Apply for free school travel

If your child lives in Newcastle and goes to a government-funded Newcastle school, they may be eligible for free travel to school, depending on how far the walk is and if they have any special needs.

For information about Special Educational Needs Disability (SEND) Transport please visit the below page:

Special Educational Needs Disability (SEND) Transport

Mainstream home to school transport

Children who are eligible for free school travel will be given a Nexus travel permit with their name and photograph on, which can be used on school days for one free return journey between home and school.

It can be used on local buses and the metro, and is valid between the start and end points named on the permit.

  • Your child must live in Newcastle and go to a government-funded Newcastle School
  • You need to send a colour photograph of your child that clearly shows their full face. All photographs we do not use are destroyed after the application has been assessed.

Who is eligible?

Based on the age of your child there are different criteria for Free School Travel.  See below for the criteria:

Under 8 years old
  • Students who are attending their nearest suitable Newcastle school, and
  • the walking distance from home to school is between 2 and 6 miles
8 to 10 years old
  • Students who are attending their nearest suitable Newcastle school, and
  • the walking distance from home to school is between 3 and 6 miles

or

  • Students from a low income family (see low income definition below), and
  • who attend their nearest suitable Newcastle school, and
  • the walking distance from home to school is between 2 and 6 miles

or

  • Students from a low income family (see low income definition below), and
  • who attend their nearest Newcastle faith school, and
  • are attending the school because of a proven faith reason (see proven faith definition below), and
  • the walking distance from home to school is between 2 and 15 miles
11 to 16 years old
  • Students who are attending their nearest suitable Newcastle school, and
  • the walking distance from home to school is between 3 and 6 miles

or

  • Students from a low income family (see low income definition below), and
  • who attend one of their nearest 3 suitable Newcastle schools, and
  • the walking distance from home to school is between 2 and 6 miles

or

  • Students from a low income family (see low income definition below), and
  • who attend their nearest Newcastle faith school, and
  • are attending the school because of a proven faith reason (see proven faith definition below), and
  • the walking distance from home to school is between 2 and 15 miles

How to apply

Each academic year you need to apply for a Travel permit which will be valid from 1 September to 31 July.

You can apply online or you can collect a paper application form from a customer service centre.

Apply for a free school travel permit

Lost, stolen or damaged replacement permits

If your child’s permit is lost, stolen or damaged, you need to apply for a replacement permit for the rest of the school year. The £5 administration fee can only be paid online. We don’t accept cash or cheques. We won’t refund this administration fee if your child is no longer eligible for free travel.

Apply for a replacement permit  

(£5 replacement fee) original has been lost, stolen or damaged

How long will it take to process your application?

All applications must be submitted before 30 June for the local authority to process applications for the beginning of the school year (1 September)

If you are submitting your application form after 30 June or during the school year your application will be processed in 20 working days.

Definitions

Low income

For free school travel, you are a low-income family if:

  • Your child is eligible for free school meals
  • You receive a qualifying benefit for free school meals, even if you haven’t applied for free school meals
  • You get the maximum amount of Working Tax Credit with no deductions.

You don’t need to send us proof of free school meals as we can check this. If you have never applied for free school meals, you need to agree to let us check your benefits, send us a copy of your most recent benefit entitlement letter, or send us your full annual TC602 from the Department of Work and Pensions to prove you get the maximum amount of Working Tax Credit.

Proven faith

Proven faith refers to whether your child is attending a faith school due to obtaining a place in that school because of their faith.

To establish ‘proven faith’, proof will be required that your child is baptised or a dedicated member of another faith (church) recognised by Churches Together in England. This information will be sought from your child’s school, based on the evidence you provided them to support your child’s application for a school place.

If you obtain a place at a faith school through either an appeal or a different criteria in their oversubscription policy please forward your faith evidence to the local authority with your travel application so this can be taken into account.

Nearest suitable school

This is the nearest government-funded school nearest to your home address that would have offered your child a place at the time places were allocated if you had applied.

Your child’s nearest suitable school may be a school you didn’t apply for. It might not be their feeder school and might not be the same school as their older brothers or sisters attend.

If you move to a new house, we won’t give your child free travel to remain at their current school if there is a closer school with places available.

Home address

You need to use the address where your child lives permanently with a person with parental responsibility. If you and your ex-partner share custody for your child, you need to use the address where your child lives most school days. If time is shared equally with both parents, you need to use the address closest to the school. You can’t apply for free travel to a childminder or relative’s address.

Walking routes

We measure distances to walk to school using an electronic route mapping software application. This uses information from Ordnance Survey, who are the national mapping agency. We include overpasses, underpasses, bridleways, pedestrian-only streets, footpaths and roads.

Distances are measured from the centre point of your home to the centre point of the school grounds. It doesn't matter which school gate is used. Distances are accurate to six decimal places.

Home to School Travel Policy

The full home to school travel policy can be found using the link below. The information provided above is a summary of the main points of the policy.

Home to School Travel Policy (PDF)

Appeal process

If you believe the travel policy has been applied incorrectly or you have exceptional circumstances which the travel policy doesn't cover, you can appeal the Free School Travel decision.

A travel appeal must be made in writing and provide the reason as to why you are appealing the decision. Where necessary please provide supporting evidence with your appeal.

The local authority will review the information provided in an appeal on a case by case basis  and will use its discretion as to whether it upholds the appeal. We will respond to an appeal within 20 working days.

Appeals can be sent to:

email:

admissions.information@newcastle.gov.uk

post:

Admissions and Information Service

Civic Centre

Newcastle upon Tyne

NE1 8QH

 

Need more information?

Email: admissions.information@newcastle.gov.uk

Phone us on 0191 278 7878. Ask for "Free school travel"

Write to us at:
Newcastle City Council
Admissions and Information Service
Civic Centre
Newcastle upon Tyne
NE1 8QH