The London Borough of Bexley is committed to ensuring that every child, young person and their family in Bexley lead as independent and healthy a life as possible, feeling confident, safe and secure and achieving their potential.
On this page parents and carers can find out whether their child is eligible for travel assistance and how to apply, as well as general information about the Council’s travel assistance offer.
Parents and carers are responsible for ensuring their child attends school. This may include making or assisting with travel arrangements to and from school and/or accompanying their child.
Not all children and young people with an EHC Plan will need or receive travel assistance from the Council, and the completion of an EHC Plan does not confer an automatic entitlement to the provision of travel assistance by the Council.
To be eligible, a child or young person must:
- be aged 5–16 (compulsory school age)
- go to their nearest qualifying school (a school with places available that provides education appropriate to the age, ability and aptitude of the child, and any special educational needs that the child may have) and live further than the statutory walking distance from their school
The statutory walking distance is:
- up to two miles for a child aged 5-7 years
- up to three miles for a child aged 8–16 years
Factors taken into consideration when assessing for eligibility of travel assistance are whether:
- a child or young person can walk safely to school if they are accompanied
- parents/carers disability /needs which prohibit them from accompanying their child to school
If parents/carers believe their child meets the eligibility criteria, they can apply for travel assistance by completing the online application form on the council’s website.
If travel assistance is agreed, the Council will decide what assistance will be provided. This decision will be based on the identified needs of the individual child/young person and will take account of the Council’s duties to make the best use of its resources.
Wherever possible, in the provision of travel assistance, the Council will consider travel options that lead to independence and life skills.
If the council decides that some assistance is justified, it will not always be in the form of a place on a taxi/minibus – the proportion of children and young people taking up other forms of assistance that better suit their needs is rising both in Bexley and nationally. Any offer will reflect the travel needs of the child/young person, aiming to all them to travel as independently as possible.
For example, the Council has successfully supported children and young people learn to travel independently to School/College through their Independent Travel Training Programme, supporting more than 183 young people to successfully travel independently on public transport to their place of learning.
Whilst approximately 130 families/young people have benefited from the Council providing a Personal Travel Assistance Budget (PTAB), the family use this funding to make the necessary arrangements to enable the family/young person to make their own travel arrangements which provide greater flexibility and options compared to other travel assistance options.
If the Council agrees to provide travel assistance it will look to support with an appropriate offer based on the needs of the child/young person travel, aiming to allow them to travel as independently as possible, based on their identified travel needs.
For further details including the criteria and policies regarding travel assistance, how to apply and how applications are assessed, please refer to the additional information below.