School transport and Coronavirus

While schools remain open to pupils, the council will try to continue to provide home to school travel arrangements as usual. This will be dependent on the availability of passenger assistants and drivers.

If your child's transport route cannot run due to staff absence you will be contacted and offered another travel option such as a mileage reimbursement to transport your own child to school.

If your child, or any member of your family is ill or showing symptoms of Coronavirus, please do not send your child to school and contact the school transport team to cancel transport. Passenger assistants and drivers may refuse to transport your child if they feel they are not well enough to travel.


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Apply for a school bus pass

Fill in our simple online form.

Clock Completing this form takes around 10 minutes

Paperclip To complete this form you will need:-

  • The National Insurance number of the applicant.
  • A digital photo of the child, for new applications only. (See rules for digital photos below)
Apply online

After you've applied

The bus pass will be sent to your permanent home address.

If the application is being made for the school year commencing in September you should expect your child's pass in late August.

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Rules for digital photos

For new applications, you need a digital photo to apply for a school bus pass online. For renewals, the existing photo will be used.

The quality of your digital photo

Your photo must be:

  • clear and in focus
  • in colour
  • unaltered by computer software
  • at least 600 pixels wide and 750 pixels tall
  • at least 50KB and no more than 10MB

What your digital photo must show

The digital photo must:

  • contain no other objects or people
  • be taken against a plan light-coloured background
  • be in clear contrast to the background

We will accept digital passport style photos taken with a mobile phone, include your head, shoulders and upper body. Do not crop your photo - it will be done for you.

Lost or damaged school bus passes

If you have lost or damaged your school bus pass please contact METRO below. There will be a charge of £7.00.

  • Phone 0113 348 1122

Eligibility

General

For pupils to be eligible for transport assistance they will normally have to:

  • Travel more than 2 miles (from Reception up to and including Year 3), or 3 miles (from Year 4 up to and including Year 11);
  • Attend the nearest qualifying and available school to the child's permanent home address;
  • This route will be measured along the nearest available walking route.
  • Where the Authority is not able to admit a child to the nearest qualifying and available school, assistance will be provided to the next nearest qualifying and available school if:
    • the school is more than 2 miles away for Reception up to and including Year 3
    • the school is more than 3 miles away for Year 4 up to and including Year 11).
  • The measurement of the statutory walking distance is not necessarily the shortest distance by road. It is measured by the shortest route along which a child, accompanied as necessary, may walk with reasonable safety. As such, the route measured may include footpaths, bridleways, and other pathways.
  • The 6 and 15 mile upper limits are not walking routes and will be measured along roads
Families on lower income

Children from low income families, those entitled to free school meals, or whose parents are in receipt of the maximum level of Working Tax Credit, will be eligible for home to school transport assistance if they meet the following criteria:

  • Primary aged children (up to age 11) are entitled to free travel arrangements to their nearest qualifying school where the distance to that school is over 2 miles from their home
  • Children aged 11 to 16 are entitled to free travel arrangements made to one of their three nearest qualifying schools (or places other than a school at which they might receive education under section 19(1) of the 1996 Act), where they live more than 2 miles, but less than 6 miles from that school. The 6 mile upper limit will be measured along roads, they are not walking routes.
  • Children aged 11 to 16 where parents/carers express a preference for a school based on religion or belief, where they live more than 2 miles but not more than 15 miles from that school to the nearest suitable school. The 15 mile upper limit will be measured along roads, they are not walking routes.
  • Once eligibility has been confirmed on income grounds, the pupil would be eligible for the entirety of the school year for which the assessment has been made
Special Educational Needs (SEND)

Eligibility

Distance

  • Children from reception up to and including Year 3 (age 5-7), with a distance of over 2 miles to travel.
  • Children who are in school years 4-11 (age 8-16), who have a distance of over 3 miles to travel.

Special Educational Needs and disabilities (SEND)

Children with an Educational Health Care Plan (EHCP) will receive transport regardless of distance if they meet these criteria:

  • The child is attending the nearest appropriate school which is named in the EHCP.
  • The child has a physical or mental condition that prevents them from walking when accompanied by an appropriate adult.

Please note: Where a child is not attending the nearest appropriate school due to parental choice, transport WILL NOT be provided.

Timetable and transitions

Where travel assistance has been determined as transport, this is provided at the start and end of the school day. If your child is on an amended timetable due to their needs this can be discussed with the team to see what support is available.

Transport is not provided to support with transitional periods this is the responsibility of school and parents. However if the pupil is starting or finishing at the normal school times they may be able to access transport one way. Mileage can be paid to the parent or carer for the other journey.

Specialist seating

Wheelchairs: We need to know the make and model of the chair as we provide the clamps for the vehicle. The wheelchair must have been crash tested and must be in full working order to be used on transport.

Moulded Car Seats: These must be provided by parents and support given to take them on and off the vehicle each day.

Booster Seats:Children must use a booster until they are 12 years old or 135cm tall. This must be provided by the family. Please note, our minibuses are not fitted with iso-fix points.

Pick up and Drop off

Location

We generally only pick up and drop off from one set location (ideally the home). We appreciate that in some cases this can prove challenging, depending upon timings for other siblings and work commitments.

To support the family it is possible to arrange pick up and drop off from a nearby point, as long as this is safe and you can commit to being there every day. This could be your place of work, a siblings school or a local relative's house. This must be the same place each day.

This is not guaranteed but is something that can be discussed at the assessment if it would suit your family better.

Supervision

We appreciate that some children are building independence and may not need accompanying by yourselves to the bus. Please document this in your application about what arrangements you would like. For example, child to get themselves on and off the bus with parent or carer watching from the door, child to be escorted by parent or carer to and from the bus or child has a key and will let themselves in and out of the house.

Passenger Assistants

Passenger Assistants are not guaranteed for every route. In some situations it may be felt that a student can travel in a vehicle without assistance and can be collected from the vehicle by a member of school staff.

All drivers and school transport staff on our contracts have:

  • undergone checks by the Passenger Travel Team
  • have fully enhanced DBS checks
  • have completed safeguarding training.

Behavioural Needs

We appreciate children may present challenging behaviours either on transport or outside. These are not necessarily reasons for a child not to be accepted on transport. We do however need to take into consideration any such behaviours, to ensure we provide the correct level of assistance, in order to keep your child and others safe.

Please give as much information as you can regarding behaviours and any triggers or de-escalation methods to ensure we are tailoring our support to your child's individual needs. For example: will travel with headphones as music keeps them calm or if they begin to get agitated give them space or talk to them to keep them calm.

Medical Conditions

In order to arrange an appropriate travel solution we need as much information as possible about your child's medical conditions. This can include allergies, epilepsy, gastro feeding, learning disabilities etc.

Please try to include a bit about how these conditions may present themselves on transport and what support or intervention may be required whilst on the journey to and from school.

Our passenger assistants are not medically trained. They are competent in administering emergency medications which covers inhalers, epi pens and Buccal Midazolam. In some cases where more complex medical intervention is needed our passenger assistants may not be suitable accompaniment.

It would be helpful for us if you could include any care plans regarding your child's medical conditions so we can assess what assistance we need to provide.

Sensory Needs

We appreciate that sensory needs can play a big part in how settled a child is and that these needs vary massively between children.

We try to support these needs wherever we can to keep your child happy on the journey.

Please let us know of any sensory needs, for example: doesn't like loud noises or doesn't like to be touched. Please also include information about how your child may react if these instances keep happening and how to support them. For example, my child does not like loud noises so will travel with ear defenders. If they are exposed to loud noises, being touched or spoken to will escalate this further so leave them to calm down.

Types of Assistance

As part of the assessment process we look to provide travel assistance that is suitable for you and your family. This may not always be in the form of a mini bus or taxi.

Other forms of assistance can include:

  • a mileage payment to enable you to transport your own child to school
  • support with breakfast and tea time clubs for siblings to enable you to have the 'school gate experience' for all your children
  • independent travel training to gain vital life skills
  • a bespoke personal budget for children with a higher level of needs to enable you to arrange the necessary travel support yourself
  • Other creative solutions where we can work with families to provide the best support for your child to ensure safe travel to and from school

Where appropriate your child could be trained by one of our qualified trainers to gain the vital life skill of travelling independently. This can open up a vast amount of opportunities for your child as they get older.

How to apply for Travel assistance for Children aged 5-16 with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND)

Applications for travel assistance for SEND children starting school in September 2022 need to be submitted before 30 April 2022. For those applications received after this date, travel assistance cannot be guaranteed to be in place for the beginning of September 2022.

Fill in our simple online form.

Clock Completing this form takes around 10 minutes

Paperclip To complete this form you will need;

Read the eligibility criteria above.

Specialist seating

Wheelchairs: We need to know the make and model of the chair as we provide the clamps for the vehicle. The wheelchair must have been crash tested and must be in full working order to be used on transport.

Moulded Car Seats: These must be provided by parents and support given to take them on and off the vehicle each day.

Booster Seats:Children must use a booster until they are 12 years old or 135cm tall. This must be provided by the family. Please note, our minibuses are not fitted with iso-fix points.

Include any extra supporting evidence such as care plans, doctors letters.

Apply online

After you've applied

Once your application form has been received the application will be assessed by the Travel Assessment Team, who will decide whether your child fits the eligibility criteria for travel assistance.

  • If your child is deemed not eligible you will receive a letter explaining the reasons why.
  • If your child is deemed as eligible your application will be passed to our Travel Assessment Officer who will then make contact with you to discuss the application, gain any more information and come up with a suitable travel solution.
  • If your child is going to receive transport via a minibus or taxi, our colleagues in the Passenger Transport Team will arrange this route and contact you with the details.
  • If your child is going to receive a different form of travel assistance this will be set up within the Travel Assessment Team.

Appeals

You can appeal against any decision not to award a Free School Bus Pass by contacting us to state why you disagree and/or why your circumstances could be regarded as exceptional.

The decision will then be reviewed by a Senior Officer as part of a stage 2 appeal process.

If the original decision is upheld, the authority will issue appeal papers to you for the second part of the appeal process which will go before a panel consisting of three Elected Members of Kirklees Local Authority to hear your appeal.

Policies

Home to school transport

Post 16 transport

My Bus scheme

Metro's revolutionary yellow bus scheme, providing dedicated school transport.

Bike scheme

If you are interested in receiving a bike instead of a bus pass:

How to apply to be a school transport driver

Fill in our simple online form.

Clock Completing this form takes around 10 minutes

Paperclip To complete this form you will need:

  • DVLA driving licence details
  • A digital copy of Current TT badge
  • A digital copy of DVLA driving licence photocard or old style paper card
  • A digital copy of private hire/hackney carriage badge and/or Driver Qualification Card (DQC)
  • A digital copy of a current utility bill or bank statement (dated within the last 3 months)
  • A digital copy of Pass certificates for safeguarding e-learning training courses x2
  • A digital copy of recent passport sized photograph which meets the following standards (a photo of a passport will not be accepted)
  • A digital copy of DBS certificate (issued in the last 3 months for a new application and issued in the last 3 years for a renewal)

All Transport Team approved drivers must sign up to the DBS update service. Drivers must sign up to the service within 30 days of the 'date of issue' displayed on the certificate.

Please note, only complete applications will be assessed. Applications that are missing documentation will be rejected and not assessed.

Apply to be a school transport driver

After you've applied

We will let you know the outcome of your application 1 week after applying. You will be contacted through email if one has been provided, if not, then we will contact you through the provided home and/or mobile number.

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Contact us

School bus passes

For information about school bus passes.

SENDACT (SEND Assessment & Commissioning Team)

For information on eligibility and applying for transport assistance, including Post 16 students, if your child has special educational needs and/or a disability.

Passenger Travel Team

For new travel applications and solutions contact:

For independent travel training enquiries contact:

For pre-16 home to school transport queries contact:

For post-16 home to school transport queries contact:

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