Free school transport

How to check if your child is eligible for free school transport, how to apply for free transport, information about changing your allocated bus service and how to get a replacement travel pass.

Is my child eligible for free school transport?

Your child might be eligible for free school transport if:

  • they receive free school meals and live within the qualifying distance from your home to their school
  • you receive your maximum level of working tax credit and live within the qualifying distance from your home to your child’s school
  • you receive a letter from East Riding of Yorkshire Council stating your child’s entitlement 
  • your home address is within the school catchment area and over the qualifying walking distance to the school 
  • your child is attending their nearest catchment area school and the walking route to and from that school has been assessed as unsuitable walking route by the council. OR if the measured available walking route when the child is accompanied by an adult can be walked in reasonable safety and is over the qualifying walking distance.

If your child is automatically eligible for free home to school transport when they transfer from Year 6 to Year 7, you will receive a letter from East Riding of Yorkshire Council by the end of April. This letter will explain how to apply for your child’s free transport pass.

Not sure if your child is eligible?

Use the eligibility checker below to see if your child might be entitled to free home to school transport.

What if my child does not qualify for free school transport?

If your child doesn’t qualify for free school transport, take a look at  alternative travel options.

What if my child changes school or we move house?

If your child changes school or moves house mid-way through the academic year, you need to find out if that change will affect your child’s eligibility for free home to school transport.

If your child is eligible for free school transport, you should submit an application once you know when you are moving into the new house or have a start date for the new school.

If your child is not eligible for free school transport, read about alternative travel options

Can my child get a bus from more than one address?

Yes. If a child normally lives at more than one address, it is possible that they will qualify for free home to school transport. In this case, the child’s entitlement to transport under the policy will be assessed for each of the child’s places of residence. If the child is entitled to free transport from more than one address, they could be granted free transport to both addresses.

Eligible from one address but not the other?

If the child is not entitled to free transport from one address, the child could use the council’s paid for transport services or use the public service bus network. 

If you have any questions or require help, please contact us:

Email:  school.transport@eastriding.gov.uk  

Is my child eligible for free transport to and from sixth form or college?

The council does not provide free transport for students aged 16 and over attending a school’s sixth form or college.

We provide college bus and/or taxi services for students with learning difficulties and/or disabilities. These services are not free. You must pay an annual £540 contribution towards it. Read more about travel for those with learning difficulties and/or disabilities on the Local Offer website.

The council allows parents to purchase a bus pass on its existing transport where spare seats are available. Spare seats are allocated on a priority basis. Read about travel pass costs and find out more about buying a travel pass.

If you don’t want to buy a pass, you may want to use public bus services. Students can also pay a daily fare when using the council’s paid for bus services.

Can I change the bus service my child has been allocated to?

When a travel pass has been issued for a specific bus service, we will not usually change the bus service. However, there are instances when we will consider changing the bus service named on the pass if there are good reasons to do so. A child wanting to travel with their friends would not normally be an acceptable reason.

If you want your child to change buses, please send a letter of support from your school together with your own supporting evidence and reasons to:

Email:  school.transport@eastriding.gov.uk

How can I apply for free school transport for my child?

Apply for free school transport

You must be a parent, carer or legal guardian of the pupil you are applying for. As the applicant, you can live outside of East Riding of Yorkshire as long as any addresses provided for the pupil to travel are:

  • within East Yorkshire
  • occupied by a parent, carer or legal guardian of the pupil

Information for parents/carers of students starting secondary school in September 2021

If your child has been identified as being automatically eligible for free school transport from September 2021,  you will receive a letter in May 2021 inviting you to complete an online application form.

Please note: you need to submit your application form by the end of June for your child to receive their travel pass on time.

Photo requirements 

We need a recent photo of your child if your child needs a travel pass for secondary school. This should show their head and shoulders and have a plain, light-coloured background. Your child must be facing forward and looking straight into the camera.

  • maximum size: 20MB
  • file options allowed: JPG, PDF, TIFF or PNG

What happens after I apply?

If your application is successful you will receive your child’s travel pass within 10 working days after you have submitted your application.

If your child is starting secondary school in September of the new academic year, they will receive their pass at their secondary school’s familiarisation day. 

How often do I need to reapply?

You only have to reapply for free school transport if:

  • your child changed schools
  • you have moved house
  • if your child is eligible to free transport because you are in receipt of the maximum working tax credits or you child is eligible for free school transport because they receive free school meals. If this is the case, you will need to make a new application for each new year or part way through the year if your circumstances change.

Can I use my bus pass on different routes to the same school?

The bus pass cannot be used on any other route than the route printed on the pass. The bus route your child is allowed to use and the number of the bus service will be printed on the pass. This is the only route valid for the bus pass.

Can I get a replacement travel pass? 

You need to replace your child’s travel pass if:

  • the pass is damaged
  • the pass is lost
  • you need to change the name on the pass
  • you need to change the photo on the pass
  • the pass stopped working
  • the pass has been stolen 

There is a £10 fee for replacing damaged, lost or stolen travel passes. A pass is classed as damaged if you can not clearly see all of the following:

  • school name
  • bus route number
  • photo
  • expiry date
  • child's name

Please note: the £10 fee is applicable for all pupils – even if they received a free travel pass.

Buy a replacement travel pass

How do I appeal if my bus pass application has been refused?

If you are refused free school or college transport you can ask for your case to be considered by the Director of Children, Families and Schools. You can appeal if you believe that there are special and exceptional circumstances in your case which justify your child being treated differently to everyone else.

If you want to make an application to the Director of Children, Families and Schools, you can request an application form to be sent to you by email or telephone:

Email: school.transport@eastriding.gov.uk  

Tel: (01482) 395444

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