SCCCloseSuffolk County Council’s School Travel Policy is separate to the admission policies. From September 2019, we will assess eligibility for school travel based on the principal of the nearest suitable school that would have had a place available, had the parent applied for that school, on the NationalOffer Day or when the application was decided.


Here are some scenarios that show how eligibility for school travel is assessed.

For illustrative purposes:
School A is the nearest suitable Suffolk school - 2.5 miles from child’s address
School B is the second nearest suitable Suffolk school - 3.3 miles from child’s address
School C is the third nearest suitable Suffolk school - 7.2 miles from child’s address


Using the Suffolk Nearest School Checker (based on the statutory walking distance, including rights of way).


Example 1.

Matthew is age 4 and due to start full-time primary school in September 2020. His parent’s school preferences were ordered as (1) School A; (2) School B; and (3) School C, in order of closest schools to their home.


Scenario 1
− A place was offered at School A.
SCCCloseSuffolk County Council funded school travel will be available for Matthew in the Reception Year, Year 1, Year 2 and Year 3, as this is the nearest school and is over 2 miles away.
− From Year 4, when Matthew is 8 years old, he would not meet the statutory walking distance criteria. SCCCloseSuffolk County Council funded school travel would cease at the end of Year 3.
Scenario 2
− School A is unable to offer a place.
− A place is offered at School B.
SCCCloseSuffolk County Council funded school travel will be available because it is the nearest school with a place available for him on National Offer Day.
Scenario 3
− School A and School B are unable to offer places to Matthew.
− A place is offered at School C.
SCCCloseSuffolk County Council funded school travel will be available because it is the nearest school with a place available for him on National Offer Day.


Note 1: As the parent applied for the three nearest suitable schools in order of distance from the family home to the school, Matthew would have been eligible for SCCCloseSuffolk County Council funded school travel to whichever of these schools he was offered because all three meet the distance criteria for a Reception Year school place and the preferences were listed in nearest suitable school order.

Note 2: a family has extended rights when they are on low income (they receive the maximum working tax credit or the child is entitled to free school meals). If this applies a child living between 2 and 3 miles from their nearest suitable school that had a place available would continue to receive SCCCloseSuffolk County Council funded school travel until the end of Year 6.


Example 2.

Mary is aged 4 and lives in Suffolk near the county border. She is due to start school in the Reception Year in September 2020. Mary’s parent applied for a school in Norfolk that is 2.1 miles from their home as first preference. Her second preference is School A and the third preference is School B.


− The family were offered their first preference school in Norfolk.
SCCCloseSuffolk County Council funded school travel would be provided for Mary in the Reception Year, Year 1, Year 2 and Year 3 (as in scenario 1 above), as this school is nearer to the home address than School A and is over 2 miles away.

Katie will be starting secondary school in September 2020. Her parent applied for School C only, the third nearest school at a distance of 7.2 miles from the home address.


− A place was offered at School C.
SCCCloseSuffolk County Council funded school travel would not be available as School B had a place available and transport would have been available to that school had Katie’s parent applied for it.

Johnny is due to transfer to high school in September 2020. His parent applied forSchool B, his catchment area school, as first preference.


− A place was offered at School B.
SCCCloseSuffolk County Council funded school travel will not be provided to School B as had the parent applied for School A, the nearest suitable school, a place would have been available.
Note 3: We recognise that the parent would not know whether School A would have places available on National Offer Day. The Directory of Schools in Suffolk provides admissions data for the previous school year to give parents an indication of the school’s popularity and the cut off distance for the last place offered. This can only be an indication as both the popularity of schools and the size of the year group can fluctuate from year to year.


Example 3.

Amy is due to go to secondary school in September 2020. Her parent applied for School A as first preference. This is Amy’s catchment area school.


− A place was offered at School A.
SCCCloseSuffolk County Council funded school travel would not be available because the distance from home to school is 2.5 miles and does not meet the statutory walking distance criteria.

Alfie will start secondary school in September 2020. His parents are on low income.
An application was made for a place at School B.
− A place was offered at School B.
− Had the parent applied for School A, the nearest suitable school, a place would have been available.
− As Alfie’s parents are on low income, the extended rights eligibility applies (to attend one of the three nearest secondary schools as long as they are between 2 and 6 miles from the home address) and so SCCCloseSuffolk County Council funded school travel will be available.


Example 4.

Freda will start secondary school in September 2020. Her parents are on low income.


Her parents applied for a place at a church school that is 9 miles away as first preference.
− A place was offered at the first preference school.
− As Freda’s parents are on low income, the extended rights eligibility applies (to attend the nearest school preferred on the grounds of religion or belief between 2 and 15 miles from the home address) and so SCCCloseSuffolk County Council funded school travel will be available.

Julie’s parent applied for a place in Year 5 at a middle school as first preference.


This school is over 3 miles away. There is a nearer primary school.
Scenario 1
− A place was offered at the first preference school.
− The nearer primary school had a place available, so SCCCloseSuffolk County Council funded school travel would not be available.
Scenario 2
− A place was offered at the first preference school.
− The nearer primary school was full, so SCCCloseSuffolk County Council funded school travel would be available. Arnie’s parent applied for a place in Year 7 at a secondary school as first preference. This school is over 3 miles away. There is a nearer middle school.
− A place was offered at the first preference school.
− Although the middle school is nearer, the school offered is the nearest two-tierschool, so SCCCloseSuffolk County Council funded school travel would be available.