Somerset County Council

School transport and Special Educational Needs and Disabilities


Please read the information below carefully before applying for travel assistance for your child.

Primary to secondary transfers
If your child is of statutory school age and has an Education, Health and Care Plan (previously known as a statement of special educational needs), the local authority will provide travel assistance if they attend the nearest, appropriate school for their age and needs, and live beyond the statutory walking distance of 2 miles for pupils under 8 and 3 miles for those aged 8 and over.

We will also consider providing travel assistance if the school is within the statutory walking distance but the child has an Education, Health and Care plan or a long term disability and there are exceptional grounds that mean it is necessary for the LA to provide travel assistance. 

The deadline for school travel applications for children transferring from a primary phase school to a secondary phase school is 31 March. If your application is received by 31 March then school travel assistance will be guaranteed for the start of term in September. If the application is received after this date then school travel assistance may not be available for the start of term.

How will I know if my child is entitled under exceptional grounds?
If your child lives less than the statutory walking distance from their school, travel assistance would only be considered if they are attending their catchment or nearest school.

It would have to be agreed that the child cannot make their own way to school (even with a responsible adult accompanying the child). Evidence from the child’s GP, consultant or medical professional will be required. 

What travel assistance is given?
Travel assistance is provided at the beginning and end of the official school day from a defined pick up and setting down point, not necessarily the home address. Journeys outside of the official school day remain the responsibility of the parents/carers.

We will phone you and carry out a risk assessment to clarify any needs that should be taken into consideration. We will then tell you about the transport arrangements.

Apply now - for children aged 4 to 16 

What if my child is not entitled to travel assistance?
For information on how to appeal against this decision please visit Request to review a school transport decision.

Post 16 Travel Assistance Entitlement
We provide transport help for students aged 16 to 19 with special educational needs, such as a physical or mental disability, who cannot make their own way to their further educational establishment. We will also consider applications from students with SEND aged 19 to 21 and, in exceptional circumstances, from students over 21.

Transport is provided to students who cannot live independently or in lodgings to be nearer their college and who cannot be taken by their parents or carers.

We encourage students to be as independent as possible. Therefore, most students do not receive individual travel assistance. Post 16 students with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) who qualify for assistance will be charged a contribution towards the cost of transport and this will increase each subsequent academic year in line with the Love the Bus County Ticket for students.

We will only provide travel at the beginning and the end of the normal school or college day. It is not possible to arrange support with travel around specific start and end times, so students will need to fill such time with self-study.

When we receive an application from a student with SEND going to an FE college, we consider these things 

  • Whether the student is applying for transport to their nearest relevant further educational establishment offering their chosen or comparable course 
  • Whether the student can use a public service vehicle (the lack of a public service vehicle is not in itself a reason for individual transport being provided) 
  • Whether the student is a Somerset resident 
  • The age and needs of the student and the benefits they will get from the course and 
  • The length of the journey 

Apply now - Post 16 travel assistance

Where appropriate, all students are expected to work with our independent Travel Trainers to receive training to allow them to travel independently in the future. 

If you are entitled you will need to re-apply for each academic year.

To apply for travel assistance to a further educational establishment because of SEND, please download an application form (see Information and resources). 

Students who are returning to college for further study must be making educational progress to qualify for continued support with travel. Therefore, please enclose an academic report and assessment for ‘continuing’ students with your form. Applications without an academic report cannot be assessed and therefore, transport arrangements cannot be agreed until this report is received.

For more information, please see the special educational needs transport booklet which you can download from this page.


Contact: Admissions and Entitlements Team
Address: County Hall, Taunton, Somerset, TA1 4DY
Phone: 0300 123 2224
Fax: 01823 356113

Opening Hours: Monday 8am to 6pm, Tuesday to Friday 8.30am to 5.30pm, Saturday and Sunday closed.


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