Paid home to school travel assistance

If your child does not qualify for free school transport, the Spare Seats Scheme is a paid option.

2024/25 academic year applications

The application form for 2024/25 will be available from 30 April 2024.

Travel can only be offered where spare seats on school buses operate for students who qualify for statutory transport. Fewer eligible children need local authority contracted transport for the 2024/25 school year. Therefore, we are likely to run fewer vehicles, meaning we may not be able to offer your child a place under our Spare Seats Scheme. 

Alternative plans

A seat can only be guaranteed for the term it has been sold for. You should have an alternative plan in case transport can no longer be offered. Spare capacity on our contracted vehicles varies from year to year on each contract. You may be asked to reapply each new school year, and your application may not be successful even where spare seats have routinely been available in previous years.

Apply for the spare seat scheme

By applying for a spare seat, you agree to the Terms and Conditions of the Scheme (pdf format, 145Kb). Applicants and students agree to adhere to School Transport Code of Conduct (pdf format, 184Kb)

Apply for the spare seat scheme

2024/25 academic year

There is no guarantee that we will be able to sell you a seat for September, so you should also plan in case your application is unsuccessful.

The 2024/25 Spare Seat fares are under review, so the cost may be different to 2023/24 prices.

You can apply for Spare Seats Scheme transport commencing September 2024 from 30 April 2024.

Costs for the 2023/24 academic year

  • Home to school journey is under 3 miles - £433.40 a year (£144.47 per term)
  • Home to school journey is 3 miles or over - £806.30 a year (£268.77 per term)

Processing applications

The deadline for applications is 30 June 2024. Applications for September 2024 cannot be processed before this date as we need to allocate students eligible for free school transport first. If applications are received by 30 June 2024, we will aim to let applicants know by 31 July 2024 if we can offer a seat for sale or not.  Applications received by 30 June 2024 will be considered in priority order of the terms of spare seats scheme (see below).

We aim to acknowledge applications received after 30 June 2024 within 10 working days of receipt of the application and process them as soon as possible. Applications received after 30 June 2024 will not be able to be considered within the initial priority order of offer.

Late applications

Late applications may not be able to be processed in time to enable your child to travel to school on the first day of term. Until a pass has been issued and received, parent/carer must make alternative arrangements.

SEND students

There is no guarantee that an application for a spare seat on a route conveying SEND students will be processed as per the dates above. You will be informed if a spare seat is available as soon as possible. Because of the individual nature of SEND transport, this might not be until after the term has started. You should plan in case a place has not been confirmed for the start of the September term.

Prioritising applications

If more on-time applications are received than seats available on a specific route, they will be allocated in the order of priority (see below). Once the applications have been processed, students who are on the waiting list and new applications will be ordered using the same priority list (see below).

Prioritisation categories

  1. Those with an Education, Health and Care Plan naming the school
  2. Looked After Children
  3. Years 12 and 13 (if there is no available service bus route)
  4. Children in receipt of Free School Meals or whose parent /parents receive the maximum working Tax Credit
  5. Those who travelled on the route the previous term
  6. By year group, in ascending order of priority from Reception to Year 11 (or to Year 13 if there is an available service bus route)

Closest to the school

Where there are more applicants than places in any of the above categories, priority will be given to those living closest to the destination school (measured using the shortest designated route on our Geographic Information System).

Invoices and payment

Invoices are issued three times per year:

  • August (Autumn term)
  • December (Spring term)
  • March (Summer term)

Payment is made online. To pay the invoice, enter your student ID (shown on the invoice as a student reference).

Pay an invoice