published on 23 July 2019
The Department for Education is consulting on revised statutory guidance for local authorities on home to school travel and transport. The guidance was last updated in 2014. There have been no changes to the law. The revised guidance seeks to clarify local authorities’s statutory duties in relation to home to school travel and transport policy, in response to feedback from local authorities and other interested parties.
In autumn 2017, the Secretary of State for Education committed to revising the statutory home to school transport guidance for local authorities in response to a report by the charity, Contact, which indicated that a number of local authority home to school transport policies contain unlawful elements or are unclear and difficult for parents to understand.
The DfE's main aim in revising the guidance, therefore, is to support local authorities in putting in place lawful policies which are easy for parents to understand. For example, the guidance has been re-organised so the eligibility criteria come first, and include examples of how the statutory duties apply in practice, using clear, concise language wherever possible.
The DfE have also reviewed the section on driver training and included new guidance on transporting pupils with medical needs in response to concerns raised by the coroner following the death of a child on school transport.
Lastly, the guidance has been updated to reflect changes that have been introduced since the 2014 guidance was issued, such as Universal Credit, and to reflect evolving local practice such as the effective use of personal travel budgets.
The DfE are seeking feedback from Local Authorities and other interested parties, including:
• organisations involved in advising parents
• transport providers
• special educational needs and disability organisations
Information on how to respond to the consultation is via the DfE's consultation website.
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