Your children may be able to get free transport to school, depending on how far the walk is and any special needs they have.

All children between 5 and 16 qualify for free school transport if they go to their nearest suitable school and live at least:

  • 2 miles from the school if they’re under 8
  • 3 miles from the school if they’re 8 or older

Find details on free school transport from your local council.

If there’s no safe walking route, they must be given free transport, however far from school they live. Contact your local council if you think that the walk to school isn’t safe.

Families on low incomes

If you get the maximum Working Tax Credit or your children are entitled to free school meals, they’ll get free school transport if they’re:

  • aged 8 to 11 and the school’s at least 2 miles away
  • aged 11 to 16 and the school’s 2 to 6 miles away - as long as there aren’t 3 or more suitable schools nearer to home
  • aged 11 to 16 and the school’s 2 to 15 miles away - if it’s their nearest school preferred on the grounds of religion or belief

Children with special educational needs (SEN) or disabilities

Children are entitled to free transport however far they live from the school if:

  • they have a statement of SEN that says the local council will pay transport costs
  • they can’t walk because of their SEN, a disability or mobility problem

Find details on free school transport for children with SEN from your local council.

If your child is over 16 and in further education or sixth form, your local council may be able to help with transport costs. Each council has its own policy about this.