Home to school travel

Please note that new policies will apply for school transport provided from September 2018.

Education Travel Policies 

The policies set out the criteria used to determine if a child or young person is eligible to receive travel assistance from the council. They include information on what travel policy will be considered, plus:

Post 16 transport policy statement

The Post 16 Transport Policy statement (The Statement) provides a summary of the Council’s policy on post 16 travel assistance for students with special education needs and/or disabilities (SEND) and includes a range of information about what support is available locally or nationally for post 16 students, for example, where to access information about concessionary fares, passes and travel cards, or bursaries and support for vulnerable students.

The Policy Statement for 2018/19 academic year was published on 31 May 2018.

Guidance is published by the Department for Education, which refers to the purpose and content of a post 16 statement (updated October 2017).

Home to school travel policy pre 2018

You can read the home to school travel policy (PDF, 722KB), which applied for transport arrangements made prior to September 2018

This policy includes information on:

  • who is eligible to receive assistance with home to school travel
  • what travel provision will be considered
  • travel assistance appeals and complaints.

Sustainable modes of travel strategy (SMOTS)

Travel to schools within Cheshire East is an essential aspect of daily life. The Council is working to promote more physical activity, improve our environment and create safer and more vibrant communities. This approach is underpinned by the council’s corporate objectives and our commitment to improve quality of place.

Local authorities are under a statutory duty under the Education Act 1996 to promote the use of sustainable travel and transport to and from institutions where education or training is delivered. The duty applies to children and young people of compulsory school age (5-16) who travel to receive education or training in the Local Authority’s area.

National research shows that developing more sustainable alternatives to the use of the single occupancy car for home to school transport provides benefits to the environment and to children’s  and young people’s well-being, including improved fitness, road safety skills and an increased sense of independence.

Read more about school travel planning and the various initiatives that schools can use to promote sustainable school travel, including information about walking buses, park and stride, and other options.

The Department for Education guidance for local authorities on their home to school travel duties and the purpose of a Sustainable Modes of Travel to Schools strategy.

Preparing a new sustainable modes of travel strategy

The SMOTS Strategy is one of a suite of education, travel and transport policies and strategies being developed or already adopted by the Council to help meet our corporate objectives. There are significant links between them.

Over the past year, we have assessed home to school travel and transport needs. Surveys were undertaken to look at how children travel to school. We also reviewed a sample of school travel plans prepared by Cheshire East schools. This review has identified a number of opportunities to address a range of barriers to further increase the number of children using sustainable modes to travel to school. The SMOTS Strategy sets out the Council’s approach to how the proposed measures can be implemented.

The following diagram sets out how the SMOTS strategy will be implemented in order to achieve Council priorities.

SMOTS  Process

Before adopting the SMOTS Strategy, the Council  asked for comments and feedback to find out if Cheshire East schools and residents and the Council’s delivery partners agreed with the document’s aims and objectives. More than half of respondents agreed that the Strategy was:

  • good (61% respondents);            
  • clear (62% respondents);        
  • comprehensive (59% respondents); and            
  • ambitious (52% respondents)

There was less confidence that the proposed approach is deliverable (43% respondents).  Nevertheless, there was strong support for provision of the new Modeshift STARS online system (69% respondents) and for a continuation of current measures promoting sustainable travel choices (66% respondents).

The SMOTS Strategy has been updated to reflect the feedback received and will be presented to Cabinet in July 2018 for adoption. A summary report of the consultation responses can be found on our consultations results page.

Available walking routes

Parents are responsible for ensuring their children get to and from school at the appropriate time each day. However, where the nature of the route to school is such that the child cannot reasonably be expected to walk to school in reasonable safety, even when accompanied by a responsible person, local authorities are required by law to make the necessary travel arrangements. The Local Authority deems these routes ‘unavailable’.

More information about available walking routes and any related assessments.