffolk.gov.uk
01473 264038 

General advice/Driver assessment and training
Suffolk Norse
enquiries@suffolknorse.co.uk
01473 341500

Section 19 permits
Bus Registrations and Permit Team
Central Licensing Office
Hillcrest House,
386 Harehills Lane
Leeds LS9 6NF
01132 543279

Vehicle maintenance
KIER Fleet and Passenger Services
01473 341444

How to get in contact with us

If you have a query about home to school/college transport or want to report a problem, you can:

contact us online

or call us on 0345 6066173

You can also contact us about any home to school issues by writing to:

Passenger Transport
Endeavour House
8 Russell Road
Ipswich
Suffolk
IP1 2BX
 

Any queries you raise may require us to contact the transport company to ensure your issues are addressed appropriately.

Urgent enquiries

If your enquiry is urgent, e.g. children have not been collected from a bus stop or is of a child protection nature, please call us on 0345 6066173 and tell us about your concern.

View full contact details for different county council services

Guidance


Travel options (PDF 371KB) A parent's guide (PDF 118KB)Getting organised for school (PDF 357KB)
Sustainable Modes of Travel (SMOT) (PDF 2.8MB) SMOT Strategy Document 2018-2025

Policies


Post-16 Travel Policy


 School Travel Policy


Spare Seats Policy