Home to school or college travel support

Who is eligible

We only provide help with home to school travel for children who are eligible by law.

For your child to be eligible for help, they must:

  • live in Thurrock
  • be of compulsory school age – usually between 5 and 16 years-old
  • attend the nearest suitable school with a place available

When applying for your child's admission to school, you can make sure they attend the nearest suitable school with a place available by:

  • using Datamap for home-to-school distance measurement, below, to find the 3 primary schools or 6 secondary schools nearest to your home
  • listing the 3 primary schools or 6 secondary schools, in order of shortest distance from your home, as the preferred schools on your child's admission application

We must also consider the following points when deciding your child's eligibility.

1. Distance

Your child's home to school journey must be more than the walking distance set by law, which is:

  • 2 miles for children under 8 year-old
  • 3 miles for children aged 8 years-old or older

We measure distance using a specialist computer programme called 'Datamap'. This gives accurate walking distances from the gate of your home to the nearest entrance gate of your child's school. We do not consider distances measured in any other way.

You can use Datamap below to measure the shortest safe walking distance from your home to schools within Thurrock.

Datamap – home to school distance measurement

By law, we must use walking distance except in cases of extended rights – point 4, below.

2. Safety

Your child's home to school journey must have been assessed by us and may be deemed an unsafe route. This means that a child cannot reasonably be expected to walk to their school, even if accompanied by adult, because none of the available routes are safe.

Safe routes are those we have found to have adequate lighting, crossing points and pathways.

We regularly review unsafe routes – once a route has been made safe to walk, we will no longer provide transport.

3. Special educational needs, disability or mobility issues

Your child will be considered eligible if they have special educational needs (SEN) and cannot reasonably be expected to walk to school because of their mobility problems, or because there are health and safety concerns relating to their SEN or disability.

We do not provide transport to pupils with SEN or disability if they do not have an Education and Health Care (EHC) plan, but there may be exceptional circumstances in which we would consider a discretionary transport award.

For more information, go to 'Local offer' services for special education needs and disabilities.

4. Extended rights for families that have low income

A low income family is one where a child receives free school meals because of the family's income, or their parents or carers receive any of the benefits listed below:

  • Income Support
  • income-based Jobseeker's Allowance
  • income-related Employment and Support Allowance
  • the maximum level of Working Tax Credit
  • Child Tax Credit – and have an annual gross income of no more than £16,190
  • Universal Credit with an annual earned income of £7,400 or less
  • the guaranteed element of Pension Credit
  • support under Part VI of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999

Children of statutory school age from low income families are eligible for travel assistance if they:

  • attend the nearest suitable primary school that is more than 2 miles from their home – for children over the age of 8 and under the age of 11
  • attend a secondary school that is one of the 3 nearest suitable schools, between 2 miles and 6 miles from their home – for children over the age of 11 and under the age of 16
  • attend a secondary school that is between 2 miles and 15 miles from their home, and their parents or carers have chosen that school based on their religion or belief, with regard to which there is no nearer suitable school

More information

The details above are just a brief summary – you can find full details in our policy.