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Devon’s Special Educational Needs and Disabilities Local Offer

School transport

All councils across the country must make home to school travel arrangements for eligible children to attend their qualifying school.

The relevant qualifying school is the designated school for the child’s home address or the nearest school with places available. It must also provide education appropriate to the age, ability and aptitude of the child and any special educational or access needs the child may have.

Eligible children are those who are aged under 16 years (transport entitlement includes pupils up to year 11, the year group for 15 and 16-year-olds) and who:

  • cannot walk to school because of their special educational needs, disability or mobility problem
  • cannot walk to school safely because of the nature of the route
  • live outside ‘statutory walking distance’ from the school (two miles for children under eight and three miles for children over eight) and
  • are entitled to assistance on low income grounds

Read our guide to school transport for children with SEND.

How are decisions to provide transport made?

All requests for transport are considered on a case-by-case basis. Parents and carers may be required to provide information to help officers reach a considered conclusion on whether there is a duty to provide transport. It should be noted that the duty to provide transport assistance changes when students enter post-16 education.

Disagreeing with a decision

If you remain dissatisfied with a decision you can ask about details of the two-stage appeal process available to you.

Post-16 transport

Devon County Council looks at provision of transport for students over the age of 16 very differently to the way we consider transport for children of compulsory school age (5-16 years) as there is no direct duty to provide transport for post 16 students. This applies to all students over 16 years of age, regardless of their educational establishment.

Some post-16 establishments receive bursary funding and this can sometimes be used to support transport. Information on this is available from individual schools and colleges.

Read our guide to post-16 school transport.

Independent travel training

We also offer an independent travel training program. This is a free scheme to help young people throughout Devon learn how to develop the skills required for safe, independent travel.

This could include road safety, telling the time, how to use a bus pass, appropriate social behaviour and strategies for solving problems.

If a child currently travels to school or college on assisted transport and would like to travel on their own, then their own independent travel trainer could help. Find out more about independent travel training.