Travel arrangements

Eligible students (and those offered assistance as an exception to policy), will be offered the most economical and sustainable service appropriate to meet their needs. In some cases, this might include the services of a School Escort.

Types of transport assistance

If appropriate and available, students will be offered a public transport season ticket. This will usually be for a bus service although it may be for a train service. The Transport Team orders season tickets and the bus/train company sends them to the school for collection. Students are expected to walk a reasonable distance, usually up to one mile, to and from the nearest bus stop or train station. It is the parent/carer’s responsibility to accompany their child to the bus stop or train station if required.

If public transport is not available the Council may allocate the student to an existing contracted route (which may be a coach, minibus or taxi). In some cases the parent/carer is offered a parental allowance to drive their child to school.

In rare cases a taxi may be contracted to operate the service when:

  • there is no suitable public transport available and
  • there is not an existing contract serving the route and
  • the parent is unable to accept a parental allowance or
  • the student’s needs require it

Transport is only offered between the designated stop (which is the student’s home in some cases) and the school/provision. Students should walk or make their own arrangements to the designated stop. Transport arrangements will not be adjusted to accommodate childcare arrangements.

Transport will be offered at the beginning and end of the day and will accommodate standard school hours only. Pick up times cannot be tailored to meet individual timetables. Pick up and drop off times will depend on the most efficient running order for the journey as determined by the Transport Team. Transport arrangements are not altered to accommodate:

  • exam timetables
  • reduced timetables
  • after school activities
  • childcare arrangements
  • detentions
  • any other reason

The expectation is that students will share transport.

Parents/carers are updated once eligibility has been assessed, the transport arrangements have been made and where, if appropriate, payment has been received. Therefore, please ensure your contact details are kept up to date including email, phone number and home address.

Frequently asked questions
Will my child’s transport arrangements change once they have started?

It is not always possible to provide the same vehicle, operator, driver or escort each day.

Throughout the year, and particularly at the start of each new school year, the Transport Team may need to make adjustments to the arrangements which could result in a change of operator, escort, vehicle, timings etc. The Transport Team will always give as much notice as possible of any changes to the service but on occasion they may not be able to give parents/carers prior notice of the adjustment.

Can I choose which vehicle my child travels on if there is more than one vehicle serving my local area?

No, transport is allocated based on the child’s home address and they will be offered a seat based on the nearest appropriate transport.

I have lost my bus pass, can I have a replacement?

If your bus pass was issued by Hampshire County Council for a contracted service then you can call our Finance Department on 01962 845844. There is a £15 charge for a replacement bus pass which will be posted to you once the payment has been made. If your child has a public transport season ticket then you will need to contact the operator directly and pay their standard replacement fee.

I have a complaint about my child’s transport, what should I do?

Email your complaint, including details of your child’s name and school to the Transport Team school.transport@hants.gov.uk. Complaints will be assigned to the appropriate Officer who will do their best to sufficiently resolve issues in a timely manner. See the Home to School Transport Entitlement policy for full details regarding the complaints procedure.

What happens if my child behaves inappropriately in the vehicle?

We ask that parents/carers ensure their children are aware of the Code of Conduct prior to using the school transport service. Children must wear their seatbelt and must always remain seated unless otherwise instructed.

Serious poor behaviour, where dangerous, may result in police action. Disruptive or violent behaviour may result in written warning, temporary suspension or withdrawal of the service. If mis-used the driver may confiscate the bus pass.

My child is bringing a friend home for dinner, can they also use the transport?

No, only children who have been authorised can travel on Hampshire County Council transport.

What happens if my child is running late?

The Transport Team will advise the parent/carer of the estimated pick-up time when arrangements are finalised (which may be adjusted during the course of the year). The vehicle will wait for three minutes on a home pick-up, but will not wait beyond the advised time for children who are late for a central pick-up point. If your child misses their pick-up, no alternative transport will be provided. Advise the Transport Team when this occurs by emailing school.transport@hants.gov.uk.

Who is responsible for my child between home and the pick up point?

Parents/carers are responsible for the safety of their child between home and until they get on the vehicle. To ensure their safety, students with Special Educational Needs must be accompanied by a parent/carer to and from the pick up/drop off point. If you are unable to do so, or if you are sending someone else in your place, or if you feel that your child is sufficiently independent to go on their own, you must confirm this in writing to the Transport Team by emailing school.transport@hants.gov.uk.

For home pickups, please bring your child out to the vehicle in the mornings and ensure that you, or an approved adult, is waiting to receive the child from the homeward journey. The driver or escort will not be able to leave the vehicle to find a child’s parent/ carer, it is your responsibility to be at the drop off point at the allotted time. The usual protocol when there is no-one to receive the child is to contact Social Services. If your child requires lifting in or out of the vehicle/ car seat you will be required to do this. You may also be asked to secure your child’s harness.

Can my child travel in their wheelchair?

If your child is able to independently transfer to a vehicle seat, it is often safer for them to do so. If your child must travel in a wheelchair, provide the Transport Team with details of the manufacturer and model by emailing school.transport@hants.gov.uk. We can then ensure we have the correct restraints. If the wheelchair is due to change advise us in advance of the details of the new wheelchair, as we may need to purchase alternative wheelchair or passenger restraints and not all wheelchairs can be safely transported.

What should I do if my child is sick and does not require transport?

For Hampshire County Council contracted transport you must inform the transport operator or School Escort (if applicable) if your child does not require collecting for any reason. If your child falls ill during the school day, it is your responsibility to bring them home and advise the operator or School Escort (if applicable) when transport is required again. If your child travels on public transport there is no need to inform the operator of a one-off cancellation.

Operator details are included in the letter sent to you when transport is initially set up.

What provisions do Hampshire County Council make for an SEN student’s epilepsy or other serious medical condition?

Parents/carers should make the Transport Team aware of their child’s epilepsy or serious medical condition by emailing school.transport@hants.gov.uk. Do not assume that we know. Once aware, we will attempt to ensure an appropriately trained School Escort is provided (although School Escorts will not be able to administer any medication).

We will endeavour to request regular updates however it is ultimately the parent/carer’s responsibility to ensure the information we have is up-to-date. If there are any changes to your child’s epilepsy information complete the Epilepsy seizure information form.

My child suffers from travel sickness or incontinence – do I need to let you know?

If your child’s condition means that they suffer from travel sickness or soiling we would ask that you advise us of this and take the necessary precautions, providing suitable clothing and a sensible breakfast. If the problem persists, we may need to suspend transport while the situation is reviewed.

Please ensure your child, especially younger children, has been to the toilet before getting on the transport as the vehicle will be unable to stop for toilet breaks (unless it is a very long journey and has been risk assessed).

Can my child eat or drink on board transport?

No, we do not allow any food or drink to be consumed on board transport. Food or drink can be transported to school in your child’s school bag but must not be consumed on board as this poses a health and safety risk.

My child may have left their school bag or other personal item on board the transport, what can I do?

We are not responsible for loss or damage of personal belongings including electronic devices that pupils bring on transport. If your child thinks they have left their belongings on the vehicle contact the transport operator directly.

Operator contact details are included in the letter you received when transport was initially set up.

My child has caused damage to the vehicle, do I have to pay?

If your child causes damage to the vehicle, the operator may contact you directly to pay for the damage.