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School transport

Parent(s) and carer(s) are responsible for ensuring that their children attend school and to make any necessary transport arrangements, this includes accompanying their children on their journeys to and from school.

Transport arrangements during coronavirus outbreak

Further to the recent Government advice, transport has now been arranged for all those students in years R, 1 and 6 whose parents have confirmed that they do require transport when the school’s return from 1st June 2020. If your child is in one of these year groups, and you have confirmed the need for transport, please contact Mainstream School transport team 01234 276528 or contact your school to obtain a copy of your child(ren)s route sheet.

If your child is in years R, 1 & 6, they are ordinarily eligible for free home to school transport and would now like your child(ren) to use transport but have not already confirmed that you do, please contact School Transport on school.transport@bedford.gov.uk or call Customer Services on (01234) 718004. In view of the need to consider distancing arrangements and safety precautions on transport, we will require 5 days notice before transport commences to ensure we can plan and inform you of route details.

Children of key workers and children & young people with an Education, Health & Care Plan (EHCP), will continue to go to be able to go to school as per the latest government advice. The transport provision currently in place for these pupils will continue.

If you are a key worker or your child has an EHCP and you believe you are eligible for this provision/transport please contact your child's school or our Transport Entitlement Team by emailing School.Transport@bedford.gov.uk or call 01234 718004.

Please read the following guides of how we are providing school transport in line with the current public health guidelines during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak

In certain circumstances, we have a duty to provide free home to school transport.  We arrange school transport for children and young people in Bedford Borough who are eligible for transport in line with our transport policies. Please note that once a request for transport is approved, our Client Transport Team will try to ensure transport is arranged within 10 working days.

You will find further information on these pages about who is eligible for transport, our transport policies, how to apply and what other help might be available to you.

Mainstream pupils - without an education, health and care plan (EHCP)

This information applies to children and young people without an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP).

Pre-statutory school age

  • Bedford Borough Council does not provide free home to school transport for pre-statutory school age children.
  • A child begins to be ‘statutory school age’ on the ‘prescribed day’ which either falls on or follows their fifth birthday. The prescribed days are currently 31st August, 31st December and 31st March.  This means transport can be provided for eligible children in the term following their fifth birthday.

If you are not sure if your child is statutory school age yet, please contact us and we can confirm.

Statutory school age - mainstream primary

  • Statutory school age children in year 0 (Reception) to year 3 can get free home to school transport if they attend their nearest school and live more than 2 miles away or the route is assessed as unsafe to walk.
  • Children in year 4 to year 6 can get free home to school transport if they attend their nearest school and live more than 3 miles away
  • Children from low income families in year 4 to year 6 can get free home to school transport if they attend their nearest school and live more than 2 miles away

Low income families are those who:

  • are entitled to free school meals (whether the family is claiming this or not)
  • are receiving the maximum rate of Working Tax Credit

Statutory school age - mainstream secondary

Children aged 11 to 16 (school years 7 to 11) can get free home to school transport if:

  • they attend their nearest qualifying school
  • they live more than 3 miles away or the route is assessed as unsafe to walk.

Children from low income families can get free home to school transport if:

  • they attend one of their 3 nearest qualifying schools
  • the school is between 2 and 6 miles from their home address

Children from low income families can also get free home to school transport if:

  • they are aged 11 to 16 attending their nearest qualifying school in accordance with their parent(s)/carer(s) religion or belief, provided it is more than two miles (by the shortest available walking route), but not more than fifteen miles (by motorised route) from their home.

Post statutory school age (Post 16)

Students can apply for travel assistance if they:

  • they live in Bedford Borough throughout the duration of the course
  • they are enrolled and attend a full-time course up to and including level 3 (This means courses up to and including A Level).
  • they are attending the nearest 6th form school to their home address, within Bedford Borough. Those establishments are; Bedford Academy, Kempston Challenger Academy, Wootton Upper School, Biddenham School, Sharnbrook School, Mark Rutherford School and St Thomas More RC School
  • the eligibility criteria outlined in the policy is met (Sections 1.3 and 1.4)

Policy Document - Bedford Borough Council 'Post Statutory School Age' Transport Policy (PDF)

Apply for school transport 

You can apply for school transport, cancel your school transport and change your address using the forms below. If you are not sure which form to complete, or would like a copy of any of these forms posted to you, please email school.transport@bedford.gov.uk

Apply for school transport