Hampshire parents who would like their children to be considered for School Transport from September 2024 must apply on time to make sure their applications are reviewed before the new school year starts.

School Transport is available to eligible children from the school term after their fifth birthday up to and including Year 11. With the end of the current academic year now fast approaching, Hampshire County Council is reminding local families of the upcoming application deadlines:

  • For children attending mainstream primary and secondary schools – 31 May
  • For children with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) – 30 June

Councillor Roz Chadd, the County Council’s Cabinet Lead Member for Children’s Services, said: “While the majority of Hampshire families make their own journeys to school, we understand that in certain circumstances, there are exceptional reasons why families may need help with this. In these cases, we may be able to provide free transport assistance, providing the national eligibility criteria are met. Details of the eligibility criteria are available on our website and we strongly encourage families to firstly check these and, if they believe they are eligible and require support with school transport, to make sure they submit their applications on time.

“Applications received after the deadline will be treated as late applications and will only be reviewed after all on-time applications have been processed. For eligible families who apply late, this means that transport will not be in place for September 2024 and may not be available for the first school term.”

Families with children who already receive School Transport do not need to do anything unless their circumstances have changed. For example, if they have moved home or school, they will need to reapply for transport by the relevant deadline. If they have a child in year 11, their eligibility for free transport will cease at the end of the current academic year and they will need to explore alternative transport arrangements for their child’s post-16 education or training, even if their child will continue to attend the same setting.

Visit the County Council’s website for full details, including how to apply for School Transport.

Post-16 Transport

After Year 11, a Post-16 Transport service is available in certain circumstances, for young people with SEND who access further education or training and who meet the eligibility criteria. This is a discretionary service which may require parents to pay a partial financial contribution towards the costs of transport. To be considered for this service for the 2024/25 academic year, families need to apply by 30 June 2024.

Unlike School Transport, the Post-16 Transport service requires families to submit a new application each year. Parents with a young person who currently receives Post-16 Transport therefore need to apply by the above deadline if they wish to be considered for this service again for the coming academic year. There is no automatic entitlement to the service, even to those who have previously received it.

Further information about the Post-16 Transport service, including how to apply, are available on the County Council’s website.

Next steps

Providing their School Transport or Post-16 Transport applications are received on time, families can expect to hear back from the County Council with the outcome of their application within 15 working days. This may vary during busier periods. For approved applications, families will then receive a second communication from the County Council confirming their child’s transport arrangements. Details of transport arrangements will be sent to both new applicants and existing School or Post-16 Transport users no later than the end of August.

For more information about travel to school, visit the County Council’s website.