SEND school transport

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

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. 

You can read the SEND Statutory School Age Transport Policy 2024/25 (PDF) here.

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.

If the SEND team is consulting for a new placement for your child, in year or for the 2024/25 academic year, please apply for transport as soon as possible, before the 1 April 2024. This is to ensure we have sufficient time to assess your application, carry out any necessary risk assessments and arrange appropriate transport.

Apply online for SEND school transport

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 and, if approved for travel assistance, the next steps. 

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 after the age of 16, they may be eligible for assistance with travel arrangements to the nearest suitable provision.

Applications must be submitted by the 12 July 2024 deadline. If your application is late we cannot guarantee it will be processed before the start of term. The Council does not offer reimbursements for travel costs where the application or renewal is submitted late.

If you think your child meets the above criteria, please apply online, using the form below. By applying online you are accepting the SEND Post-16 Transport Terms and Conditions (PDF). You may need your National Insurance number to complete the form.

Apply online for SEND post-16 transport

You can read the SEND Post Statutory School Age Transport Policy 2024/25 (PDF) here.