How to apply for transport assistance to a mainstream school

The 2024 deadline for On-Time Applications has passed
How to apply

For mainstream schools, the parent/carer must submit an online application form by the deadline of 31 May 2024.

Applications received by 31 May 2024 are considered on-time applications. These will be notified of their eligibility status and transport arrangements before September. It is likely that the actual transport details will be communicated during late August.

For 2024, we will prioritise resources to focus on-time applications. Applications after 31 May 2024 are treated as Late Applications (read on for what this means to you).

Late Applications

Transport applications will still be accepted for the new school year.  You should take careful note of the following:

Late Applications will mean that transport may not be in place for September 2024 and may not be available for the first academic term.  This may require you to make your own transport arrangements for the first term of school, even if your child is eligible for statutory transport.

As part of the application process, you will be asked to provide a reason why your application is late. The School Transport Service will review the reason and provide a decision whether we will accept your application as ‘late with valid reason’ or ‘late without valid reason.’

We will contact you within two weeks of your application submission to let you know the outcome of the review. Do not contact School Transport regarding a late application within this two-week period. There is no appeal to a late application decision.

Late applications with valid reason

If you have a valid reason for a late application, then we will try to put transport arrangements in place for September.

After the 10 working days for assessing eligibility, we are required to go out to tender for transport contracts.  Tendering for contracts can take up to 15 days and additional processing time to send out transport arrangement letters etc.

Because of this, if your application is submitted after July, even with a valid late reason, then it is unlikely transport will be in place and you will need to make alternative arrangements.

Late applications without valid reason

Transport arrangements for Late Applications without valid reason will be processed after all eligible on-time applications. You are likely to get an eligibility outcome within 15 working days. For approved applications, the actual transport arrangements are unlikely to be in place for the start of the new school year. You should make alternative plans for transport potentially for the whole of the Autumn school term.

Do not contact the School Transport service to ask for your Late Application to be prioritised as we will not be able to do this.

Do I need to reapply?

You do not need to reapply when:

  • your child receives HCC funded transport because they meet the eligibility criteria and
  • is remaining at the same school in September and
  • your circumstances have not changed.

You do need to reapply when:

  • your child's home address changes or
  • the school they are attending changes or
  • any other personal details that may affect their eligibility for transport assistance changes
  • you are requesting a spare capacity seat

If any of the above apply, parents/carers must submit a new application form. Eligibility for transport assistance will be reassessed. It can take up to 10 working days to assess your application and provide a decision then a further 15 working days to arrange transport. These timings can increase during the peak summer months. In the meantime, it is your responsibility to get your child to school.