Home to School Transport

Parents and carers have a legal duty and a responsibility to ensure that their children attend school regularly and to make any necessary arrangements to ensure that they attend. In certain circumstances the Council has a duty to provide free home to school transport.
Applications for transport starting September must be submitted by the end of June.  Applications received after this date will not be ready in time when schools open and you will have to ensure arrangements are in place for your child to attend school.
Please note if your child attends a school that has multiple sites you will not automatically receive transport to this new site when your child transfers.  You must reapply for transport when your child moves site and until a reapplication has been made and approved it will be your responsibility to transport your child to school.
Based on the criteria below, if you believe you are eligible for school transport, please complete a School Transport Application Form.  If you haven’t already you will need to sign up to our Citizen Portal before being able to complete an application.  We will aim to process your application and if eligible arrange transport within 15 school working days. Please note that if there is no current transport provision available or if you are in temporary accommodation it will likely exceed this.  If transport is agreed for your child please be advised that throughout your child’s eligibility the provider of the transport may change which may also mean that pick up/drop off times may vary if you are on a contracted provision route.

Parents/guardians are advised to read the Home to School Transport leaflet before applying for transport assistance.

There are two grounds on which children qualify for home to school transport.

Criteria 1 - Distance grounds

To be eligible for free home to school transport on distance grounds, you must live over the statutory distance from your child’s nearest qualifying school.  The statutory distances are:

Age Statutory distance from home 
Children who are between 4 and 7 years Two miles or more miles from the nearest qualifying school, measured by the shortest available safe walking route, provided they attend school all day
Children who are between 8 and 16 years (or for children up to and including Year 11) Three miles or more to their nearest qualifying school, measured by the shortest available safe walking route

If a child lives within the statutory walking distance to their nearest qualifying school, but the route is not safe (even when accompanied), the council will make free transport available.


Criteria 2 - Distance and low income grounds

To qualify for free school transport on distance and low income grounds, you must meet the following criteria:

Age Statutory distance from home
Children who are between 8 and 11 years Receive free school meals or whose parents receive the maximum level of Working Tax Credit; and attend the nearest qualifying school and live more than two miles but less than six miles from that school.
Children who are between 11 and 16 years (school years 7 to 11 inclusive) Receive free school meals or whose parents receive the maximum level of Working Tax Credit; and attend one of their three nearest qualifying schools and live more than two miles but less than six miles from that school

Adult Bus Pass

An Adult Bus Pass may be provided for an adult to accompany a child under 8 years old.  


For those children whose entitlement to free home to school transport has been confirmed by the Council, there is an option for parents or carers to use their own vehicle to provide home to school transport, IF the Council decides that it is a cost effective choice in respect of transport for your child.  The mileage payment made by the Council for parents or carers that provide school transport is 45p per mile, based on the shortest distance between home to school and on confirmation from your child’s school of their attendance.  It is also possible to request that another adult - nominated by you – be allowed to provide the transport for your child, but only with your signed agreement.    

Privilege Fare Scheme

It may be possible for parents or carers to pay for travel on a home to school contract bus as a fare payer, but only if there are spare seats available once entitled children have been allocated seats.  This is known as the Privilege Fares Scheme.  To apply, please use our Privilege Fare Application Form (DOC, 132KB).

Post 16 Students

Milton Keynes Council does not provide universal Free Home to School Travel (HTST) for post 16 students who live in Milton Keynes and attend sixth from, sixth form colleges and colleges of further education. There are however some circumstances where support with travel will be provided. Please see our post 16 policy for more information. 

Exceptions and Appeals

It is possible to apply for free school transport on exceptional grounds.  These cases are considered on an individual basis, by a council panel.  The panel’s terms of reference are available here - TEA Terms of Reference (PDF, 263KB)

Children living in temporary accommodation

For families placed in temporary accommodation Home to School Transport is only applicable where full duty to re-house is confirmed and it is established that the housing placement is anticipated to be for less than one school term.  Families who are anticipated to be placed in temporary accommodation for more than one school term should make an application for a more local school place. 

Please be aware that the Education Access team is unable to progress an application for Home to School Transport until this information has been verified by the Housing team.  If you wish to check the status of your housing application ahead of making a Home to School Transport application please email homeless.enquiries@milton-keynes.gov.uk  or call 01908 253481

Family Led Travel Budget

Family Led Travel Budget (FLTB) is a payment provided to parents or carers to facilitate any arrangements for home to school travel in order to ensure attendance and access to education.  It allows families to make flexible arrangements and monitor the quality of transport directly.

In order to access a FLTB there are a number of eligibility criteria that must be met:

  • child must have an Education Health and Care Plan (EHCP)
  • child must qualify for home to school travel under the Home to School Travel eligibility criteria

A FLTB may be allocated as a result of a Transport Exceptions and Appeals (TEA) application.  To find out more, please view the Family Led Travel Budget guidance (PDF, 208KB)


Independent Travel Training

Independent Travel Training (ITT) is a transport scheme designed to equip young people who are entitled to home to school transport with the confidence and life skills required to travel independently, whether that be by foot, bike or public transport.

ITT is facilitated by Independent Travel Trainers who will work closely with school staff, parents, carers and the children.  One of our trainers will accompany the applicant throughout their whole journey to school or college, empowering them to manage every aspect of their journey independently from personal safety and finding their way through to paying for fares.

The training will help build the young person’s confidence in other aspects of their life too such as:

  • future job opportunities
  • accessing new hobbies
  • Improving social skills.
  • Increases confidence and helps them to feel safer in their community

To find out more, if you are a young person please view our Independent Travel Leaflet for Young People (PDF, 3.2MB). If you are a parent or carer please view the Independent Travel Leaflet for Parents (PDF, 3.2MB).


If you have any queries about transport arrangements and eligibility please contact us.


Last Updated: 20 September 2018