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					School
Transport
Policy




    School
            September 2006
Admissions and Transport Team
Children’s Services Department
East Sussex County Council
Lewes BN7 1SG
01273 481000
admissions@eastsussex.gov.uk
www.eastsussex.gov.uk


                                                             Contents
                          Introduction                                                  Page 2

                          Entitlement to free school transport                          Page 3
                                 •     The basic policy
                                 •     Route safety
                                 •     What mode of transport is used
                                 •     Pick-up points
                                 •     Payments to parents
                                 •     Exceptions to the general policy
                                 •     Permanently excluded pupils
                                 •     Education at Pupil Referral Units

                          Discretionary school transport                               Page 4
                                 •     Denominational schools
                                 •     Pupils with a medical need
                                 •     Parents/carers with a medical need
                                 •     Temporary house moves
                                 •     House moves during school years 10 &11
                                 •     Children attending alternative schools

                          Circumstances when transport is not given Page 7
                                 •     Provision other than at the start and end of the school day
                                 •     Independent or private schools (including nurseries)
                                 •     Attendance at schools outside of East Sussex
                                 •     Dual addresses
                                 •     Under distance
                                 •     Parental preference

                          Pupils with special educational needs                         Page 8
                                 •     Who is eligible?

                          Code of good practice                                         Page 9
                                 •     General information

                          Sale of seats on hired vehicles                               Page 9
                                 •     Vacant Seats scheme
                                 •     Free travel instead of a mileage allowance
                                 •     Seat allocations

                          Post 16 transport                                             Page 10
                                 •     Commitment

                          Appeals and complaints procedure                             Page 10
                                 •     Transport and Student Support Panel
                                 •     How to complain
                                                                                                     1
                                     Sc h oo l T ra ns po r t P ol i c y
  Admissions and Transport Team
  Children’s Services Department
  East Sussex County Council
  Lewes BN7 1SG
  01273 481000
  admissions@eastsussex.gov.uk
  www.eastsussex.gov.uk



Introduction
                            This document sets out the East Sussex County Council’s home
                            to school transport policy which has taken account of obligations
                            and discretions under s509 of the Education Act 1996.

                            The provisions of this policy relate to pupils and students who are:

                                         •   resident in East Sussex
                                         •   attending a school or other designated
                                             establishment; and
                                         •   are of statutory school age or in pre-school provision
                                             or in Post 16 provision.

                            The information is divided into the following sections;

                                         •   Entitlement to free school transport

                                         •   Discretionary school transport

                                         •   Circumstances when transport is not given

                                         •   Pupils with special educational needs*

                                         •   Code of good practice

                                         •   Sale of seats on hired vehicles

                                         •   Post 16 transport*

                                         •   Appeals and complaints procedure

                            * Separate policy documents are available on request

                             The Admissions and Transport Team can give further advice on
                             any aspect of transport policy. Cases are considered in
                             accordance to the stated guidelines.

                            Contact details
                            Admissions and Transport Team
                            County Hall
                            St Anne's Crescent
                            Lewes
                            East Sussex BN7 1SG

                                   01273 481000            admissions@eastsussex.gov.uk

                                                                                                  2
                                    Sc h oo l T ra ns po r t P ol i c y
    Admissions and Transport Team
    Children’s Services Department
    East Sussex County Council
    Lewes BN7 1SG
    01273 481000
    admissions@eastsussex.gov.uk
    www.eastsussex.gov.uk




                              Entitlement to free school transport
•     The basic policy
                              The Children’s Services Authority (CSA) will provide free transport
                              between home and school if the child is over 8 years of age and
                              lives three miles (4828 metres) from the designated* school, or
                              two miles (3218 metres) if the child is under 8 years of age. This is
                              known as the statutory walking distance.

                              Distances are measured by the shortest available walking route
                              using the County Council’s Geographical Information System,
                              taking account of, for example, public footpaths which are
                              passable. If necessary routes will be walked using a calibrated
                              meter wheel.

                              *The designated school means either the school suitable to the
                              child’s age, ability and aptitude which serves the area in which the
                              child lives, or if there is more than one school, the nearest school
                              to the home which is suitable for the child and at which a place is
                              available. Occasionally this might be a school in another county or
                              it is a designated denominational school (see page 5 below).

•     Route safety            Where parents challenge the suitability of a route to school the
                              Director of Transport and Environment will assess the route and
                              will judge its safety using nationally set standards. The standards
                              assume that the child is accompanied by a responsible adult. To
                              qualify for help the child must be attending the designated school
                              but if alternative safe routes are available within the statutory
                              walking distance then no help will be given.

•     What mode of            It is for East Sussex County Council’s Passenger Transport Team
      transport is used       to determine the means of transport between home and school.
                              However, it is the Council’s policy to support the public transport
                              network (bus and rail) wherever possible. Where no suitable
                              public transport exists, vehicles will be hired. The operator is
                              required to be licensed by the Borough or District Council or be
                              issued with a PSV license by the Department for Transport.

•     Pick-up points          Pupils and students are collected as near to their home as
                              possible although they may have to walk a ‘reasonable’ distance
                              to meet the transport. This will usually not exceed one mile from
                              the home address. The responsibility for ensuring a child’s safety
                              in getting to and from the picking up/setting down point rests with
                              the parent/carer.




                                                                                                 3
                                     Sc h oo l T ra ns po r t P ol i c y
    Admissions and Transport Team
    Children’s Services Department
    East Sussex County Council
    Lewes BN7 1SG
    01273 481000
    admissions@eastsussex.gov.uk
    www.eastsussex.gov.uk


•     Payments to             It sometimes happens that no suitable public service is available
      parents                 nor has the County Council hired a vehicle. In these
                              circumstances, parents are often willing to make their own
                              arrangements. Where parents help in this way, to assist the
                              County Council to fulfil its statutory duty, assistance with the
                              costs will be given on the basis of paying for the daily mileage, by
                              the shortest route, for two return journeys per day. The rate in
                              September 2006 is 10.88 pence per mile.

                              Normally payment will be made on a family basis because where
                              parents take children to school by car their costs will be the same
                              whether they are taking one child or more.

                              Assistance will not normally be given to parents who prefer to
                              make their own arrangements to transport their child to the
                              designated school where a suitable public service or a hired
                              vehicle is available.

•     Exceptions to the       Where it is agreed that an exception should be made, assistance
      general policy          will be given on the basis of the daily mileage for one return
                              journey at the rate of 10.88p a mile by the shortest route,
                              irrespective of the numbers of children in the family involved.

                              The County Council will consider cases where parents wish to see
                              a variation to the general policy based on their individual
                              circumstances. Each case will be judged on its own merits against
                              the policy although it should be realised that agreement is likely to
                              be given only in very special situations.

                              Where applications continue to be refused parents/carers have
                              recourse to the Transport and Student Support Panel (see
                              page10)

•     Permanently             Transport to a more distant school will be given if a child has been
      excluded pupils         permanently excluded and can no longer attend their designated
                              school provided that they are entitled under the normal transport
                              policy.

•     Education at            Children attending Pupil Referral Units will be considered for
      Pupil Referral          assistance with transport in the same way as children attending
      Units                   the designated mainstream school ie the normal transport policy.

                              Discretionary school transport
                              The County Council has powers to provide transport where there
                              is no legal requirement to do so. These are the following policies.
                              They could be varied or discontinued.


                                                                                                 4
                                     Sc h oo l T ra ns po r t P ol i c y
    Admissions and Transport Team
    Children’s Services Department
    East Sussex County Council
    Lewes BN7 1SG
    01273 481000
    admissions@eastsussex.gov.uk
    www.eastsussex.gov.uk


•     Denominational
      schools                 Help will be given if the child attends the nearest denominational
                              church aided school for religious reasons provided that:

                              • the child is a baptised member of the relevant denomination
                                                               or
                              • the school in which the religious education provided is that of
                                the religion or denomination to which the parent adheres

                                                                  and

                              • the child’s home is three miles (two miles for children under the
                                age of 8) from the school by the shortest available walking route
                                                              and
                              • the school is the nearest voluntary aided school of the relevant
                                denomination to the child’s home.

                              Confirmation of baptismal status or support from the parish
                              priest/minister is required.

                              The authority is not usually prepared to hire special transport to
                              convey children to denominational aided schools where no public
                              transport exists.

•     Pupils with a           Parents can apply for special help if their child has a medical need
      medical need            which means they cannot walk to school or use public transport.
                              The child must be attending the designated school (see definition
                              on page 3) to get this help. The authority will seek medical
                              evidence from the Designated Medical Officer who must confirm
                              the medical condition and that the child cannot walk the statutory
                              distance. They will also give an idea of the likely duration of the
                              transport need and give an indication of what form that provision
                              should take. All cases where assistance is agreed will be subject
                              to regular reviews.
•     Parents/carers
                              If a parent/carer is unable to walk with their children to school or
      with a medical
                              use public transport because of a long term illness or medical
      need
                              condition the authority may be able to assist with travel costs. This
                              scheme is only applicable to primary aged children as secondary
                              aged pupils are expected to travel to school without being
                              accompanied by a parent.

                              To receive help, the child/children must be attending the
                              designated school (see definition on page 3) and in determining
                              whether to assist, account will be taken of the distance to school –
                              in particular, where the distance is very short for a child in its
                              upper junior years, assistance may not be agreed.


                                                                                                  5
                                     Sc h oo l T ra ns po r t P ol i c y
    Admissions and Transport Team
    Children’s Services Department
    East Sussex County Council
    Lewes BN7 1SG
    01273 481000
    admissions@eastsussex.gov.uk
    www.eastsussex.gov.uk




                              Parents/carers will need to complete an application form and must
                              attach medical evidence from their consultant or GP who will
                              sometimes charge a fee for this service which will not be paid by
                              the County Council. Parents ought to be aware that transport will
                              not be arranged until relevant evidence is provided. Cases agreed
                              will be subject to regular reviews.

•     Temporary house         A variation to the normal transport policy can be made for pupils
      moves                   who move to a temporary address e.g. the house has been
                              repossessed/fire/flood etc. In such cases, transport is agreed if
                              the school attended before the move was the designated school
                              and is now in excess of the statutory walking distance. Assistance
                              is restricted to public transport and for a maximum period of two
                              school terms based on a six term year. If a second house move
                              back to the original area has not taken place after two terms have
                              elapsed then it will be for the parent to decide whether to continue
                              to pay the costs of transport or seek a transfer to a local school.

                              If public transport is not available then it may be possible to offer
                              parents a mileage allowance based on the actual distances
                              travelled. However, the authority is not prepared to hire transport
                              for such occurrences. Parents should note that this scheme does
                              not provide assistance for holiday or work commitments, nor will
                              help be given if the temporary move is a planned one e.g. the
                              house is to be renovated.

•     House moves             If a pupil moves address during National Curriculum Year 10 and
      during school           has already completed more than one school term (based on the
      years 10 &11            six term year) of studies when the move takes place, they will
                              qualify for some transport assistance. If the school attended was
                              designated from the previous address and is now more than 3
                              miles from the new address, the child will qualify for free transport
                              subject to suitable public transport being available. If public
                              transport is not available then parents will be offered a mileage
                              allowance for two daily return journeys based on the distance
                              travelled. However, the authority is not prepared to hire transport
                              in such situations.
• Children attending
                              If parents opt to send their child to an alternative maintained
  alternative schools
                              school to the designated school the authority may be able to
                              assist in part towards the daily travel costs.

                              To qualify, both the designated school and the alternative school
                              attended need to exceed the statutory walking distance. Where
                              this occurs, a contribution towards parents' costs will be made at
                              present on the basis of paying the equivalent daily mileage to the

                                                                                                 6
                                     Sc h oo l T ra ns po r t P ol i c y
    Admissions and Transport Team
    Children’s Services Department
    East Sussex County Council
    Lewes BN7 1SG
    01273 481000
    admissions@eastsussex.gov.uk
    www.eastsussex.gov.uk


                              designated school for one return journey at the current rate of
                              10.88p a mile (or the actual mileage to the alternative school, if it
                              is nearer) by the shortest route. This applies to children attending
                              East Sussex schools only.

                              Normally payment will be made on a family basis because in
                              many cases parents will take children to the alternative school by
                              car and their costs will be the same whether they are taking one
                              child or more. However, where it can be shown that two or more
                              children from the same family are using public bus or rail services,
                              consideration will be given to making a payment for each child.

                              Where public transport is used, the amount paid to the parent will
                              be the lower of the mileage rate payable or the fares incurred on
                              the public service network.

                              In some cases, children are allowed to travel free of charge on
                              hired vehicles for all or part of their journeys to school. In these
                              cases, no additional financial assistance will be given to parents
                              for the journey on the hired vehicle. It may be necessary to
                              withdraw the travel permit in which case parents will be able to
                              claim assistance towards the cost of alternative arrangements.

                              Parents/carers will need to complete an application form where
                              they can indicate what type of assistance they are applying for i.e.
                              own arrangements - by car or bus, place on hired coach etc. Full
                              details of this scheme is available in a separate leaflet.

                              Circumstances when transport is not given
•     Provision other         Where there is an entitlement to transport, the County Council     will
      than at the start       provide assistance to get children to and from school at           the
      and end of the          beginning and end of the school day. At other times it is          the
      school day              responsibility of parents/carers to arrange and/or pay,             for
                              example, for the following reasons:-
                                 • Breakfast or after school clubs/extra curricular activities
                                 • Medical appointments
                                 • Parents evenings or ‘taster’ days
                                 • Work experience
•  Independent or
                              Assistance is not given to children attending schools in the private
   private schools
                              sector unless the placement has been made by the SEN team
(including nurseries)
                              and transport provision has been recommended.
•     Attendance at
                              Assistance is not given to children attending schools outside of
      schools outside
                              East Sussex unless it is the closest school to the home address or
      of East Sussex
                              it is a designated denominational school (see page 5)

                                                                                                   7
                                     Sc h oo l T ra ns po r t P ol i c y
    Admissions and Transport Team
    Children’s Services Department
    East Sussex County Council
    Lewes BN7 1SG
    01273 481000
    admissions@eastsussex.gov.uk
    www.eastsussex.gov.uk



•     Dual addresses          The CSA normally only accepts responsibility for the transport of
                              children between their normal residence and school. Where
                              children have more than one address a determination needs to be
                              made as to which address the child/ren in question habitually
                              reside. This would generally be where most school nights are
                              spent but may include factors such as where the child is
                              registered with a doctor or where the child allowance is paid.

•     Under distance          No assistance with travel costs will be given where the distance
                              between home and either the designated school or the school
                              attended is less than three miles (two miles for children under the
                              age of 8) unless the route has been classified as unsafe or the
                              child/parent has a medical condition–see relevant sections above.

•     Parental                Similarly no assistance will be given where the school attended by
      preference              parental preference meets the distance criteria but the designated
                              school is within the statutory limits of 3 or 2 miles. Thus when
                              applying for places at more distant schools, parents/carers will
                              need to consider how they will ensure the child’s regular
                              attendance and punctuality.

                              Transport for pupils with special educational
                              needs
                              Children are entitled to assistance with transport where the normal
•     Who is eligible?
                              rules of age, distance, designated school and medical condition of
                              the child apply. However, transport is not automatically given just
                              because a child has a statement of special educational needs.

                              Some children with special educational needs, especially those
                              attending special schools, will require extra help and the authority
                              will consider the additional needs of each individual child. This
                              includes; a)The physical ability of the child to walk the prescribed
                              distance and b) the capability of the child to walk (bearing in mind
                              it is assumed that the child will be accompanied by a responsible
                              adult)

                              Transport is not provided because of working commitments.

                              It should be noted that the authority is obliged to consider
                              transport to the nearest suitable school. If by parental preference
                              a more distant school is named in the child’s statement but in the
                              authority’s view the child’s needs could be suitably met at a nearer
                              school, any transport shall remain the responsibility of the parent.

                              A separate document detailing the full transport policy for pupils
                              with special educational needs is available on request.

                                                                                                8
                                     Sc h oo l T ra ns po r t P ol i c y
    Admissions and Transport Team
    Children’s Services Department
    East Sussex County Council
    Lewes BN7 1SG
    01273 481000
    admissions@eastsussex.gov.uk
    www.eastsussex.gov.uk


                              Code of good practice
•     General                 The County Council produces a leaflet ‘Safe travel to school – A
      information             guide for parents and pupils’ which explains expectations in
                              respect of children being provided with home to school transport
                              and useful guidance to follow before, during and after each
                              journey.

                              Similarly, a contract between the County Council and the operator
                              outlines standards of performance. Copies of these documents
                              are available on request.

                              Sale of seats on hired vehicles
•     Vacant seats
      scheme                  Requests are sometimes received from parents who wish their
                              children to use a hired vehicle although they do not qualify for free
                              school transport either because a) they live less than 3(2) miles
                              from the school attended, or (b) live more than 3(2) miles from the
                              school, but are less than that distance from the designated school.
                              If spare places exist, the parent may purchase a travel permit.

                              Payment must be made in advance and the cost from September
                              2006 is £86.72 per term*. A second or subsequent child from the
                              same family is charged £65.04 per term* (*based on the six term
                              year). These charges may be subject to an annual increase and is
                              based on the average cost of a seat on a hired vehicle. Details of
                              the Vacant Seats scheme are available from the Passenger
                              Transport team on 01273 481860.
•     Free travel
                              Requests may also be received from parents for children to use
      instead of a
                              hired vehicles where the pupil qualifies for a mileage allowance.
      mileage
                              (see Children attending alternative schools on page 6 above).
      allowance
                              If places are available, they are offered on a ‘free’ basis although
                              the seat cannot be guaranteed as it may be required for a
                              statutory traveller at a later date.

•     Seat allocations        Where there is more demand for places than places available the
                              following list of priorities will be used to determine who can travel.

                                     1. Those where the Director of Children’s Services has
                                        agreed to help with transport for special reasons.

                                     2. Pupils attending the designated school but do not qualify
                                        for free school transport (i.e. Those who pay for a seat).

                                     3. Pupils who qualify for help in the form of a mileage
                                        allowance (i.e. ‘free’ seat instead of the allowance).

                                     4. Pupils who live outside of East Sussex plus any others not
                                        falling into the categories above.

                                                                                                  9
                                      Sc h oo l T ra ns po r t P ol i c y
    Admissions and Transport Team
    Children’s Services Department
    East Sussex County Council
    Lewes BN7 1SG
    01273 481000
    admissions@eastsussex.gov.uk
    www.eastsussex.gov.uk


                              Within categories (2), (3) and (4) places are allocated with those
                              living furthest from the school being given the highest priority.

                              Places cannot be guaranteed and it must not be assumed that this
                              scheme will always be available. For instance, if a statutory
                              traveller needs a place on a hired vehicle, non-statutory
                              travellers will have to be removed. If this is the case, it will be for
                              parents/carers to decide how to get their children to school in the
                              future.

                              Parents also need to recognise when deciding on which school
                              they would like their child to attend that they are responsible for
                              getting their child between home and school. There can be no
                              assurance that a seat will be available on a hired vehicle unless it
                              the child attends the designated school.

                              Post 16 transport
•     Commitment              The providers of post 16 education in East Sussex believe in the
                              principle that no student aged 16 to 19 should be deprived of the
                              opportunity to benefit from post 16 education because of the lack
                              of transport or the finance to enable them to use transport. The
                              providers have therefore developed policies which ensure there is
                              adequate provision and that the students in greatest need are
                              given resources to enable them to travel between home and
                              college.

                              A transport statement is produced annually and is available on
                              request.

                              Appeals and complaints procedure
•     Transport and           Where applications for assistance with transport are refused
      Student Support         parents may wish to consider making an application to the
      Panel                   Transport and Student Support Panel in the light of the personal
                              and financial circumstances. The Panel comprises a small group
                              of elected County Councillors who consider applications for
                              assistance with transport that fall outside of the normal policy. The
                              Panel exercises the discretion available to them very carefully,
                              and it is only in the most exceptional circumstances that
                              assistance is agreed. The Panel’s decision is final and there is no
                              right of appeal.

                              Parents will need to complete an application form and supply any
                              supporting evidence at the same time, the onus being on
                              parents/carers to collate all relevant information.


                                                                                                  10
                                     Sc h oo l T ra ns po r t P ol i c y
    Admissions and Transport Team
    Children’s Services Department
    East Sussex County Council
    Lewes BN7 1SG
    01273 481000
    admissions@eastsussex.gov.uk
    www.eastsussex.gov.uk


•     How to complain         The County Council is here to serve the people of East Sussex.
                              Good quality services are provided as efficiently as possible and it
                              is expected that staff are helpful, courteous and explain things
                              clearly whether on the telephone, in writing or face to face.

                              Sometimes things do go wrong and parents/carers may not be
                              happy with the service received.

                              The County Council welcomes comments, good and bad, as an
                              opportunity to put things right and improve our services.
                              Complaints will be looked into fully and fairly. If it is found that
                              something is wrong it will be put right. Parents should inform the
                              County Council if it is felt that the council has:

                                     •     failed to do something
                                     •     done something wrong
                                     •     acted unfairly or discourteously

                              Contact the Departmental Complaints Officer who will be able to
                              give advice – the details are shown below.

                              Written complaints can be sent via email or addressed to the
                              department concerned marked for the attention of the
                              Departmental Complaints Officer at c/o County Hall, St Anne’s
                              Crescent, Lewes, East Sussex, BN7 1SW.

•     Contact details         Departmental Complaints Officers:

                              for issues related to eligibility:
                              Children’s Services Department
                              01273 482511
                              childrenservices@eastsussex.gov.uk

                              for issues related to procurement or daily operation:
                              Transport & Environment Department
                              01273 482317
                              tecomplaints@eastsussex.gov.uk

                              Parents can also contact their local County Councillor – details
                              can be found in the leaflet ‘A guide to your Council and
                              Councillors’ available in Council offices and libraries, or on our
                              website.




                                                                                               11
                                         Sc h oo l T ra ns po r t P ol i c y

				
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