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 part pay each termly invoice in two instalments per term should you wish to do so.  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 here for the 2019/20 academic year www.suffolkonboard.com/photo

Passes (Replace lost/stolen)

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

Find out further information including how much it might cost

Apply and pay for a replacement pass

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

Apply by calling 03456 066 173

Guidance, Policies & FAQ's

FAQ's


Primary (including infant, junior and middle) school places for the 2019/2020 school year – National Offer Day School Travel FAQs:

Suffolk County Council (SCC) has introduced a new school travel policy, effective from September 2019. This new policy is being phased in as children start or move school. All children who wish to receive Suffolk County Council funded school travel will need to opt-in (apply) for it each year. Applications should be made no later than 31 May each year to ensure that the transport provision is in place by the start of the new school  year in September. Click here to read the new policy.

How do I know if my child has been offered a place at their nearest suitable school with a space available and will therefore be eligible for Suffolk County Council funded school travel in September 2019?

 If your child has been allocated a school place at the nearest suitable schoolCloseThe nearest qualifying school with places available that provides education appropriate to the age, ability and aptitude of the child, and any special educational needs that the child may have. The nearest qualifying school for a child with special educational needs may well be different than for other children. When considering eligibility for transport, for a school to be considered suitable it must have places available. with a place available and they live over the statutory walking distance of two or three miles from it or there is no safe walking route within this distance, we will contact you by 14 May for Primary (including infant, junior and  middle) school allocations for admission to Reception, Year 3 or 5 in September 2019.

I understand that the school must be suitable, what does this mean?

All types of school are included regardless of whether they are community, voluntary aided, foundation, voluntary controlled, free or have academy status. A suitable school is one that provides education that is appropriate to the age, ability and aptitude of the child, and any special educational needs they may have. Parents may feel that other schools are not ‘suitable’, but this does not mean that their child is eligible for SCC funded school travel to that school.

My child is eligible for Suffolk County Council (SCC) funded school travel. When will I hear what to do next?

For pupils starting Primary (including infant, junior and middle) school in Reception, Year 3 or 5 in September 2019, we will contact you if your child is eligible for SCC funded school travel by no later than 14 May 2019. If you have not heard from us by that date, and you believe your child may be eligible, contact the Customer Service Team on 0345 606 6173 or email them at customer.services@suffolk.gov.uk.

All children using SCC funded school travel will have to opt-in (apply) to the service each year by no later than 31 May - see www.suffolkonboard.com/optin for further information. If you apply after 31 May, there is no guarantee that your child’s transport provision will be in place for the start of the new school year.

My child has been allocated their nearest suitable school which is just over the county boundary. The distance is closer than my nearest Suffolk Primary (including infant, junior or middle) school, will my child be eligible for SCC funded school travel?

Yes, providing it is the nearest suitable schoolCloseThe nearest qualifying school with places available that provides education appropriate to the age, ability and aptitude of the child, and any special educational needs that the child may have. The nearest qualifying school for a child with special educational needs may well be different than for other children. When considering eligibility for transport, for a school to be considered suitable it must have places available. with a place available and is over the statutory walking distance of two or three miles, depending on your child’s age, or there is no safe walking route within this distance.

My eldest child gets SCC funded school travel. Does that mean that my youngest child will have the same eligibility when they move to this school in September 2019?

Not necessarily. There is no sibling link in the new school travel policy. Each child’s eligibility is assessed individually at the time their school place is allocated. If your youngest child is eligible for SCC funded school travel we will contact you by 14 May 2019.

I live in Bury St Edmunds and my nearest suitable school is over the statutory walking distance and is a two-tier school, can I have SCC funded school travel to my nearest three-tier school which is further away?

If a space is available at the nearer two-tier school, there would be no eligibility to SCC funded school travel to the three-tier school.  A child will only be eligible for SCC funded school travel to a three-tier school if it is the nearest suitable schoolCloseThe nearest qualifying school with places available that provides education appropriate to the age, ability and aptitude of the child, and any special educational needs that the child may have. The nearest qualifying school for a child with special educational needs may well be different than for other children. When considering eligibility for transport, for a school to be considered suitable it must have places available. with places available and over the statutory walking distance.

We live under two /three miles from our nearest suitable school, are there any circumstances where my child would be eligible for SCC funded school travel?

Yes, you may be eligible for SCC funded school travel under the following circumstances:

Low Income

SCC funded school travel will be available where pupils are entitled to free school meals or their parents are in receipt of maximum Working Tax Credit if:

the child is entitled to free school meals due to low income, if they are:

  • aged 8 to 11 and the school is at least 2 miles away;

If your child has been eligible for free school meals at any time since April 2018, due to the roll out of Universal Credits, you will remain entitled to free school meals until the end of the roll out (currently March 2023) and then until the end of the phase of education your child is in at March 2023 (primary or secondary). This is regardless of any change to your financial circumstances over that time range. Your child’s eligibility for SCC funded school travel will be reassessed if your child moves to a new house or changes school even if your family remain on low income.

SafetyCloseSchool Transport definition: You consider that the nearest available walking route to their nearest/catchment school is unsafe for an accompanied child pedestrian

SCC funded school travel will be provided for children attending their nearest suitable schoolCloseThe nearest qualifying school with places available that provides education appropriate to the age, ability and aptitude of the child, and any special educational needs that the child may have. The nearest qualifying school for a child with special educational needs may well be different than for other children. When considering eligibility for transport, for a school to be considered suitable it must have places available., which is less than the statutory walking distance, if it is considered not safe for the child, accompanied as necessary, to walk to school. This eligibility would continue for as long as the route remains classed as unsafe.

Special educational needs, disability or mobility issue

Travel arrangements will be available for a child who cannot reasonably be expected to walk to school, accompanied as necessary, because of their mobility problems or because of associated health and safetyCloseSchool Transport definition: You consider that the nearest available walking route to their nearest/catchment school is unsafe for an accompanied child pedestrian issues related to their special educational needs or disability.

Where a parent or carer has a disability that prevents them from accompanying their child to school, the child’s needs will be considered individually. Where eligible, the family will receive appropriate support to enable the child to attend a school within the statutory walking distance. This would be for both short and long-term arrangements.

Note: For children who have special educational needs and/or mobility difficulties (including temporary medical conditions), entitlement to school travel will be considered on an individual basis.

If you have been refused SCC funded school travel but believe you are covered by any of these factors, please request a school travel review.  You will be required to provide evidence of your exceptional circumstances for consideration. Guidance on the review appeals process can be found here;  www.suffolkonboard.com/appeals

I cannot afford to get my child to school, what can I do?

If you have been turned down for SCC funded school travel under the extended low income rights described above and access to school is a barrier, we recommend that you speak to your child’s school in the first instance for support. You can also ask for your case to be considered exceptionally, through the two-stage review and appeal process, see www.suffolkonboard.com/appeals. You will need to provide sufficient evidence to prove why you cannot get your child to school by other means (see www.suffolkonboard.com/smot).

My child is eligible for SCC funded school travel currently, but I am moving to a new house. Will they still be eligible for SCC funded school travel?

If your child moves to a new house, your child’s eligibility for SCC funded school travel will be reassessed at that time. You will need to provide us with evidence of your child’s new home address so that reassessment can take place. If you cannot provide this evidence until after 31 May, please be aware that your child’s transport provision may not be in place for the start of the new school year in September.

You can check what is the nearest suitable schoolCloseThe nearest qualifying school with places available that provides education appropriate to the age, ability and aptitude of the child, and any special educational needs that the child may have. The nearest qualifying school for a child with special educational needs may well be different than for other children. When considering eligibility for transport, for a school to be considered suitable it must have places available. to your new address here.

If I make a second application after National Offer Day, will I automatically have my eligibility for SCC funded school travel reviewed for the new preference(s) I have made?

No, not automatically. If we can offer a place at your new preference school, we will do so and reassess school travel eligibility on the date the admissions application is determined. If the school is full, and your circumstances remain unchanged, then the existing school place offered would remain and we would not reassess SCC funded school travel eligibility.

I am making a late application for a school place; how would you assess my eligibility for SCC funded school travel?

If we offer your child a place at the nearest suitable schoolCloseThe nearest qualifying school with places available that provides education appropriate to the age, ability and aptitude of the child, and any special educational needs that the child may have. The nearest qualifying school for a child with special educational needs may well be different than for other children. When considering eligibility for transport, for a school to be considered suitable it must have places available. that had a place available, we would assess their eligibility for school travel on the date the admissions application is determined.

Why is my child not eligible for SCC funded school travel?

If your child is not eligible for SCC funded school travel it is either because they are:

  • not attending their nearest suitable schoolCloseThe nearest qualifying school with places available that provides education appropriate to the age, ability and aptitude of the child, and any special educational needs that the child may have. The nearest qualifying school for a child with special educational needs may well be different than for other children. When considering eligibility for transport, for a school to be considered suitable it must have places available. with places available, or
  • they do not meet the walking distance criteria of two or three miles.

Can I apply for a spare seat to get my child to school?

Yes, where SCC has a school busCloseThis is a vehicle wholly contracted for eligible students; this does not apply to public services running, for example to a high school, where there are spare seats available these can be purchased at a termly charge.

You can apply for a spare seat by completing the application form, details of this can be found here.

There is different criteria terms and conditions for pre-16 and post 16. These can also be found here

Remember, SCC funded school travel may not always be the cheapest option, so make sure you look at bus operators own fares too. You must opt-in (apply) by 31 May each year  or school travel may not be set up before the start of the school year.

Spare seats cannot be guaranteed nor is there a continued right to purchase spare seats as availability will depend on the number of children with a statutory entitlement to SCC funded school and post-16 travel, which may change throughout the year.

I have applied for and been refused SCC funded school travel. Can I challenge this decision?

Yes. SCC operates a two-stage review and appeal process. In accordance with the Department for Education guidance, you may request a review/appeal for the following reasons:

  1. The travel arrangements offered;
  2. Your child’s eligibility;
  3. The distance measurements in relation to the statutory walking distance;
  4. The safetyCloseSchool Transport definition: You consider that the nearest available walking route to their nearest/catchment school is unsafe for an accompanied child pedestrian of the route.

For details of how to request a review/appeal please visit www.suffolkonboard.com/appeals

What is included in the distance measurement used to determine whether my child is eligible for SCC funded school travel to their nearest suitable school?

We will include Public Rights of Way when measuring distance from home to school for travel eligibility purposes.  Distances are measured by the shortest available route along which a child, accompanied as necessary, may walk with reasonable safetyCloseSchool Transport definition: You consider that the nearest available walking route to their nearest/catchment school is unsafe for an accompanied child pedestrian.

Routes are calculated using a network comprised of the Ordnance Survey Integrated Transport Network (ITN), which includes all roads and urban paths, and Public Rights of Way as shown on the Definitive Map. Distances are measured from the point of the network that is closest to the address point of the child’s home to the nearest gate or access to the school or post-16 centre.

When assessing the Extended Rights to Low Income Transport, in accordance with the Department for Education published guidance we measure the upper distances according to the road route via the Integrated Transport Network.

In future, Ordnance Survey Mastermap Highways Network will replace the ITN.

I am not satisfied with the type of transport that is being offered by SCC – what can I do?

SCC will organise the most cost-effective mode of travel for your child to travel to school or college. If you have been offered SCC funded school travel and you are not satisfied with the provision offered, you can ask for this to be reviewed. For details of how to request a review/appeal please visit www.suffolkonboard.com/appeals

It will not normally be accepted as a reason for an appeal that you are not happy with the provision due to a change of operator, for example the bus or taxi company providing the transport, or that your child has been offered a bus rather than a taxi.

You will need to provide evidence as to why the provision offered is not suitable for your child.

I have chosen to send my child to a school of preference but I’m not sure if this school runs its own bus route – how can I find out?

Contact your child’s allocated school, visit the school’s website and look at their school travel plan. Some Primary (including infant, junior and middle) schools run their own school busCloseThis is a vehicle wholly contracted for eligible students; this does not apply to public services(es) based on demand from parents who may be asked to pay for a seat for their child.

For more detail on sustainable travel , visit: www.suffolkonboard.com/SMOT

Secondary (including high and upper) school places for the 2019/2020 school year – National Offer Day School Travel FAQs:

Suffolk County Council has introduced a new school travel policy, effective from September 2019. This new policy is being phased in as children start or move school. All children who wish to receive Suffolk County Council funded school travel will need to (apply) for it each year. Applications should be made no later than 31 May each year to ensure that the transport provision is in place by the start of the new academic year in September. Click to read the new policy.

How do I know if my child has been offered a place at their nearest suitable school with a space available and will therefore be eligible for Suffolk County Council funded school travel in September 2019?

You can check if your child has been offered the nearest suitable schoolCloseThe nearest qualifying school with places available that provides education appropriate to the age, ability and aptitude of the child, and any special educational needs that the child may have. The nearest qualifying school for a child with special educational needs may well be different than for other children. When considering eligibility for transport, for a school to be considered suitable it must have places available. by using the nearest school checker. If you have been allocated a school place at your 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 with a place available and you live over the statutory walking distance of three miles from it or there is no safe walking route within this distance, we will contact you by 30 April for secondary (including high and upper) school allocations for admission to Year 7 or Year 9 in September 2019.

I understand that the school must be suitable, what does this mean?

All types of school are included regardless of whether they are community, voluntary aided, foundation, voluntary controlled or have academy status. A suitable school is one that provides education that is appropriate to the age, ability and aptitude of the child, and any special educational needs they may have. Parents may feel that other schools are not ‘suitable’, but this does not mean that their child is eligible for SCC funded school travel to that school.

My child is eligible for Suffolk County Council (SCC) funded school travel. When will I hear what to do next?

For pupils starting secondary (including high and upper) school in Year 7 or in an upper school in Year 9 in September 2019, we will contact you if your child is eligible for SCC funded school travel by no later than 30 April 2019. If you have not heard from us by that date, and you believe your child may be eligible, contact the Customer Service Team on 0345 606 6173 or email them at customer.services@suffolk.gov.uk.

All children using SCC funded school travel will have to opt-in to the service each year by no later than 31 May - see www.suffolkonboard.com/optin for further information. If you apply after 31 May, there is no guarantee that your child’s transport provision will be in place for the start of the new school year.

My child has been allocated their nearest suitable school which is just over the county boundary. The distance is closer than my nearest Suffolk secondary (including high and upper) school, will my child be eligible for SCC funded school travel?

Yes, providing it is the nearest suitable schoolCloseThe nearest qualifying school with places available that provides education appropriate to the age, ability and aptitude of the child, and any special educational needs that the child may have. The nearest qualifying school for a child with special educational needs may well be different than for other children. When considering eligibility for transport, for a school to be considered suitable it must have places available. with a place available and is over the statutory walking distance of 3 miles or there is no safe walking route within this distance.

My eldest child gets SCC funded school travel. Does that mean that my youngest child will have the same eligibility when they move to this school in September 2019?

No, there is no sibling link in the new school travel policy. Each child’s eligibility is assessed individually at the time their school place is allocated. To check if your child will be attending their nearest suitable schoolCloseThe nearest qualifying school with places available that provides education appropriate to the age, ability and aptitude of the child, and any special educational needs that the child may have. The nearest qualifying school for a child with special educational needs may well be different than for other children. When considering eligibility for transport, for a school to be considered suitable it must have places available. to your home address, click here

I live in Bury St Edmunds and my nearest suitable school is over the statutory walking distance and is a two-tier school, can I have SCC funded school travel to my nearest three-tier school which is further away?

If a space is available at the nearer two-tier school, there would be no eligibility to SCC funded school travel to the three-tier school.  A child will only be eligible for SCC funded school travel to a three-tier school if it is the nearest suitable schoolCloseThe nearest qualifying school with places available that provides education appropriate to the age, ability and aptitude of the child, and any special educational needs that the child may have. The nearest qualifying school for a child with special educational needs may well be different than for other children. When considering eligibility for transport, for a school to be considered suitable it must have places available. with places available and over the statutory walking distance.

We live under three miles from our nearest suitable school, are there any circumstances where my child would be eligible for SCC funded school travel?

Yes, you may be eligible for SCC funded school travel under the following circumstances:

Low Income

SCC funded school travel will be available where pupils are entitled to free school meals or their parents are in receipt of maximum Working Tax Credit if:

  • The school is between two and six miles (if aged 11-16 and attending one of the three nearest qualifying schools to your address);
  • The school is between two and 15 miles and is the 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 preferred on the grounds of religion or belief (if aged 11-16).

If your child has been eligible for free school meals at any time since April 2018, due to the roll out of Universal Credits, you will remain entitled to free school meals until the end of the roll out (currently March 2023) and then until the end of the phase of education your child is in at March 2023 (primary or secondary).  This is regardless of any change to your financial circumstances over that time range. Your child’s eligibility for SCC funded school travel will be reassessed if your child moves to a new house or changes school even if your family remain on low income.

SafetyCloseSchool Transport definition: You consider that the nearest available walking route to their nearest/catchment school is unsafe for an accompanied child pedestrian

SCC funded school travel will be provided for children attending their nearest suitable schoolCloseThe nearest qualifying school with places available that provides education appropriate to the age, ability and aptitude of the child, and any special educational needs that the child may have. The nearest qualifying school for a child with special educational needs may well be different than for other children. When considering eligibility for transport, for a school to be considered suitable it must have places available., which is less than the statutory walking distance, if it is considered not safe for the child, accompanied as necessary, to walk to school. This eligibility would continue for as long as the route remains classed as unsafe.

Special educational needs, disability or mobility issue

Travel arrangements will be available for a child who cannot reasonably be expected to walk to school, accompanied as necessary, because of their mobility problems or because of associated health and safetyCloseSchool Transport definition: You consider that the nearest available walking route to their nearest/catchment school is unsafe for an accompanied child pedestrian issues related to their special educational needs or disability.

Where a parent or carer has a disability that prevents them from accompanying their child to school, the child’s needs will be considered individually. Where eligible, the family will receive appropriate support to enable the child to attend a school within the statutory walking distance. This would be for both short and long-term arrangements.

Note: For children who have special educational needs and/or mobility difficulties (including temporary medical conditions), entitlement to school travel will be considered on an individual basis.

If you have been refused SCC funded school travel but believe you are covered by any of these factors, please request a school travel review. You will be required to provide evidence of your exceptional circumstances for consideration.

I cannot afford to get my child to school, what can I do?

If you have been turned down for SCC funded school travel under the extended low income rights described above and access to school is a barrier, we recommend that you speak to your child’s school in the first instance for support.
You can also ask for your case to be considered exceptionally, through the two- stage review and appeal process, see www.suffolkonboard.com/appeals You will need to provide sufficient evidence to prove your hardship and why you cannot get your child to school by other means (see www.suffolkonboard.com/smot).

My child is eligible for SCC funded school travel currently, but I am moving to a new house. Will they still be eligible for SCC funded school travel?

If your child moves to a new house, your child’s eligibility to SCC funded school travel will be reassessed at that time. You will need to provide us with evidence of your child’s new home address so that reassessment can take place. If you cannot provide this evidence until after 31 May, please be aware that your child’s transport provision may not be in place for the start of the new school year in September.

You can check what is the nearest suitable schoolCloseThe nearest qualifying school with places available that provides education appropriate to the age, ability and aptitude of the child, and any special educational needs that the child may have. The nearest qualifying school for a child with special educational needs may well be different than for other children. When considering eligibility for transport, for a school to be considered suitable it must have places available. to your new address here.

If I make a second application after National Offer Day, will I automatically have my eligibility for SCC funded school travel reviewed for the new preference(s) I have made?

No, not automatically. If we can offer a place at your new preference school, we will do so and reassess school travel eligibility on the date the admissions application is determined. If the school is full, and your circumstances remain unchanged, then then the existing school place offered would remain and we would not reassess SCC funded school travel eligibility.

I am making a late application for a school place; how would you assess my eligibility for SCC funded school travel?

If we offer your child a place at the nearest suitable schoolCloseThe nearest qualifying school with places available that provides education appropriate to the age, ability and aptitude of the child, and any special educational needs that the child may have. The nearest qualifying school for a child with special educational needs may well be different than for other children. When considering eligibility for transport, for a school to be considered suitable it must have places available. that had a place available, we would assess their eligibility for school travel on the date the admissions application is determined.

Why is my child not eligible for SCC funded school travel?

If your child is not eligible for SCC funded school travel it is either because they are:

  • not attending their nearest suitable schoolCloseThe nearest qualifying school with places available that provides education appropriate to the age, ability and aptitude of the child, and any special educational needs that the child may have. The nearest qualifying school for a child with special educational needs may well be different than for other children. When considering eligibility for transport, for a school to be considered suitable it must have places available. with places available, or
  • the distance does not meet the walking distance

Can I apply for a spare seat to get my child to school?

Yes, where SCC has a school busCloseThis is a vehicle wholly contracted for eligible students; this does not apply to public services running, for example to a high school, where there are spare seats available these can be purchased at a termly charge.
You can apply for a spare by completing the application form, details of this can be found here.
There is different criteria terms and conditions for pre-16 and post 16. These can also be found here
Remember, SCC funded school travel may not always be the cheapest option, so make sure you look at bus operators own fares too.
You must opt-in by 31 May 2019 or school travel may not be set up before the start of the school year.
Spare seats cannot be guaranteed nor is there a continued right to purchase spare seats as availability will depend on the number of children with a statutory entitlement to SCC funded school and post-16 travel, which may change throughout the year.

I have applied for and been refused SCC funded school travel. Can I challenge this decision?

SCC operates a two-stage review and appeal process. In accordance with the Department for Education guidance, you may request a review/appeal for the following reasons:

  1. The travel arrangements offered;
  2. Your child’s eligibility;
  3. The distance measurements in relation to the statutory walking distance;
  4. The safetyCloseSchool Transport definition: You consider that the nearest available walking route to their nearest/catchment school is unsafe for an accompanied child pedestrian of the route

For details of how to request a review/appeal please visit www.suffolkonboard.com/appeals

What is included in the distance measurement used to determine whether my child is eligible for SCC funded school travel to their nearest suitable school?

We will include Public Rights of Way when measuring distance from home to school for travel eligibility purposes.  Distances are measured by the shortest available route along which a child, accompanied as necessary, may walk with reasonable safetyCloseSchool Transport definition: You consider that the nearest available walking route to their nearest/catchment school is unsafe for an accompanied child pedestrian.

Routes are calculated using a network comprised of the Ordnance Survey Integrated Transport Network (ITN), which includes all roads and urban paths, and Public Rights of Way as shown on the Definitive Map. Distances are measured from the point of the network that is closest to the address point of the child’s home to the nearest gate or access to the school or post-16 centre.

When assessing the Extended Rights to Low Income Transport, in accordance with the DfE published guidance we measure the upper distances according to the road route via the Integrated Transport Network.

In future, Ordnance Survey Mastermap Highways Network will replace ITN.

I am not satisfied with the type of transport that is being offered by SCC – what can I do?

SCC will organise the most cost-effective mode of travel for your child to travel to school or college. If you have been offered SCC funded school travel and you are not satisfied with the provision offered, you can ask for this to be reviewed. For details of how to request a review/appeal please visit www.suffolkonboard.com/appeals

It will not normally be accepted as a reason for an appeal that you are not happy with the provision due to a change of operator, for example the bus or taxi company providing the transport, or that your child has been offered a bus rather than a taxi.

You will need to provide evidence as to why the provision offered is not suitable for your child.

I have chosen to send my child to a school of preference but I’m not sure if this school runs its own bus route – how can I find out?

Contact your child’s allocated school, visit the school’s website and look at their school travel plan. Some secondary (including high and upper) schools run their own school busCloseThis is a vehicle wholly contracted for eligible students; this does not apply to public services(es) based on demand from parents who may be asked to pay for a seat for their child.

For more detail on sustainable travel, visit: www.suffolkonboard.com

How do I apply for a school bus pass?

You can find information and guidance about how to apply for a home to school travel pass www.suffolkonboard.com/schooltravel

You can opt-in (apply) for SCC funded school travel at www.suffolkonboard.com/schooltravel

Will the school bus pass need a photo?

Yes, we will require a passport-sized photograph to include on the pass.
The quickest and easiest way to provide this is to upload your photo online.

When will I receive my pass?

If your child is entitled, you will receive a letter in July to provide details of this entitlement.
Haven’t received anything in the post? The quickest and easiest way to let us know is by completing the online Passenger Transport report form.
If you are on low income you will need to contact us:

Contact us online
Call 0345 6066173

Applied, but still not got your pass?

Have you provided the photo for the pass? This is by far the most common reason people haven’t received their pass.
You can provide this quickly and easily by uploading a photo online.

Once you have uploaded your child’s photo your bus pass will be issued by mid-August 2019.

My family is on low income

Children will get SCC funded school travel if their parents get the maximum level of working tax credit or the child is entitled to free school meals (due to low income) and they are either:

  • aged 8 to 11 years old and the school is over 2 miles and under 3 miles (attending the catchment, nearest, or designated school for your address)
  • aged 11 to 16 years old and the school is 2 to 6 miles away (when attending one of the 3 nearest schools for your address)
  • aged 11 to 16 years old attending the 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

In 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
to accommodate their religion/belief and living 2-15 miles away
You can check your eligibility for school transport assistance.

Late applications

All year 11 students were written to with information about transport options when moving on to post 16 education
For the Spare Seats you can apply here
You have to apply by 1 March every year to be considered for this transport. Any applications received after this date will be considered late and may not be assessed in time for the start of the academic year.

Spare seats

Applying for spare seats:
Priority is given to arranging transport to children entitled for SCC funded school travel.
Applications for post-16 transport are the next to be assessed.
We will then assess spare seat applications. We will write to you as soon as an outcome is reached, but transport may not be set-up and functional until the October half-term.
You will need to make other travel arrangements until we contact you. We will not be able to provide a refund for any travel costs incurred whilst you are waiting to hear from us.

I’ve lost my pass

It costs £10 to replace a travel pass that has been:

  • lost
  • stolen
  • damaged/broken

You can apply for a replacement travel pass online.

School bus timetables

Find school bus and train timetables here.

My question isn’t listed above

If you have an operational issue or a question related to SCC funded school travel not listed above, please use this form to raise a report.

Glossary
  • Age: A child is said to be 5 if their 5th birthday falls within that school year; this is the reception year. Children will normally have their 8th birthday in Year 3 and will be 16 in Year 11.

  • Catchment areaCloseThis is the published catchment area for each school used by the county council to prioritise admissions to the school. Where a school has converted to become an academy and the council is not the admissions authority, it is the area formerly used by the council to prioritise admissions: This is the published catchment areaCloseThis is the published catchment area for each school used by the county council to prioritise admissions to the school. Where a school has converted to become an academy and the council is not the admissions authority, it is the area formerly used by the council to prioritise admissions for each school used by the county council to prioritise admissions to the school. Where a school has converted to become an academy and the council is not the admissions authority, it is the area formerly used by the council to prioritise admissions.

  • DiscretionaryCloseAny help with travel from home to school or college that is not required by Law: Any help with travel from home to school or college that is not required by Law.

  • Journey timeCloseWe assess “journey time” by calculating the door-to-door time by the use of public transport. This assessment will take into account any walking time to the pick-up point, time gaps in public transport connections, walking time from any set down point to the school or college etc.: We assess “journey timeCloseWe assess “journey time” by calculating the door-to-door time by the use of public transport. This assessment will take into account any walking time to the pick-up point, time gaps in public transport connections, walking time from any set down point to the school or college etc.” by calculating the door-to-door time by the use of public transport. This assessment will take into account any walking time to the pick-up point, time gaps in public transport connections, walking time from any set down point to the school or college etc.

  • SafetyCloseSchool Transport definition: You consider that the nearest available walking route to their nearest/catchment school is unsafe for an accompanied child pedestrian: You consider that the nearest available walking route is unsafe for an accompanied child pedestrian to their nearest or catchment school.

  • School BusCloseThis is a vehicle wholly contracted for eligible students; this does not apply to public services: This is a vehicle wholly contracted for eligible students; this does not apply to public services.

  • 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: In 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 SCC funded school travel (if both schools meet the distance criteria) you will need to contact us so we can assess this.

  • Nearest Suitable schoolCloseThe nearest qualifying school with places available that provides education appropriate to the age, ability and aptitude of the child, and any special educational needs that the child may have. The nearest qualifying school for a child with special educational needs may well be different than for other children. When considering eligibility for transport, for a school to be considered suitable it must have places available.: The nearest qualifying school with places available that provides education appropriate to the age, ability and aptitude of the child, and any special educational needs that the child may have. The nearest qualifying school for a child with special educational needs may well be different than for other children. When considering eligibility for transport, for a school to be considered suitable it must have places available.

  • Transport Priority AreaCloseArea 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.: Area in which free transport is offered to a particular school. In most cases this follows the catchment areaCloseThis is the published catchment area for each school used by the county council to prioritise admissions to the school. Where a school has converted to become an academy and the council is not the admissions authority, it is the area formerly used by the council to prioritise admissions used by Admissions but for locations close to a free school, this does not always follow the catchment areaCloseThis is the published catchment area for each school used by the county council to prioritise admissions to the school. Where a school has converted to become an academy and the council is not the admissions authority, it is the area formerly used by the council to prioritise admissions used by Admissions. These will not apply from the 2019/2020 school year.

  • 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.: The child has been 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. at a school by a Local Authority Officer; this includes a placement at the nearest suitable schoolCloseThe nearest qualifying school with places available that provides education appropriate to the age, ability and aptitude of the child, and any special educational needs that the child may have. The nearest qualifying school for a child with special educational needs may well be different than for other children. When considering eligibility for transport, for a school to be considered suitable it must have places available. with places available if none of your preferences can be met or to a special school or specialist unit on the grounds of special educational needs).

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 SCC 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 SCC 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 SCC 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.  SCC 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


Opt-in for school or Post-16 travel (PDF 353KB)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


 Pre-16 Travel Policy


 Post-16 Travel Policy


 School Travel Policy


 Spare Seats Policy