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School transport

In this section

  1. School transport
  2. Appeals against decisions on applications

We provide home to school travel assistance for children of compulsory school age (aged 5-16) who live in the Stoke-on-Trent Local Authority area and who meet one of the criteria listed below. For more information, please read the Local Authority’s Education Travel Assistance Policy, which can be downloaded below:

Education Travel Assistance Policy

Home to school travel assistance - eligibility criteria

Travel assistance will be provided free of charge for children who live in the area administered by Stoke-on-Trent City Council, attend their nearest suitable school and who meet one of the criteria listed below:

  1. A child who could not reasonably be expected to walk to their school because of their special educational needs, disability or mobility problem (SEND), even if they were accompanied by their parent.
  2. A child who is under the age of 8 and attending their nearest suitable school at more than 2 miles from their home.
  3. A child who is aged 8 years or over and attending their nearest suitable school at more than 3 miles from their home.
  4. A child who lives within walking distance of their nearest suitable school, but, due to the nature of the route cannot reasonably be expected to walk to school in reasonable safety.

Please note:

  • Children referred to in this section will be of compulsory school age, which is reached the term after the fifth birthday and ends on the last Friday in June in the academic year they reach the age of 16.
  • Distance will be calculated by the Local Authority using the shortest available walking route.
  • Any concerns about the nature of the route i.e. its suitability for walking to school (criterion 4 above), will need to be confirmed in writing and submitted along with an application form for consideration by the Local Authority.   

Extended rights

As well as the three criteria listed above, children whose parents are receiving the maximum Working Tax Credit or are eligible for, or claiming free school meals (based upon income), will be eligible to receive travel assistance if they meet the criteria shown below. For these extended rights to free travel to be agreed, proof of entitlement is required at the time of application and annually thereafter for travel assistance to continue:

  1. For children aged 8-11, distance to the nearest suitable school will be reduced to 2 miles and over.
  2. For children aged 11-16, the nearest suitable school is between 2-6 miles and there are not three or more nearer suitable schools.
  3. For children aged 11-16 attending the nearest school on the grounds of religion or belief, the distance is extended to between 2-15 miles.

To avoid disappointment, you are strongly advised to check if your child is eligible to receive travel assistance by reading the council's Home to School Travel Assistance Policy before completing an application form.  

To request an application form,  or if you have any queries regarding the information above, please email

Children with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND)

For children and young people with SEND (including post-16), please read the additional information about travel assistance published on our SEND Local Offer web pages by following the link below. Here you will find information about the eligibility criteria, a link to our policy and an online form to apply for travel assistance.

Travel Assistance

On Friday 3 November, the Department for Education published a blog post on free school travel, aimed at parents, which you can read here by simply clicking the link to the Government’s website below:

Free school transport explained