Portsmouth city council

Portsmouth City Council provides transport to mainstream or special schools for children and young people who meet specific criteria set out in the Home to School Travel Assistance Policy and the Post 16 Learners statement, which you can download at the bottom of the page.

For more information contact the specific department involved in providing transport for schools, based at Civic Offices, Guildhall Square, Portsmouth:

  • entitlement to travelling assistance - phone 023 9283 4962
  • travelling assistance for children with special educational needs - phone 023 9284 1238
  • transport to school - queries about the transport itself - phone 023 9284 1345
  • children's social care can be contacted on 023 9284 9111

If you think your child may qualify for travel assistance, you can print off the application forms and guidance notes below.

If your child does not meet the statutory criteria for home to school transport as set out in the policy, in exceptional cases you can apply for transport using the Exceptional Circumstances Criteria, which will be assessed by The Access and Entitlement Officer or the Inclusion Support Panel. Transport may be in the form of a bus pass, reimbursement of costs or, in some cases, a minibus or car.

Parent and guardians receive the following information in writing when transport arrangements have been made:

  • type of transport
  • name and phone number of the transport provider
  • name of the passenger assistant
  • pick up and set down points
  • start date

Where necessary, we employ passenger assistants trained to look after pupils travelling on school transport. Passenger assistants are not expected to leave the vehicle in order to collect or deliver pupils. Parents must take their child to the vehicle.

Where there is no suitable adult to meet a child who is normally collected from transport, it is our policy for passenger assistants to place the pupil for safety with the duty social worker in children's social care on the fourth floor of the Civic Offices, Guildhall Square, Portsmouth.

Transport cannot be provided for:

  • pupils attending a special school or resourced provision other than that designated by us, such as on the preference of parents
  • pupils attending a mainstream school other than their designated catchment school on the preference of parents.
  • taking a pupil to anywhere other than their home address, such as hospital appointments
  • journeys outside normal school start and finish times
  • travelling between school or home and respite care placements, except where agreed in advance by a school transport officer

Children with a statement of special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) are entitled to local authority transport when the child is attending the nearest suitable school, as designated by the SEN Team, and at least one of the following applies:

  • the distance from home to school is over three miles for children over eight years old, two miles for children aged five to eight 
  • the child has physical or medical difficulties which means they cannot walk from home to school 
  • parent has physical or medical difficulties which means they cannot accompany the child to school 
  • punctuality - usually a vehicle transports a number of pupils. To maintain the timetable, it is important that your child is ready to join the transport as soon as it arrives. School transport cannot wait for your child for more than a few minutes
    • arriving home - you should make suitable arrangements for your child when they return home. All primary school pupils must be met from the transport by an authorised person
    • absence - please let the passenger assistant know of any problem that my affect your child's journey to school. If your child will not be attending school for a few days, please inform the transport provider or passenger assistant as soon as possible so that the vehicle does not make unnecessary journeys to your home
    • moving house - if you move house, let the school transport team and the statutory assessment team know as soon as possible. Passenger assistants will not collect pupils from new addresses without authorisation from school transport officers
    • child seats, harnesses and seat belts - these are provided on all school transport, except public service buses and trains, and should be worn at all times. We provide suitable child seats and booster seats as necessary. A harness may be used if a child seat is not appropriate or possible
    • wheelchairs - pupils may only travel in wheelchairs or buggies which are suitable for transportation. School transport does not provide these, so parents must supply details of type, size and make before transport can be arranged

Parents and guardians should make sure their child knows how to behave while travelling to school. Transport may be suspended or withdrawn if behaviour is unacceptable. Examples of unacceptable behaviour are:

  • refusing to wear the seat belt provided
  • using foul or inappropriate language
  • aggressive behaviour towards others
  • causing damage to the vehicle

Colleges can provide details of concessionary fares available to students. Those students who are considered to have exceptional need may be entitled to help with the cost of their transport to school or college.  There is more information in the Post 16 Learners Statement available to download below - if you think you are entitled to travel assistance to college, please print off the application forms and guidance notes, also available below.

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