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SEND Home to School Travel policy review consultation

The SEND travel policy has been reviewed and rewritten in line with new Department for Education guidance. We want to give you the opportunity to have your say about the proposed policy.

Why the existing policy has been reviewed

The existing SEND travel policy has been updated to clarify the eligibility criteria and to outline all travel support options for SEND children and young people more clearly.

This policy review aims to:

  • make the information easier for parents and carers to understand
  • make it easier for consistent decisions to be made
  • ensure we are aligned with the DfE requirements
  • ensure we are making the most efficient use of resource

How the policy has changed

You can read the proposed policy in full online. Alternatively, you can see how things have changed in more detail by expanding the following policy area headings:

Eligibility for SEN, disability, or mobility problems

Current policy:

In the current policy, we state that we will assess individual eligibility and make transport arrangements for children who can't be expected to walk to school, (either due to their mobility problems or health and safety issues that relate to their SEN or disability) and whose parents are unable to transport them to school.

Proposed SEND Home to School Travel Policy:

  • We will assess each child on an individual basis to identify the most appropriate travel option
  • We will provide more clarity and information regarding circumstances where a child may be eligible if they:
    • are attending the nearest school
    • cannot walk even when accompanied
    • have a medical condition that affects travel
  • We will provide more information and clarification regarding medical professional evidence which will be considered

Personal Travel Budgets (PTB)

Current policy:

PTBs are only referenced in relation to the promotion or presentation of alternate travel options, or as an option for lone travellers.

Proposed SEND Home to School Travel Policy:

We will provide clear information about PTBs, including information on how they could benefit service users.  We'll also include specific examples of how much you could get based on the number of miles you travel.

We will outline how PTBs can be used, including:

  • shared travel arrangements with other parents or carers
  • helping overcome barriers that may prevent parents or carers from accompanying their children to school
  • covering the cost of parents or carers driving or cycling with their child to school
  • paying for a Guide Escort for the child to walk to school or travel by public transport

Independent Travel Training

Current policy:

There is currently no specific information provided on Independent Travel Training.

Proposed SEND Home to School Travel Policy:

We will include information to highlight the benefits of Independent Travel Training.

Applying for SEND travel support

Current policy:

There is currently no specific information provided on how to apply for SEND Home to School Travel assistance. 

Proposed SEND Home to School Travel Policy:

We will include clear instructions including anticipated timescales and deadlines. This will simplify the application process, making it easier for people to understand and apply for support.

Explanation of terms

Current policy:

We currently use the following terms without clear definitions:

  • Home address
  • Guide Escorts
  • Exceptional circumstances
  • Nearest school

Proposed SEND Home to School Travel Policy:

We will clarify the terms we use within the policy to make it easier for everyone to understand.  

For example:

  • Home address: Where the child resides and spends the majority of their time. It is also the address registered with their GP surgery.
  • Guide Escorts: A Guide Escort may be allocated in exceptional circumstances through an SEN or medical assessment, tailored to the student's travel needs.
  • Exceptional circumstances: Exceptional circumstances will be recognised for the most vulnerable children when there is a strong need for help but the required transportation criteria are not met.
  • Nearest school: When parents or carers apply to the nearest suitable school and the school is unable to offer a place, we may be able to offer travel support for the next nearest school with a place, providing the child meets the eligibility criteria.

Review of eligibility

Current policy:

Reviews of eligibility are currently only referenced in the 'Guiding principles for SEND travel provision'. We regularly assess transport throughout a child's school life to ensure the right level of travel provision is in place.

Proposed SEND Home to School Travel Policy:

We will provide more clarity and information on how the eligibility review process works and detail the milestones that typically trigger the reviews. Going forward, we may also consider amending the named school on an EHCP if there is a closer, more suitable school that would make more efficient use of our resources regarding school travel support. (Please note that this links to the changes made to mentions of parental preference in the policy, detailed below.)

We will maintain the right to amend the terms of the travel support.

Behaviour on school transport

Current policy:

Information on behaviour on school transport is currently not included in the policy. Instead, we provide information separately by referencing it in our offer letters.

Proposed SEND Home to School Travel Policy:

We will provide clarity on expected behaviour (in line with the Behaviour Policy) within the new SEND Travel Policy. We will still reference expected behaviour on school transport in our offer letters.


Exclusions refer to situations where we do not provide travel support.

Current policy:

Exclusions are referenced throughout the policy, but are not laid out clearly in a dedicated section.

Proposed SEND Home to School Travel Policy:

We have created a standalone section of the new policy to clearly explain and define the different exclusions.

Parental preference

Current policy:

There is no guidance on parental preference in the current policy.

Proposed SEND Home to School Travel Policy:

The proposed policy clearly states that if a parent or carer has requested a school to be named in the EHCP but there is an available place at a nearer, suitable school, the parent or carer will be responsible for transporting their child to and from school.

Car seats

Current policy:

There is no guidance on car seats in the current policy.

Proposed SEND Home to School Travel Policy:

The proposed policy provides guidance for parents and carers on what they are responsible for providing until a child reaches a height of at least 135cm (4'5") or turns 12 years old, whichever happens first.

Who we are consulting

The guidance issued by the DfE (Department for Education) states that we must consult: 

  • members of the public with children or young people currently receiving SEND Home to School Travel support
  • members of the public with children or young people who may receive SEND Home to School Travel support in the future
  • Bath Parent Carer Forum
  • schools that may have children or young people affected by this policy (including schools in Bristol, South Glos, and North Somerset)

How the changes could affect you

The proposed policy will make the eligibility criteria clearer and easier to understand. You'll also be able to find out about alternate travel options that may be available to you.

However in certain cases, as we more clearly define our eligibility criteria, the proposed changes to the SEND travel policy may make it less likely for parents or carers to get home to school travel support for their SEND child or young person. This has the potential to affect new applications and people who currently receive SEND travel support.

It is important to us that we ensure everyone who could be affected has the chance to give us their feedback.

In-person events

If you'd like to talk to someone about the proposals, or find out more about why we've updated the SEND travel policy, you can attend an in-person event:

Keynsham, Chew Magna and Radstock drop-in sessions

You can talk to us about the proposed SEND Home to School Travel policy at one of the following drop-in sessions:

  • 12 March 2024, 6pm to 8pm, Keynsham Community Space, Keynsham, BS31 1HA
  • 19 March 2024, 6pm to 8pm, Chew Magna Baptist Church, Tunbridge Rd, Chew Magna, Bristol, BS40 8SP
  • 21 March 2024, 5.30pm to 7.30pm, Fosseway School, Longfellow Road, Westfield, BA3 3AL

During this time, you will be able to speak to someone about your feedback on the proposed SEND Home to School Travel policy and they will help you complete the online form, if appropriate, or offer other ways to give your feedback. We will be offering light refreshments.

Please note that we will be providing a British Sign Language interpreter for this event.

Bath Parent Carer Forum

You can talk to us about the proposed SEND Home to School Travel policy at one of the following Bath Parent Carer Forum sessions:

  • 11 March 2024, 10am to 12am, St. Andrew’s Community Church, Hawthorn Grove, Foxhill, BA2 5QA
  • 15 March 2024, 10am to 12am, Batheaston New Village Hall, School Lane, Batheaston, BA1 7EP
  • 17 April 2024, 10am to 12am, The Soap Bar Cafe, Upper Bristol Road, Clutton, BS39 5AT

Have your say on the proposed changes to the SEND Home to School Travel Policy

You can respond to this consultation by completing our online form.

Respond online

WarningYou may find it helpful to keep this page and the full version of the proposed policy open in separate tabs for reference while you complete the online form.

If you need a printed copy of the survey, information in another language or format including audio, braille or large print please email us at


You can download EasyRead versions of this consultation material and the questions, as well as the full proposed policy to help you respond to this consultation. 

If you are using EasyRead versions of this material, you can call Council Connect on 01225 394041 or attend a drop-in session to get help to respond to the consultation.

Get in touch

If you have any kind of additional need and are unable to complete the online form, you can call Council Connect on 01225 394041 who can help you give your feedback.

What happens next

On 7 May 2024, we will close this consultation and analyse all feedback. We will make any necessary changes to the policy based on your responses.

We will be following an approximate project timeline:

  • May: The amended new policy will be reviewed and approved by Councillors.
  • July: We will publish the consultation report and new policy on our website.
  • September: We will start using the new criteria for applications.