When is it appropriate to apply for support to get my child to school?
If your child meets the eligibility criteria please only apply for help if you are unable to get your child to school without additional support.
South Tyneside Council is committed to promoting both sustainability and independence. Applications are processed with a focus on developing the independence of the child. With this in mind, taxi and mini bus transport will only be considered in cases where all other forms of support are thought to be unsuitable. Please think carefully before requesting a taxi as there may be a more effective way we can support your family.
- Types of help available
- What happens after you have applied
- When to apply
- Appealing a decision
- Contact us
Who is eligible?
- Children who go to their nearest suitable school and live at least:
- 2 miles from the school if they're under 8
- 3 miles from the school if they're 8 or older
- Children who can't walk to school because there's no safe walking route
- Children who can't walk to school because of their special educational need, disability or mobility problem
- If you get the maximum Working Tax Credit or your children are entitled to free school meals, they can get help with transport if they're:
- aged 8 to 11 and the school is at least 2 miles away
- aged 11 to 16 and the school is 2 to 6 miles away - as long as there aren't 3 or more suitable schools nearer to home
- aged 11 to 16 and the school is 2 to 15 miles away - if it's their nearest school preferred on the grounds of religion or belief
Proof of eligibility
If applicable, you will need to provide proof of your entitlement to the maximum level of Working Tax Credit.
If your child goes to their nearest school preferred on the grounds of religion or belief, you must provide clear written evidence to demonstrate why you chose this school. We may also ask the relevant admission authority for written confirmation of the admission category which your child was offered a place.
Types of help available
- Personal Transport Budget
- Independent travel training
- Bus pass for public transport
- Taxi or mini bus travel
To promote and develop independence, taxi travel is only considered in cases where all alternative options are thought to be unsuitable.
Personal Transport Budget
A Personal Transport Budget is help towards the cost of getting your child to school or college and back.
This can be used towards:
- the cost of fuel or car share agreements
- public transport
- anything else that supports you to make your own arrangements to get your child to school
This is normally calculated at 40p per mile. If the journey requires travel through the Tyne Tunnel this is calculated at two journeys per day at the Tyne Tunnel permit rate.
This is usually paid as a lump sum when transport help begins.
Independent travel training
We work with schools, colleges and families to identify a suitable adult to help the young person to get to school or college themselves.
The support would be in place until all feel confident that the pupil is able to independently travel to school or college.
There are a number of different bus passes you can apply for depending on your child's age and circumstances:
5-16 year olds
A bus pass which can be used on public transport, to travel to and from school only. This is available for school pupils up to 16 years old. If you would like to apply call 0191 424 7755.
Disabled children 5-18 year olds
If your child is aged 5-16 you can apply for an All Day Concessionary Travel Pass. For more information please call 0191 424 6000.
If your child is aged 16-18 years, has an EHCP and needs the bus pass to get to college / 6th form you will need to bring the EHCP and a utility bill confirming your address to South Shields Town Hall who will assess your application there and then. For more information on this call 0191 424 5010.
Disabled adults (over 18)
If your child is over 18 you can apply for a disabled persons bus pass. This allows travel from 9.30am onwards on weekdays and all day on weekends and public holidays. To apply for this you will need a confirmation of eligibility form to give to Nexus. For more information please call 0191 424 6000.
Taxi or mini bus travel
- Depending on the needs of the child, the transport would either be a car, small mini bus or large mini bus.
- Vehicles will arrive at approximately the same time each day however variations are inevitable due to traffic.
- Every effort is made to keep the vehicles, drivers and passenger assistants consistent however, changes are sometimes unavoidable.
- Passenger assistants accompany all pre 16 pupils as a responsible adult. They are not medical assistants.
Apply or renew
You can apply online using the forms below. To do this online, you need to have an email address.
Bus pass for public transport
To apply for a school bus pass from the Local Authority for children aged between 5-16 years call 0191 424 7755. For all other bus passes please contact the appropriate number listed above.
0191 424 7755
You can also apply by post. To get a paper application form, visit South Shields Town Hall or contact the Transport team on 0191 427 2689. Send completed paper forms to: Transport team, Level 1, South Shields Town Hall, Westoe Road, NE33 2RL.
What happens after you have applied
- If you apply online, we will email you a confirmation of your application.
- If you get the maximum level of Working Tax Credit, you need to provide proof of this to support your application. You can email your proof to email@example.com, or post to: Transport team, South Shields Town Hall, Westoe Road, South Shields, NE33 2RL.
- We will review your application, and will contact you if we have any questions.
- We will then send you a letter about the outcome of your application.
When to apply
You can apply for support at any time. However, to make sure it is in place for the start of the academic year, please apply by the end of May.
- April - applications for the next academic year open
- End of May - to make sure that your transport is in place by September, please apply by the end of May
- August - parents / carers will get a letter detailing the outcome of their application
Appealing a decision
If you do not agree with the outcome of the application, you can appeal by writing to the Joint Market Management Quality Lead either by post to South Shields Town Hall, Westoe Road, NE33 2RL, or by email to CommissioningTeam@southtyneside.gov.uk
If you need to speak to someone about transport, contact the Transport team on 0191 4272689 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
We encourage all families to give feedback on their experience of home to school transport. This can be done directly by either phone, email or letter.
If you would prefer to give feedback via an independent organisation on your experiences of home to school or college transport, please email email@example.com who will pass details to the Transport team anonymously.