Travel assistance is help getting to and from school that some children and young people with SEND get.
There are two kinds:
A child or young people aged 4-16 might receive a Personal Transport Budget (PTB) and mileage allowance, a public bus pass and training to use the bus, or access to a taxi or minibus. We pay for 2 return journeys per day for 190 school days a year. This amount is divided into 11 equal monthly payments, paid monthly in advance into their nominated bank account from Sept to July inclusive.
Young people aged 16-18 might receive a bus pass or taxi/minibus. In nearly all cases, a Personal Transport Budget (PTB) and mileage allowance is not an option for Post 16 students. We will grant a PTB very rarely where a family give evidence to show why the other transport options are not suitable for their child’s needs.
In order to be considered for travel assistance, parents or carers will need to complete an application for their child or young person. Parents have the option to express their preference of travel assistance on the application form, however this preference is not always granted. We always offer a transportation option that accommodates the eligible child’s needs, but we must always look to make the most cost efficient offer. Not all students will receive this funding.
We have no legal duty to offer travel assistance to Post 19 students, however, in very exceptional cases where the Local Authority deems it necessary, we will. We have a clarification statement of the term ‘necessary’ listed with our policies. In the case we do grant travel assistance, it will always be a public bus pass or a taxi/minibus and be free of charge.
If you choose to complete a paper copy you will also need to complete a GDPR consent form which will accompany your application form in the post.
If you are a Post 16 student (aged between 16-18), you must fill out a Post 16 form as it will have information about the amount of money you will need to contribute towards your travel if transport is agreed.
Some children and young people with Special Needs and Disabilities may feel they need additional resources and help to get to and from their school or education setting. Travel assistance can mean a taxi or private bus that helps you get to school or it can mean getting the training you need to use public transport or walk to your school or educational setting. The Special Education Needs Team have all the information that you may need about help travelling to and from your school or education setting. Take a look at the next sections to learn more about the service, find out if you qualify and how to apply.
Once we receive the application (in the post or online), we will look at it to determine if the child or young person is eligible. Each age group has different criteria, you can find more information about this in our policies.
The initial decision is made in a multi-agency panel that could consist of people from Social Care, Attendance and Inclusion, Travel Trainers, Travel Bureau staff and/or EHCP coordinators etc. If travel is agreed we will let families know by sending a letter in the post. If the child is new to Coventry City Council transport, a risk assessment will be carried out by a risk assessor in our travel bureau before the child can start using transport.
If the travel application was refused, a letter will be sent detailing the reasons why and give the families their right to appeal (get a second opinion and review of the application).
There is no appeal process for Post 19 refusals, a person who applies can ask for their application and decision to be reviewed by a senior officer (similar to an appeal). This will be done and another letter with that person’s decision will go out to the person who applied.
Stage 1 appeals are heard by an EHCP coordinator who is independent from the original decisions.
Stage 2 appeals are heard by the Head of SEN, who is independent from both previous decisions.
Independent travel is a crucial life skill that gives people the freedom to fulfil their potential and live a full life.
Independent Travel Training (ITT) provides people with the knowledge and skills they need to travel independently, whilst providing parents and carers with peace of mind that people are travelling safely.
ITT is a free service and is part of the education curriculum. There is a team of experienced Independent Travel Trainers currently working within the community, schools and colleges.
Travel training is available to students from year 7 and above with an EHCP, who are eligible for or in receipt of SEN Travel assistance.The Travel Trainers work closely with schools and colleges to identify young people who have potential for independent travel.