SEND pupils with an education health and care plan

For children and young people with an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP) that are looking for school transport help.

Pre-statutory school age children

Bedford Borough Council does not provide free home to school transport for pre-statutory school age children.

Parents and carers may be able to make a discretionary application for children with an EHCP, if there are very exceptional circumstances.  Our assessment of your application will take into account your child’s SEND, your family circumstances, medical evidence and guidance from appropriate professionals.  Any travel assistance provided to pre-statutory school age pupils will be reviewed regularly.

Statutory school age

Statutory school age children between the ages of 5 and 16, are provided with free home to school transport where the following criteria is met;

  • lives 2 miles or more for children below 8 from their nearest suitable school
  • lives 3 miles or more for children aged 8 or over from their nearest suitable school
  • where the mainstream low-income policy is met
  • has special educational needs, a disability or mobility problems that mean they cannot reasonably be expected to walk to school either alone or accompanied by a parent(s)/carer(s).

The Council has no duty to provide free transport if parents or carers send their child to a school that we do not consider to be the nearest, suitable school. In this case, the pupil will be considered as attending a ‘parental preference’ school and parent(s)/carer(s) remain responsible for any necessary transport arrangements or associated costs. 

How to apply

If the SEND Team are consulting for a school place for your child and you would like an assessment for travel assistance, please apply to us as soon as possible.

You can apply for transport by contacting the School Transport Entitlement Team on Please ensure you provide detailed information about your child’s SEND including medical needs, equipment they may need to use and any difficulty they may have when accessing transport. This information will help to ensure a full assessment is completed.

Once your application is assessed, we will write to you to advise you of the decision. Please note that if your application is approved, our client transport team will try to ensure transport is arranged within 10 working days. Please be aware that our client transport team may need to carry out a specialised risk assessment and transport may take longer to arrange.

Post-statutory school age transport (post-16) and post 19 transport

If your child has an Education, Health and Care Plan and they are continuing their education post 16, they may be eligible for assistance with travel arrangements to the nearest suitable provision.

The application form to apply online for the 2023/24 academic year will be available soon.

If you wish to pay for post statutory school age transport by monthly Direct Debit, you must complete and return a Direct Debit Mandate.  Please note a hard copy of a Direct Debit mandate is required, you cannot submit this online or by email.

Download the Direct Debit Form

Policy Document

This policy applies to children and young people with a Statement of Special Educational Needs or an Education, Health and Care Plan.

SEND Statutory School Age and Post Statutory School Age Transport Policy (PDF)