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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 ended in September 2015.

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

Armed forces personnel 

If you or your partner are a serving member of the armed forces, please tick the box on the application form to let us know. We will contact you to find out whether your service in the armed forces impacts your application for a free bus permit for your child(ren).

We do this to make sure we comply with the new Armed Forces Covenant Duty. The Covenant Duty does not dictate what we do - only that we must consider the armed forces community alongside other legal requirements to ensure we assess applications fairly.

How to apply

To apply, please download the application form below.

You can apply for a pass at any stage in the school year. To receive a pass in time for the beginning of the September 2024 term, you must have submitted your application by Friday 28 June 2024.

School travel application form 2024-25 (Word doc) [86KB] (opens new window)

For the academic year 2024/2025 (from September 2024): if you require a replacement bus pass you will need to contact NEXUS at Any lost passes for the 2023/2024 academic year can be replaced at a charge of £7.95.  Please contact Gateshead Council at