Home-to-school travel support for sixth form and college students

Local authorities do not have to provide home-to-school travel support for young people in post-16 education. The only students we can normally support are those with an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP) who meet our eligibility criteria. 

Students in financial hardship may be able to get help through a bursary.  

Reaseheath College, Macclesfield College and Cheshire College South and West organise their own transport and offer free or subsidised bus services. Others may also do so.

If you are not eligible for help with transport

Options for young people who are not eligible for help with transport

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Students with an EHCP  going to college or sixth form may be eligible for subsidised travel support if all the following apply:

  • they cannot walk to the school or college because of mobility problems or health and safety concerns related to their SEN or disability
  • no other suitable transport arrangement is in place
  • they are enrolled on a full time course - at least 540 directed learning hours over 30 or more weeks (except where exceptional circumstance apply) 
  • the college or sixth form is the closest publicly-funded establishment offering the course (or similar), or we have placed the student in an alternative college or sixth form

Students with an EHCP  aged between 19 and 25 may get free transport support, depending on their needs.

Our post-16 transport policy statement gives full details of eligibility criteria.

When we assess applications, we consider some or all of the following points:

  • whether the student can use public transport, either alone or with a responsible adult (we encourage young people to develop independent travel skills wherever possible)
  • the length or complexity of the journey
  • whether the student needs a passenger assistant
  • the family's financial circumstances
  • whether the student is receiving personal independence payment (PIP)
  • whether there is a family member able to take the student to college - if not, you should explain this in your application
  • if the student has a mobility vehicle 
  • any other relevant circumstances

The parental contribution is a fixed amount that parents must pay towards the total cost of transport arrangements for sixth form or college students with SEND who are eligible for home-to-school travel support. The amount of the contribution is the same, no matter what the young person's needs or the travel distance or type. 

The total amount for the 2023 - 2024 school year is £450. You can pay for the full year in one go or in instalments - either £75 per half term or £150 per term. You must pay in advance.

To pay the parental contribution for school or college travel for pupils with SEND in post 16 education 

Pay the parental contribution for pupils with SEND in post 16 education 

If you do not pay the parental contribution 

We may withdraw transport assistance if you do not pay the parental contribution.

For support for students with an EHCP  moving into post-16 education, apply before Easter in the year they are due to start the post-16 course. If you apply after this, arrangements may not be in place ready for the start of the course. We will let you know our decision after March. We will then confirm details of the arrangements in July or August, once we have planned the routes for the year.

For support to start during the current school year, apply as soon as you can. We will start to look at the application straightaway. A final decision is then normally taken at the  first Travel Assistance Panel (TAP) meeting after we get the application. We will let you know the decision as soon as possible.

Sometimes we may need more time to look at the details of the young person's situation. We will keep in touch with you if this is the case. Once we make a decision, we normally send full details of arrangements within 2 weeks.

Parents/carers are responsible for getting the young person to school while we assess the application and make arrangements. We do not refund travel expenses. 

Supporting information

When you apply, you can upload evidence from medical professionals to support the application.

Apply for post 16 transport

To find out how we use your information see our privacy notice (opens in a new window).

You do not need to renew subsidised travel arrangements. We will contact you during February or March of the first year of a two year course to check if the young person is staying on for second year and whether there have been any changes that might affect eligibility.

Bursaries for post-16 students 

Vulnerable students may be able to get a vulnerable student bursary funded by central government. Others may be able to get a discretionary bursary funded by their sixth form or college. For information on both types of bursary, talk to the school or college. Full eligibility details are at GOV.UK - 16-19 bursary fund.

More information about post-16 travel

Our post-16 travel policy statement sets out the eligibility criteria for travel assistance for pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities and has information about concessionary fares, passes and travel cards, and bursaries and support for vulnerable pupils.

Contact the school transport team

For enquiries about home-to-school travel support for children and young people with an EHCP,  email educationtravelpolicies@cheshireeast.gov.uk or phone 01270 686521 . 

For other enquiries, email SENDTransport@cheshireeast.gov.uk or phone 01270 371496 or 01270 371485.

Page last reviewed: 08 August 2023