Travel and transport policies
Post 16 policy statement
Local councils have a duty to prepare and publish an annual transport policy statement.
It details the arrangements for the provision of transport, or otherwise, that we consider necessary to help those of sixth form age attend education or training.
Post 16 policy statement [pdf document]
Find out how to apply for school transport
Frequently asked questions
The legal requirement for ensuring that a child attends school is that of the parent. This means that a parent must take all the action necessary to enable their child to attend school. It is Darlington Local Authority’s responsibility to make free of charge travel arrangements for all ‘eligible’ children resident in its area if.
Reception to Year 11
- A child attends the nearest suitable school as determined by the Local Authority, if that school is more than 2 miles at primary phase and 3 miles at secondary phase, from the parents’ home address using the shortest walking route judged to be safe.
- A child cannot access their nearest suitable school using an identified ‘safe walking route to school’.
- A child has special educational needs, a disability or mobility problems and would not be able to walk to their nearest school even if accompanied by a parent (without an EHCP).
Extended Rights - Year 7 to Year 11
- A child who is in receipt of free school meals or whose parent(s) receives the maximum level of working tax credit and they attend one of their 3 nearest suitable schools, if that school is more than 2 miles and less than 6 from the parents’ home address using the shortest walking route judged to be safe.
- A child who is in receipt of free school meals or whose parent(s) receives the maximum level of working tax credit and they attend the nearest suitable school preferred on the grounds of religion or belief, having regard to the religion or belief of the school where that school is more than 2 miles but less than 15 from the parents’ home address using the shortest walking route judged to be safe and there is no suitable school nearer to their home
We do not provide assistance to students continuing on into post-16 education or training unless they have an Education, Health and Care Plan, we then look to provide financial assistance or where appropriate make travel arrangements.
We would advise students to contact their school or college to see if any assistance is available.
If a child, resident in Darlington, is attending a mainstream school and is receiving free travel but they move house during an academic year, then they may still be entitled to assistance. A new application will need to be submitted at the start of each academic year to assess eligibility.
Where a family moves into Darlington, we may be prepared to assist with travel expenses to enable pupils in Year 11 to continue at their existing school. These arrangements will not be extended for pupils who continue into post16 education (after the age of 16).
For primary aged pupils applying for a pass from the star of a new academic year the bus pass will be sent to your home address no later than the last week of the summer holiday. If applying during term time the bus pass will be sent by post to your home address once eligibility assessment has been carried out (10 working days). This will be the same for secondary aged pupils attending an out of authority mainstream school.
For secondary aged pupils attending a Darlington school they will receive a bus pass via their secondary school unless otherwise advised by the school transport team
Contact your child’s secondary school if the pass has been issued by them. For passes issued by the local authority you must inform us immediately and we will arrange to issue a new bus pass. You may need to provide new photographs if we do not have any on file.
If you express a preference for a school that is more than 2 miles (primary) and 3 miles (secondary) from the parental home using the shortest available walking route (judged to be safe), and are successful in obtaining a place, you would not be entitled to free transport for your child if there is a nearer qualifying school, this is if you do not meet an eligibility criterion. It is expected that when stating your preference of schools that you will put the closest school to the child’s address on your admissions application form, if you do not then the Council will assume that you used your parental right to choose and are prepared to transport your child to school.