For Families and Carers : School and college transport

Some children and young people with Down’s syndrome may need transport from home to school or college because they live a long way from the school or because they are not able to walk as far as other children. Local authorities have a duty to provide free travel for certain groups of children.

Compulsory school age


The local authority has a duty to provide free travel arrangements if the child attends the nearest suitable school and

  • Lives outside the statutory walking distance (2 miles for under 8s, 3 miles for 8 and over) OR
  • Lives within the statutory walking distance but there is no safe walking route OR
  • Cannot walk to school because of a disability or special educational need

There are also additional provisions for children from low income families

Your local authority must publish their transport policy. From Sept 2014 this must be part of the Local Offer.

Young people of sixth form age (16-19)


Local authorities must also publish a transport policy statement for learners of sixth form age. This must specify what travel arrangements the LA considers necessary to enable 16-18 year olds to access education.

For this age group there is no duty to provide free transport. The LA may provide subsidised transport. In addition there may be help for travel expenses via the 16-19 bursary fund.

Further information


From the DSA

This page is a quick summary of a complex area. For more detailed information, download our factsheet on school transport

You can also ring the DSA helpline on 0333 1212 300 for advice on school transport or email info@downs-syndrome.org.uk.

From the Department for Education

Home to school travel and transport guidance Statutory guidance relating to children of compulsory school age

Post 16 travel guidance Statutory guidance for young people of sixth form age

16-19 bursary fund