Home to School Travel Assistance Policy for Children (0-16)

Closed 1 May 2023

Opened 9 Mar 2023

Feedback updated 13 Oct 2023

We asked

In March 2023 the council Special Educational Needs service launched a consultation to ask residents to give their feedback on the proposed update of the existing home to school travel assistance policy for children aged between 0-16. The proposed updates were made in an effort to remove jargon, to make the policy more accessible and easier to understand.

We asked residents to tell us if they felt the policy was easy to understand and comprehensive, we asked if they had any concerns about the proposed changes or if they felt there was anything missing from the policy that should be included.

You said

The majority of responses received from residents agreed that the policy was easy to read and understand and comprehensive.

We did

As a result of the consultation the council published the updated home to school travel assistance policy for children aged 0-16 online on the Council webpage and local offer on May 31st 2023, in line with our statutory duties.


Kensington and Chelsea and Westminster councils have a joint system for Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) Service. The councils have a statutory duty to publish their Children's Home to School Travel Assistance Policies and post 16 travel assistance policy statements on councils' websites and local offer by 31st May 2023 each year. 

The councils have worked with their special educational needs and travel care and support teams to refresh their current transport policy to ensure that it is easier to understand and is comprehensive. The councils are keen to ensure parents/carers have access to the information they need to make informed decisions about attendance in education settings. 

The councils have identified three key areas where the current home to school travel policy could be improved. The key areas fall into the following categories:


  • The councils recognise that the current transport policy contains jargon and could explain the application process more clearly. The refreshed policy aims to make it easier for parents and carers to follow and understand how it applies to them.
  • The refreshed policy includes a frequently asked questions section that summarises the most common questions asked by parents regarding eligibility and the provision of travel assistance.
  • The councils recognise that some parents would prefer to be able to apply for transport online. A new online application system has been developed for this purpose, and a link to apply using the new system has been included in the refreshed policy.
  • The councils have a statutory duty to promote sustainable travel options and to encourage the independence of disabled and vulnerable young people. The updated policy includes details of the council'scouncil's Independent Travel Training (ITT) programme, which teaches young people how to travel to their educational placement safely using public transport. 
  • The refreshed transport policy has been updated in line with putting the needs of residents first and to ensure that the policy focuses on improving the lives of vulnerable children and young people. 
  • The councils have two dedicated travel teams, each having different roles and responsibilities, which the councils recognise could make it confusing for parents to know who to contact. The refreshed policy includes contact details for each team and explains which team to contact for eligibility/applications and day-to-day transport operations. Making it easier for parents to contact the councils.


  • There is no statutory duty to provide transport for children under the statutory school age (0-4) however, a report published by the Local Government Ombudsman (LGO) in 2017 titled 'all aboard, navigating school transport issues' highlights a case study in which a council refuses to provide transport for a disabled 4-year-old boy to attend a special school as he is under the statutory school age. The LGO found that the council was at fault for not publishing a travel assistance policy or any guidance for children under the compulsory school age. The refreshed policy includes a statement on eligibility for children under the statutory school age to ensure that it is clear in which circumstances transport would be provided for children under the statutory school age.


  • The councils recognise that the transport policy should clearly set out the policy for operational issues and define the councils' expectations from parents. Operational issues include pick up points, administering medication, poor behaviour/ suspension on transport, lateness, parents not being home to receive their children, transport to residential schools, transport for short breaks/respite, time spent on bus journeys, after school clubs, food and drink on transport, medical appointments, transport between schools, requests for alternate drop offs, changes of address and changes of educational placement. The updated policy details all the above points, ensuring that parents are clear on what to expect from the transport service.
  • The refreshed transport policy clearly defines the councils' expectations from parents of service users, particularly in relation to reporting absences from transport, by giving a minimum of 48 hours notice for any transport cancellations so that transport cancellation fees can be avoided, in circumstances where transport is not needed and could be cancelled with notice.

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Why your views matter

The Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) Team is keen to hear your feedback on the refreshed transport policy to ensure that it is easier to understand and is comprehensive. 

We are under a legal obligation to consult with service users when we make any changes to our policy. This survey will enable the council to understand your views on the School Travel Policy and in particular any changes. If you have any queries, or require assistance in other languages, please contact the SEND Service by email at travelassistance@rbkc.gov.uk or by phone at 020 7361 3311.


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