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Travel expenses

Free bus tickets for primary school and high school transport

Primary and high school students can apply for a free school bus pass to help them travel between home and school.

How to apply for a free school bus pass

To apply for a free school bus pass for your child, complete the school travel expenses form below. With your form, you’ll need to attach:

  • A digital photo of your child. The photo should:
    • Have only one person facing forwards
    • Only show head and shoulders
    • Be portrait, not landscape
    • Not be blurred
    • Be taken against a plain background
    • Be colour, not black and white
  • Evidence of free school meals or working tax credit, if applicable. This will be either a copy of a letter from the Revenues and Benefits service or a copy of your tax credits award notice.

Apply for school travel expenses (Opens in new window)


Your child may be eligible for travel cost support if they meet any one of the following criteria:

  • Your child is unable to walk to school - because of their special educational needs or because of a disability or mobility problem. This includes temporary medical conditions
  • You live beyond the statutory walking distances but still attend your closest school. The statutory walking distance for children under 8 years old is 2 miles and for children 8 years old and over is 3 miles.
  • Your child is unable to walk safely to school. For example, because of the nature of the route.
  • You receive the maximum level of working tax credit or your child receives free school meals.

You can still apply for school travel expenses if you feel you've special circumstances that aren't covered by the eligibility criteria. If you think this is the case, please include a written statement with your application giving full details of the reasons you believe your child has special circumstances. We will give careful consideration to your application.


If your application has been declined, you can appeal the decision.

If you appeal a decision, the appeal follows a 2-stage process:

  1. A review by a senior official. If you're not happy with the outcome of the first stage review, you can escalate it to the second stage.
  2. A review by an independent panel. The decision of the independent appeal panel is final. - Appeal form