Home to school or college travel support

Discretionary transport award

Parents and carers have a legal responsibility to get their child to and from school. If your child is not automatically eligible for home-to-school travel support, you may still be eligible for help.

We may offer discretionary home to school travel support in exceptional circumstances, but you must provide evidence that shows why you cannot do this. The evidence should include any social, medical, financial or personal reasons.

Examples of these reasons – called 'exceptional circumstances' – include:

  • a medical condition of the child
  • a medical condition of a parent or carer
  • family living in temporary accommodation and on the housing register
  • the mother or father moving into a refuge
  • bullying of the child that causes them to move school
  • complex social circumstances affecting the family
  • a sudden and traumatic change in circumstances outside the family's control
  • the family being unable to get their child to school safely for reasons outside their control

It is very unlikely we will offer support if your child is attending a school of your choice and it is not the nearest suitable school.

This does not apply if we placed your child at the school because it was the nearest suitable school with places available.

When completing a discretionary transport award application you will have to provide information about your income and expenses as we may offer support but require you to pay some or all of the cost. We make sure that when families are charged, they are not disadvantaged financially.

In some cases, you may also have to provide medical evidence.

Application form

After you apply

If you include all the evidence we need, we will assess your application within 10 working days.

If we decide your child does not qualify for travel or transport support, it remains your responsibility to get your child to and from school. You may consider transferring your child to a school that is more local to you and has places available.

You have the right to appeal. Information on appeals is included in our full policy.