Have your say on the Home to School Transport Policy

Frequently asked questions (FAQ)

The Local Authority's 'Home to School Transport' Policy is currently under review following updated statutory guidance from the Department of Education published in June 2023.

To help you understand the consultation process and how changes to the policy may affect you, there are a series of frequently asked questions (FAQ) below which you may find useful.

Please be aware that any current home to school transport arrangements are unlikely to be affected unless there is a change in circumstances, such as a change of address or a move to a different school.

If you have a query or concern about home to school transport, including travel on public transport which is not related specifically to this consultation, please visit:

Rotherham SEND Local Offer – Here you will find help, advice, and information about the services available for your child or young person from birth to 25 years with a Special Educational Need or Disability (SEND) for children and young people who travel to and from school using public transport services.

How long do I have to engage in the consultation?

The Consultation will go live on Monday 8 January 2024 and will end on Thursday 22 February 2024.

Who is invited to engage in the consultation?

The aim is to capture as many people as possible who may be affected by the proposed changes so consultation responses are being invited from the parents/carers of children and young people who are currently in receipt of home to school transport provision (SEND and Zoom Zero Travel passes) and those families who have children and young people who are likely to require transport assistance in the future.

All educational establishments in the Rotherham borough are invited to participate as well as those outside of the local area that are attended by children and young people who live in our borough.

In addition, we welcome engagement with the parent/carer forums, SYMCA, other Local Authorities, Council employees and Elected Members, who will also be invited to participate in the consultation.

My young person would like to engage in the Consultation. Can they have their say too?

The opinions of young people are valuable to the Council, and we encourage everyone to have their say. The Council would like to request that they support children wherever possible to enable them to provide their feedback to the survey. Please visit:

Consultation: Have your say on the Home to School Transport Policy

Will I be asked to make a contributory payment towards the cost of my child's transport?

The update to the 'Home to School Transport' policy, does not mean that the Local Authority are introducing any new additional charges towards transport provision.

Charges will continue to be applied, only where transport has been allocated for any reason that falls outside of the usual policy criteria, which includes transport for children and young people who are above or below statutory school age.

Notification of any charges will always be confirmed once approval of transport assistance has been granted and, in all cases, low-income criteria will always be considered.

Will I need to make a new application for transport assistance following changes to policy?

If there are no changes to the child's current circumstances, for example a change of school or home address, there will be no need to make a new application for transport.

Where the child is moving into a new ‘key stage’ in their education, for example transitioning from infants to juniors, or juniors to secondary education, a new transport application form should be submitted.

Where the child is moving into further or higher education, for example after year 11, a new application form must be submitted to be assessed under the 'Post 16 element of the home to school transport policy'.

My child attends a school which is outside of Rotherham can I still engage in the consultation?

Yes. The Consultation is open to all Rotherham residents regardless of which school the child is attending.

My child attends a Rotherham school but lives outside of the borough, will these changes affect their entitlement to transport?

You will need to contact your Local Authority to see if they are engaging in any consultation relating to changes to their own ‘Home to School Transport’ policies. These policy changes will only apply to Rotherham residents. To establish which Local Authority you should contact, please visit:

Find your local council - GOV.UK

My young person is/will be in further education during the next academic year and may still need transport assistance. Will the policy changes affect their entitlement to transport?

The new guidance relates to children of compulsory school age so does not currently affect ‘Post 16’ transport provision. However, there will continue to be a requirement for all year 11 learners to re-apply for transport to post 16 provision, as entitlement needs to be assessed under new criteria, which includes the requirement for families to make a subsidised concessionary charge towards transport.

I will be moving address during the consultation period, will I still be able to have my say?

Yes, your responses will still be considered as part of the consultation. You must re-apply for transport assistance in the meantime however, so that eligibility for transport assistance from your new address can be established.

Under the proposed changes, can I request a personal transport budget (PTB) when I apply for transport assistance?

Yes, you can still make a request to be considered for a personal travel budget. However, if there is space on an existing route that is suitable for your child's needs the Local Authority will offer this space to you, instead of the personal travel budget.

If I have a personal travel budget arrangement with the Local Authority, do I need to inform anyone if my child is not going to attend school for any reason?

If you have any planned holidays and any known absences from school, you should advise the Local Authority so that they can make any adjustments to the payment due for the next term. The personal travel budget payments are for home to school journeys only and are not provided to fund any journeys required to travel to other destinations. Payments that have been made in advance, where a child does then not attend school, may be recovered.

My child currently lives at two separate addresses as we have dual custody, can I apply for transport assistance to and from both addresses?

Unfortunately not. The Local Authority only have a statutory duty to provide transport assistance to and from one address which is identified as the child's home address. The home address is defined as the one in receipt of child benefit.

My child is attending a feeder school to a particular secondary school. According to policy, will they be entitled to free transport assistant (Zoom Zero Travel Pass) if I choose this secondary school, and they are offered a place?

Please consider your school choices carefully as eligibility for free transport does not need to consider which primary school the child previously attended. Although it is accepted why a parent may want their child to move to the same secondary school as their peers, eligibility for a Zoom Zero Travel pass is determined based on the child's home address and whether or not they are attending their catchment school, or nearest appropriate school at the time of the assessment.

Please visit the link below to check which secondary school is the catchment for your home address to give you an indication of the likelihood of eligibility for free transport.

Finding and choosing a school

What will happen with my responses to the consultation?

Your responses will be combined with everyone else's to form an anonymous report. This report will be used to understand community views and inform our decision-making. We will publish a summary of the feedback received alongside our decision.

When will the new changes be implemented?

It is the intention that the new 'Home to School Transport' Policy will be published in May 2024 to allow parents/carers to have all the necessary information available, to allow them to fully consider school placements for their children and make informed choices.