Free school transport

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

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.

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 are not 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 and disabilities (SEND)

Your child is entitled to free transport if they cannot walk to school because of their SEND or mobility problem. It does not matter how far away they live.

Find details on free school transport for children with SEND 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.

If there’s no safe walking route

Children aged 5 to 16 must be given free transport if they go to their nearest suitable school and there’s no safe walking route, however far away they live.

Contact your local council if you think the walking route is not safe.