Have your say on the Home to School Transport Policy

Rotherham Council are consulting on proposed changes to the Home to School Transport Policy. The consultation will open on Monday 8 January 2024 and will close on Thursday 22 February 2024.

Why we are consulting

In June 2023, the Department for Education (DfE) published updated statutory guidance for Local Authorities, in relation to the ‘Travel to school for children of compulsory school age.’

Local authorities are under a duty to have regard to this guidance when carrying out their duties in relation to:

  • arrangements for travel to school for children of compulsory school age
  • requests concerning travel for young people that are not of compulsory school age
  • the promotion of sustainable travel to school (this duty applies in relation to young people of sixth form age as well as children of compulsory school age)

To ensure compliance with the new guidance, there is a requirement for the Council to review the Home to School Transport Policy.

The proposals being consulted upon

The Council’s 'Home to School Transport' Policy requires amending to ensure compliance for the academic year 2024-2025 in the following areas:

The ‘Home to School Transport’ Policy:

  • includes a clear introduction explaining what the reader can expect to learn from the document
  • clearly explains all four categories of eligible children (statutory walking distances; special educational needs, disabilities, and mobility problems; unsafe walking routes; and extended rights)
  • includes information on how a parent can apply for travel to school
  • clearly explains terms such as ‘home address’ and ‘nearest suitable school
  • explains how, in instances of dual living arrangements such as equal shared custody for separated parents, the local authority determines the child’s home
  • where appropriate, explains that a child’s nearest school for school travel purposes may not be their nearest suitable school for admissions purposes
  • clearly explains how a child’s eligibility will be assessed. This includes how distances will be measured and how route safety is assessed
  • clearly explains that the eligibility of children with special educational needs, a disability or mobility problems will be assessed on an individual basis
  • clearly explains the ways in which travel is provided, for example, passes for public service buses, dedicated school buses, taxis, and independent travel training
  • clearly explains any other arrangements that are in place for children who are not eligible for free home to school travel, such as spare seat schemes, and any charges that may be made for these
  • should refer to any separate policy documents concerning eligibility (for example, special educational needs) so that parents reading one document may easily understand all the categories of eligibility