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On this page you will find guidance and help with applying for home-to-school transport.

Students in Year 12 or above with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities, should complete a home to college transport application form.

Who is entitled to home to school transport in Portsmouth?

Is Portsmouth your Local Authority?

If you live in Portsmouth your postcode will begin with the prefix PO1, PO2, PO3, PO4, PO5 or PO6. If you live outside of these postcode areas please apply to your own local authority.

What are statutory walking distances?

The distance between your home and your child’s school, measured by the shortest available walking route, must be:

  • Year R to age 8 years – over 2 miles
  • Age 8 years to Year 11 – over 3 miles
  • Age 8 years to Year 11 and meeting criteria for low income – over 2 miles

Who is entitled to assistance with travel to school in Portsmouth?

  • Is your child in Year R to Year 11 and attending the designated school for the catchment area in which you live, or a school which is nearer to your home than the designated school and you live over the statutory walking distance from the school?
    • If the answer is yes, your child has a statutory entitlement to home to school transport.
  • If your child’s designated catchment school is full, is your child attending the next nearest school, with an available place and do you live over the statutory walking distance from the school?
    • If the answer is yes, your child has a statutory entitlement to home to school transport.
  • Has your child been allocated a school, by Portsmouth City Council School Admissions Team, and does that school exceed the statutory walking distance and did you name your child’s catchment school as your first preference school when you made an application for a school place?
    • If the answer is yes, your child has a statutory entitlement to home to school transport.

Do you meet the criteria for families on a low income listed below?

  • Is your child aged over 8 years and still attending a primary school (up to Year 6)? If so, is your child attending the designated school for the catchment area in which you live, or a school which is nearer to your home than the designated school and do you live over 2 miles from the school?
    • If the answer is yes and you meet the criteria for low income as set out below, your child has a statutory entitlement to home to school transport
  • Is your child aged over 8 years and attending a primary school (up to Year 6) and is the designated catchment school full, and so they are attending the next nearest primary school with an available place, and do you live over 2 miles from that school?
    • If the answer is yes and you meet the criteria for low income as set out below, your child has a statutory entitlement to home to school transport
  • Is your child in either Year 7, 8, 9, 10 or 11? If so, is your child attending one of the three nearest schools to your home address and do you live more than 2 miles from the school?
    • If the answer is yes and you meet the criteria for low income as set out below, your child has a statutory entitlement to assisted travel to school. Please note your application will be assessed for a bus pass in the first instance.
  • Is your child attending the nearest school which meets your family’s religious or philosophical beliefs and have they been baptised or received into the faith of the school and do you live more than 2 miles from the school?
    • If the answer is yes and you meet the criteria for low income as set out below, your child has a statutory entitlement to home to school transport

Do you meet the criteria for low income?

Is your total income less than £16,190, and do you receive any of these benefits:

  • Child Tax Credit,
  • Income Support,
  • Income based job seekers allowance,
  • Income based employment and support allowance,
  • support under Part VI of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999,
  • the guarantee element of State Pension Credit
  • Maximum Working Tax Credit

and is your child entitled to free school meals?

Are you claiming Universal Credit and are your annual earnings less than
£7,400 (excluding benefits)?

Is your child an Eligible Child (EC) due to their special educational needs or disability?

  • Does your child have an Education, Health and Care Plan and do they attend the school named in their Education Health and Care Plan and are they unable to walk to school, accompanied or unaccompanied, due to their special educational needs, disability or mobility?
    • If the answer is yes, your child may be entitled to transport to school.
  • Are you the parent/carer of a primary age child, or an older child with special educational needs and disabilities, and do you have a disability which prevents you from escorting your child to school either walking, using public transport or driving and do you have relevant and up to date medical evidence from a qualified medical professional which states how the disability impacts on your ability to accompany your child to school? Secondary age children are usually expected to walk to school unaccompanied.
    • If the answer is yes, your child may be entitled to transport to school.
  • Is your child unable to walk to school unaccompanied or otherwise, because the walking route to school is unsafe?
    • If the answer is yes, your child may be entitled to transport to school.

If you are not entitled to transport under any of the statutory criteria above, you may be entitled to home to school transport if you meet the exceptional circumstances. Complete the discretionary application form to make an application.

Armed Forces Covenant

The Armed Forces Covenant ensures that those who serve in the armed forces and their families are treated fairly and with the respect in the communities, economy and society in which they serve.

The covenant is aimed at helping members of the armed forces community to have the same access to government and commercial services and products as any other citizen.

Privilege places

Occasionally, there are spare seats on transport which parents/carers can purchase if they wish. The cost of a seat is £750 per annum payable in three termly instalments of £250.

General information

Journey times should not exceed 45 minutes for primary age children and 75 minutes for secondary age children.

Distances

Lower distances up to 3 miles are measured by shortest available walking route.

Expressions of preference

If, as a result of parental preference, a primary age child is not attending their designated catchment school, or a nearer school they will NOT be eligible for travel assistance.

If, as a result of parental preference a secondary age child whose family meet the criteria for low income is not attending one of the three nearest schools to their home address they will NOT be eligible for travel assistance.

If, as a result of parental preference a child with an Education, Health and Care Plan is not attending the nearest qualifying special school which is able to meet their needs, they may not be eligible for travel assistance.

Low Income awarded assistance

Families who are awarded transport on low income grounds will need to re-apply for transport each academic year, so that income can be re-assessed.

Change of address

Please inform us as soon as possible if you change your home address as you may need to reapply for transport based on your new home address and a further Health and Safety Form will need to be completed.

Timescales

Once an application form has been submitted to the Local Authority, along with all the required evidence, the assessing officer has up to 10 working days to assess the application.

If the application is successful, it can take up to 6 weeks for a bus pass to be processed by the relevant bus company.

If transport is awarded in the form of a mini-bus or a taxi, it will be necessary for you to complete a Health and Safety Form. Transport can take up to 10 working days to arrange once the Integrated Transport Unit (ITU) is in receipt of a completed Health and Safety Form.