Consultation on school transport policies from September 2024

Closed 29 Jan 2024

Opened 6 Dec 2023

Feedback updated 14 Jun 2024

We asked

We asked for your views on the proposals for: 

  • transport eligibility where walking routes have been reassessed as being safe 
  • updates to our home to school transport policies  
  • to make them easier to understand 
  • to provide more information to make them clearer 

The consultation ran from 6 December 2023 to 29 January 2024. 

You said

We received 47 responses, 41 online and 6 via email.  

We received comments on the following themes: 

  • disagreement with the statutory eligibility criteria for free home to school transport 
  • the nearest suitable school in the respondents’ area 
  • safety of walking routes including parking and congestion around schools 
  • cost to families of providing school transport 
  • grammar school transport not being free when the school is not also the nearest suitable school 
  • burden to the taxpayer due to the cost of school transport 

The following suggestions were made: 

  • free school transport eligibility be extended to catchment schools as well as nearest suitable school 
  • families of eligible pupils aged 5 to 16 years are asked to pay towards the cost of school transport 

Approximately half of respondents to the online survey did not find the policies easy to understand.  

More information about the results of the school transport policies consultation (PDF 0.37MB) 

We did

As a result of the consultation some changes were made to the Home to School Policy (PDF 0.36MB) and the Post-16 Transport Policy Statement (PDF 0.20MB). The changes are highlighted in green on the linked documents. 

In summary, we have made changes to the following sections to make them clearer:  

  • travel assistance for children under statutory school age (0-4yrs) –  Section 2 
  • eligibility when a preferred and nearest suitable school is out of county – Section 3 
  • eligibility due to an unsafe walking route and / or where a walking route has been reassessed as safe – Section 3.6 
  • criteria for pupils with SEND – Section 3.9 
  • placement for pupils with an EHCP – Section 10.2 
  • medical needs whilst onboard home to school transport – Section 10.3 
  • identification of new routes – Section 10.14 

In response to the suggestions received:  

  • the decision to provide transport to the nearest suitable school only, in line with statutory guidelines, was agreed at the Buckinghamshire County Council Cabinet meeting on 27 February 2012 and was implemented from September 2012  
  • our Home to School Transport Policy continues this arrangement of providing free school transport to the nearest suitable school only, in line with statutory guidelines and eligibility criteria  
  • the legislation does not stipulate catchment school 
  • local authorities have a statutory duty to make arrangements, free-of-charge to parents / carers, for eligible children to travel to school 
  • it is not possible to ask families of eligible children aged 5 to 16 years to pay towards the cost of school transport 

We have included additional information in the Home to School Transport Policy 2024 to meet the requirements of updated DfE guidelines. 

The policies are supplemented by school transport webpages which give guidance on specific areas. 

On 5 June 2024, the Leader of Buckinghamshire Council considered the consultation findings and agreed the Home to School Policy and Post-16 Transport Policy Statement. The policies apply with immediate effect and will cover school travel assistance from September 2024.  


Buckinghamshire Council logo

We want your views on proposed changes to our Home to School Transport Policy (0 to 25 year olds) and our Post-16 Transport Policy Statement for 2024 to 2025.

Home to school travel for eligible children is a statutory service that we must deliver, and the Council’s school transport policies provide the framework for the services we provide.

We have reviewed our Home to School Transport Policy as a result of the Department for Education issuing revised guidance on travel to school for children of compulsory school age. We have proposed some changes to our Home to School Transport Policy (0-25 years) and some of our proposed changes are also relevant to our Post-16 Transport Policy Statement. The changes we have proposed are intended to make our school transport policies clearer and easier to understand.

Any agreed changes will apply for the 2024 to 2025 academic year onwards and will apply to both new and existing customers.

Proposed changes to school transport policy

The Home to School Transport Policy sets out our approach to providing transport to schools / educational settings for students up to 19 years old (up to 25 years for students with special educational needs and disabilities).

The Post-16 Transport Policy Statement sets out transport arrangements for students aged 16 and over. It specifies the transport arrangements we consider necessary for sixth form students to attend education or training.

Some pupils are eligible for home to school travel assistance because the walking route to their nearest suitable school is within the statutory walking limits, but the walking route is unsafe. We encourage safe, sustainable ways of getting to school and we aim to reduce car/bus journeys by working within our budget to make walking routes to school safe.

Where a walking route previously assessed as unsafe is made safe, the transport eligibility for all pupils who could be using the walking route will be reviewed.

We have made some changes to our school transport policies to make them clearer and easier to understand:

  • clarification provided  
    • on travel assistance eligibility for children aged 0-4 years
    • that the nearest suitable school used for the transport eligibility assessment may not be the same as the catchment school or nearest school for admissions purposes
    • on the criteria for home to school transport for pupils with SEND
    • on the school transport application and review process
  • more information on
    • Personal Transport Budgets
    • the educational placement for pupils/students with an EHCP
    • medical needs while onboard transport
    • transport for pupils/students with SEND transferring to a different school/setting

All proposed updates are highlighted in yellow in the draft policy documents below. We want to hear your views on these updates and whether they have made our policies easier to understand.

We are not proposing any further substantial changes to the Home to School Transport Policy or the Post-16 Transport Policy Statement 2024 to 2025.

Related documents

Before you respond to this consultation, please have a look at the following documents:

Find out more about home to school transport.

How to have your say

You can tell us your views in one of the following ways:

If you have any questions about this consultation, please email us at, phone us on 01296 387439.

Please tell us your views by midnight on Monday 29 January 2024.

What happens next

We will consider all the feedback we receive before deciding on the proposed changes to Home to School Transport Policy and Post-16 Transport Policy Statement. The decision will be made by the Leader of Buckinghamshire Council in May 2024.

Once the decision has been made, we will publish the new Home to School Transport Policy and Post-16 Transport Policy Statement.

They will apply to school transport from September 2024. We will update this page with the outcome of the consultation.


We will use the information you provide here only for this activity. We will store the information securely in line with data protection laws and will not share or publish any personal details. For more information about data and privacy, please see our Privacy Policy.

If you have questions about data and privacy, please email us on Or write to our Data Protection Officer at Buckinghamshire Council, The Gateway, Gatehouse Road, Aylesbury, HP19 8FF.


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