Applications for transport starting September 2023 must be submitted by 21 April 2023.  Applications received after this date will not be processed in time for when schools open and you will have to ensure arrangements are in place for your child to attend school until the application can be processed.

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.

Who is eligible for free school transport?

The maximum travelling time to or from schools that is considered reasonable by the council is 45 minutes for children of primary school age and 75 minutes by young people attending secondary school.

There are two grounds on which children would usually qualify for home to school transport.  Please read our home to school transport policy for full details.  

Criteria 1 - distance 

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, which are measured by the shortest available safe walking route, are:

  • for children aged between 4 and 7 years old - two or more miles from the nearest qualifying school, provided the child attends school all day
  • for children aged between 8 and 16 years old (or up to and including Y11) - three or more miles from the nearest qualifying school

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 provide free transport.

Criteria 2 - distance and low income 

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

Children aged between 8 and 11 years old must:

  • receive free school meals or have parents who receive the maximum level of Working Tax Credit
  • attend the nearest qualifying school
  • live between two and six miles from that school

Children aged between 11 and 16 years old (Y7 to Y11) must:

  • receive free school meals or have parents who receive the maximum level of working Tax Credit
  • attend one of their three nearest qualifying schools
  • live between two and six miles from that school

Special educational needs, disability or mobility difficulties

If a child’s special educational needs, disability or mobility problems mean that they could not be reasonably expected to walk to school then the council will assess each child on an individual basis to identify the most appropriate transport option.

Adult Bus Pass

 An adult bus pass may be provided for an adult to accompany a child under 8 years old.  

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  or call 01908 253481.

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 form, 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.

Code of conduct

We expect all children and young people and their parents or carers to adhere to the relevant code of conduct to ensure that everyone has a pleasant and safe experience: 

How to apply

If you believe you are eligible for school transport, please complete a school transport application form. If eligible, you will be awarded a bus pass which is for use on public transport. 

If you feel a bus pass is not suitable due to individual needs, please complete a travel exceptions and appeals application to be considered for a different method of transport support.

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.

Moving house

Please contact us to advise us of your new address, we will then have to re-check eligibility and a new application may have to be made.

Exceptions and appeals

Travel Exceptions and Appeals

You can apply for free school transport on exceptional grounds.  These cases are considered on an individual basis by a council panel and you will need to complete an application form for Travel Exceptions and Appeals and return it to us by email. Applications are usually processed within 15 working days.

If your appeal is unsuccessful, to make another appeal for the same child and the same school you must prove your circumstances have changed significantly.  The panel’s decision is final.

Read the panel's terms of reference

The Travel Exceptions and Appeals Panel will consider a number of options for transport including:

  • a child and adult bus pass
  • shared transport
  • a family led travel budget
  • mileage
  • independent travel training


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.  The mileage payment 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. Mileage is only offered for a maximum of two journeys (one journey to school and one journey home).

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, your child must:

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.

Independent Travel Training

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

ITT is facilitated by Independent Travel Trainers who will work closely with school staff, parents, carers and children.  One of the trainers will accompany the applicant throughout their whole journey to school or college, empowering them to manage every aspect of their journey independently, including personal safety, finding their way and 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
  • increasing confidence and helping them to feel safer in their community

To find out more, if you are a young person please read our Independent Travel Leaflet for young people. If you are a parent or carer please read the Independent Travel Leaflet for parents.

Alternative school transport options

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, these applications will be processed approximately by the end of August. 

This currently only applies to

  • Ousedale School
  • Stantonbury Campus
  • The Radcliffe School

To apply, please use the privilege fare application form.

All in 1 MK Card

The council funds substantially discounted transport via the All in 1 MK Card. It enables young permanent residents of Milton Keynes or those who attend school/college/training establishments in MK, aged 5 to 19, to travel on local public transport at discounted rates of £1 per journey.

For more information about the All in 1 MK Card please call the Milton Keynes Council Bus Card Section on 01908 252558.

Information for providers

A provider that wishes to provide Home to School Transport Services to Milton Keynes Council will be required to join a Dynamic Purchasing System delivered through our technology partner Adam htt. In order for a provider to do this they will need to register and submit accreditation and enrolment information online via

The Accreditation and Enrolment process involves the following steps:

Step 1 - registration

Step 2 - accreditation and Enrolment

Step 3 - provider creates and submits accreditation & enrolment

Step  4 - Adam htt and MKC reviews accreditation & enrolment

Step 5 - if approved, supplier joins DPS

To find out more, please visit

Home to School Transport

Home to School Transport contact information

Home to School Transport Eligibility:, Civic, 1 Saxon Gate East, Milton Keynes MK9 3EJ