Free home to school transport | Oxfordshire County Council

Free home to school transport

Information about who's eligible and how to apply for free school bus and coach travel.

Am I eligible for free home to school transport?

The full list of criteria can be found in the Home to School Travel Policy 2017-18 (pdf format, 134Kb). If you have a query about school transport entitlement make sure you've read the policy in full. 

If your address falls within a village assessed by us as a split-village (pdf format, 15Kb) free travel will be provided to both the nearest school and the catchment school.

For some addresses the nearest school is outside of Oxfordshire. In this case free school transport will also be provided to the nearest available Oxfordshire school.

If you travel to the nearest school

We will provide free transport from Oxfordshire homes to the nearest available school where;

  • The shortest designated route is more than the statutory walking distance of 3 miles for children aged 8 and over,
  • The shortest designated route is more than 2 miles where the child is aged under 8,
  • The route has been assessed as unsafe to walk, even if accompanied by a responsible adult.

Finding your nearest school

Contact us to check the nearest schools to your home address using the shortest designated route. Select the Free School Transport option. You will need to provide us with your full home address including postcode.

On low income

Tax credits

Your income may reduce the amount of tax credits you receive. You will be able to see if you are in receipt of the maximum level of working tax credit by looking at the working tax credit element on your tax credit award statement. There should be a zero reduction due to your income, to receive the maximum level of award.

We provide free transport where pupils are entitled to free school meals or their parent is in receipt of the maximum level of working tax credit and if;

  • Aged 8-11 and the nearest suitable school is beyond 2 miles
  • Aged 11-16 and the school is between 2-6 miles (and there are not three or more suitable nearer schools)
  • Aged 11-16 and the school is between 2-15 miles and is the nearest school preferred on the grounds of religion or belief.

Walking distances and shortest designated route

The shortest designated route is the distance from an address to the nearest open school gate as measured by our mapping software. Further details about how we measure the route can be found our measuring distances document (pdf format, 130Kb). This route may include footpaths, bridleways, and other pathways, as well as recognised roads.

Parents are responsible for ensuring that their children attend school regularly, this extends to the journey to and from school. A child should be accompanied by a parent where necessary, unless there is a good reason why it is not reasonable to expect the parent to do so.

Nearest school maps

The maps below show addresses in an area and the nearest school its associated with based on the shortest designated route. 

Nearest maps

The maps below show the nearest school to an address in a school’s catchment area based on the shortest designated route. This route is the shortest distance from an address to the nearest open school gate measured by our mapping software.

How do I apply for free home to school transport?

You shouldn’t need to apply for free home to school transport. When you apply for a school place we will check if you are eligible. The letter you receive regarding your school application will say if your child is entitled to free school transport. You don't need to fill in any additional forms.

If you've applied directly to the school rather than through us and you think that you may be eligible for free transport, or, your circumstances have changed and now believe your child is eligible for free travel you will need to complete a transport request form (TBA shortly). 

Reviewing a decision

If you have been advised that your child is not entitled to free travel but you think your child is entitled under the current school travel policy, and, would like to dispute this, please fill in a review form.

The full details are set out in the Home to School Travel Policy for 2016/17 (pdf format, 766Kb).

Post 16 transport

There is no free entitlement to Post 16 transport for students attending a sixth form school. Full details are set out in the Transport Policy Statement (pdf format, 193KB) for those aged 16–18 and students continuing in education who are aged 19.

Applications for transport commencing September 2017 can be completed using this application form (doc format, 138Kb).

We do not provide assistance to travel for students choosing to attend a college, it will be necessary for you contact the college direct.

Last reviewed
28 June 2017
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