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School transport

Children aged between 5 and 16 may qualify for free home-to-school transport. This will depend on:

  • your income
  • where you live
  • your child's age

If your child has special educational needs (SEN) or a disability they might also be eligible.

We provide home-to-school transport for children who live further than the legal walking distance from the appropriate neighbourhood school (2 miles for primary school and 3 miles for secondary school).

Secondary school pupils who receive free school meals or whose household qualifies for the maximum level of Working Tax Credits will also qualify for free school travel if they attend:

  • one of their 3 nearest qualifying schools and live between 2 and 6 miles away
  • the nearest suitable school (preferred on grounds of religion or belief) and live between 2 and 15 miles away

In a small number of cases, school pupils need help because they have additional needs. These may include pupils with special educational needs or physical disabilities. For more information please see transport for pupils with additional needs.

Free home-to-school transport for all pupils not attending their catchment area school ceased from September 2015.

We still provide free transport to school for eligible pupils qualifying under the means tested scheme.

Armed Services Personnel 

If you or your partner are a serving member of the Armed Forces Community please ensure that you tick the box on the application form to make us aware of this.  Ticking the box will mean that one of our officers will contact you to find out more about your service in the armed forces and whether/how this may impact your application for a free bus permit for your child(ren).  We will do this because the Council is keen to ensure that it is complying with the new Armed Forces Covenant Duty.  The new Covenant Duty places a legal obligation on public bodies to pay 'due regard to the principles of the Covenant' and requires decisions about the development and delivery of certain services to be made with conscious consideration of the unique obligations and sacrifices made by the Armed Forces so that the armed forces community do not suffer disadvantage as a result of their service.

The Covenant Duty does not mandate what organisations must do - only that they must consider the Armed Forces community alongside other legal requirements to ensure a fair assessment when applications are considered.

How to apply

To apply, please download the application form below.

This application form can be used to apply for a pass at any stage in the school year. To receive a pass in time for the beginning of the September 2022 term, you must have submitted your application by Friday 17 June 2022.

School travel application form 2022-23 (Word doc) [85KB] (opens new window)

If the pass applicable from September 2022 is lost throughout the year, we can replace it at a charge of £6.90. Please contact us for further details.

Please contact us by sending an email to benefitsfsm@gateshead.gov.uk with any queries. 

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