Services for children and young people in Northamptonshire (aged 0-25) with special educational needs and disabilities.

School Transport and Post 16 Transport - NCC

Type of service:
Local Government Department
Northamptonshire County Council, One Angel Square, Angel Street, Northampton, Northamptonshire NN1 1ED
Telephone number:
0300 126 1000
Service description:
School Transport


Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) email:

Mainstream email:

Your child may be able to get free transport to school if:

They are not in walking distance from their nearest suitable or linked school

• For a child under 8 where the walking distance is more than 2 miles from home to school
• For a child aged 8 to 16 where the walking distance is more than 3 miles from home to the school
• For a child where the route has been assessed as unacceptable to walk according to the council’s published criteria.

*The nearest suitable school includes single sex and faith schools.

If you have chosen a school place for your child that is not their nearest suitable or linked school, you will be responsible for the cost of your child’s transport to and from school.

Follow this link to view tables showing which areas free school transport is available from for each school if your child is eligible under the above criteria.

You are on low income

​If you're on a low income (you receiving the maximum level of Working Tax Credits or your child is eligible or school meals) your child may be able to get free transport to school if all the following criteria are met.

Your child must:
• be of school age
• attend their nearest suitable or linked school
• receive free school meals or you receive the maximum amount of Working Tax Credit


• Children aged 8-10 - the distance from home to their school is more than 2 miles on the shortest available walking route
• Children aged 11-16 - the distance from home to school is between 2 and 6 miles. (This is increased to 15 miles if they can demonstrate that they have gained a place at a school because of their or their family’s religion or belief)

If eligibility for free school meals or maximum level Working Tax Credit ceases, then free transport will be withdrawn at the end of the academic year.

Your child has a Special Educational Need or a disability

Where a pupil has a permanent or temporary disability so that they cannot walk even short distances to school, the council will make suitable travel arrangements for the duration of that disability.

Travel arrangements will be agreed for pupils with an education, health and care (EHC) plan or a statement of SEN where:
• the pupil lives further than the statutory distance between home and school
• The local authority has determined the name of the school and type of provision and this meets the criteria for distances above


• A pupil has a statement of SEN or EHC plan for a severe medical or physical condition and there is detailed written advice from appropriate medical personnel.

Travel arrangements will not be allocated where:
• the pupil is not attending their local mainstream school, or the nearest suitable special provision, and the school is one of parental preference

You have moved house

Parents or carers of children who move house during their schooling to an area where another school is the nearest suitable or linked school may either:
• apply to move their child to the nearest suitable or linked school for their new address and if successful the policy stated above will apply
• retain the child's place at their current school but they will become responsible for the child's transport provision and costs

If there are no places available at schools nearer to the new home address than the current school, then the council will provide free travel arrangements to the current school.

Some help may be available in other exceptional circumstances, where, for example, the pupil concerned would otherwise be at risk of harm. Each case will be considered on its own merits.

To apply for school transport please complete an application form.

Post 16 Transport

You may qualify for subsidised home to school transport if you are:
• aged 16 to 18
• in full time-education (12 hours or more a week)
• living more than 3 miles away from your school or further education establishment

How much does it cost?

All students who are entitled to home to school transport will need to contribute £600 a year towards the costs of their transport.

Charges apply to all students whether they are attending mainstream, special or specialist post-16 education provisions, independent schools or further education colleges and other suitable training establishments.

The only exceptions are:

You are on a low income

Parents or carers in receipt of one of the following will qualify as low income:
• Income Support
• Child entitled to free school meals
• Income Based Jobseekers Allowance
• Support under Part VI of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999
• Child Tax Credit, provided they are not entitled to Working Tax Credit and have an annual income as assessed by the Inland Revenue that does not exceed £16,190
• Guaranteed element of state pension credit
• Receipt of the maximum level of Working Tax Credit

For 16-18 year olds meeting these grounds, the cost is £300 a year.

You are on a low income and your child has a special educational need or disability (SEND)

Where parents or carers of a 16 to 18 year old student qualify on the grounds of low income (as listed above) and the young person:
• has an education, health and care (EHC) plan which necessitates transport assistance,
• is attending their nearest suitable further education setting which is named in the EHC
• lives within the administrative boundary of Northamptonshire and more than 3 miles from their nearest suitable educational establishment

the cost will be free of charge.

In the first instance, School Transport will explore whether a parent or carer will provide transport and be remunerated for their fuel costs, if the student is eligible.

Young adult learners (aged 19 to 25) subject to an education, health and care plan

Free transport will be provided to a young adult learner (not being a person of sixth form age) where:
• the local authority has secured the provision of education or training and the provision of boarding accommodation for an adult learner aged under 25 and
• they are subject to an EHC plan and
• it is considered necessary to facilitate that person’s attendance at the place of education or training

Please note that this policy does not relate to young adults who are not in education or training and who do not have an education, health and care plan. Information about transport provision for other young adults can be obtained from the Adult Social Services website.

Whilst we would continue to encourage the participation in education and training by those over compulsory school age but under 19 and those aged 19 – 25 with an EHC plan, young adult learners would be expected to meet the cost of travel between home and the provider at which they are receiving education or training except in the circumstances as above.

To apply for school transport please complete an application form.


If an application for free transport and assistance is declined, you may submit an appeal.

A decision may be challenged on the following grounds:
• Eligibility
• Distance measurement
• Safety of the route
• Transport arrangements offered

There is no moral right to challenge a decision where the entitlement to transport assistance has been removed on the grounds of unacceptable behaviour.
Contact provider for details
Age range:
4 years - 25 years
Eligibility criteria:
  • Age - Early Years (0-5)
  • Age - School (5-18)
  • Age - Adulthood (18-25)
Referral route:
  • Contact service direct
  • No referral needed
Last updated on:
Location map:

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