Schools and colleges
All children between the ages of 5 and 16 may qualify for free school travel assistance if they go to their nearest suitable school and live at least:
- 2 miles from the school, if they are under the age of 8 years old
- 3 miles from the school, if they are 8 years old or older
Parents and carers have a legal duty to ensure that their statutory school-aged children (age 5 to 16) attend school regularly.
A child becomes of compulsory school age at the start of term after their fifth birthday and ceases to be compulsory school age on the last day of the academic year in which they are in year 11. This applies to both children with and without an Education Health and Care Plan (EHCP).
There are four core categories of eligible children set out in law:
- children living beyond the statutory walking distance from school
- children who cannot reasonably be expected to walk to school due to unsafe walking routes
- children who cannot reasonably be expected to walk to school due to special educational needs, disability, and mobility problems
- children from low-income families who have extended rights to travel assistance (for more information on eligibility, please visit our free school meals page)
In accordance with the Council’s statutory duty, children under the age of 5 will not be entitled to travel assistance between their home and school. Where circumstances exist where the Council determines that travel assistance is necessary it may exceptionally apply its discretionary powers on a case-by-case basis.
Please complete all relevant sections of this application. Any missing or incorrect information may delay the processing and/or qualification for travel assistance.
Travel assistance comes in many forms such as:
- financial assistance to travel on public transport
- pre-paid bus tickets
- training to travel independently (walking and using public transport)
- training to cycle independently (reimbursement of bicycle and safety equipment) subject to the agreement from parent or carer
- reimbursing of mileage costs for parents or carers
- provision of a private bus, coach or minibus
- provision of taxis or licensed private car hire (in extenuating circumstances)
The travel assessment officers will determine the most suitable form of travel assistance based upon the information provided along with a fully completed application form.
By completing this application form you’re giving us permission to discuss the child it applies to with:
- the school
- Special Educational Needs Assessment Team (for those with an EHCP)
- any other relevant department that may hold information required in the assessment of this application
Mainstream travel assistance(For those children without an EHCP)
How to apply
To apply for mainstream home to school travel assistance and Post 16 travel assistance (for students who do not have an EHCP), please complete the online application form and upload your supporting evidence. Your application can not be submitted until evidence has been provided.
If you experience any difficulty completing the form online, you can download the mainstream and post-16 application for travel assistance in the documents section below. Save the completed document and send to [email protected] or post (with supporting documentation) to:
Mainstream Travel Assistance team
Planning and Admissions
Luton, LU1 2BQ
Telephone: 01582 548227
Please write 'private and confidential' on your envelopes for the Travel Assistance team, as the contents are personal and sensitive.
SEND travel assistance
(For those children with an EHCP)
Please complete the online application form below and upload with all necessary supporting evidence. Your application can not be submitted until evidence has been provided.
If you experience any difficulty completing the form online, you can download the SEN application for travel assistance document below. Save the completed form and email to [email protected].
Alternatively, you can post it (with supporting documentation) to:
SEND Travel Assistance team
Planning and Admissions,
Telephone: 01582 548098
Luton Council do not have a statutory duty to provide travel assistance to pupils over 16 years old.
Examples where travel assistance may be provided are:
Students living in Luton throughout the duration of their course from low income families and learners in local authority care or those that have recently left local authority care.
Low income is defined as students whose family meet the criteria used for assessing eligibility for free school meals. Please visit our free school meals page. Criteria includes:
- enrolled on and attending a full time course engaged with learning or training at a further education institution, a school or academy, an authority maintained or assisted institution providing higher or further education
- an establishment funded directly by the Education Funding Agency or a learning provider that is funded by the local authority to deliver n establishment funded directly by the Education Funding Agency or a learning provider that is funded by the local authority to deliver foundation learning or other accredited programmes of learning
- students must be over the statutory school age but not aged 19 or over, on 31 August in the year in which their course of study began students must be over the statutory school age but not aged 19 or over, on 31 August in the year in which their course of study began
- students must live further than three miles (walking route) from the nearest institution to offer their chosen course students must live further than three miles (walking route) from the nearest institution to offer their chosen course
- where a student opts to attend an institution other than their nearest college the chosen course must differ by at least 50% to that offered by nearer institutions
- payments will be made directly into the student’s bank account on a half termly basis
- each subsequent half term payment will be dependent upon 95% attendance in the previous half term
- qualifying students will be paid half the weekly ticket price of the bus travel up to a maximum of £7.50 per week