School/College Transport FAQ’s

Does my child qualify for free school/college transport?

To receive free travel to and from school:

  • You must reside within Caerphilly County Borough Council.
  • You must be registered with council tax as residing at the property from which you are applying for transport.
  • Your child must attend his/her 'relevant' school. The relevant school is the catchment or nearest school.
  • For children in primary education the distance between your home and the school must be more than one and a half miles – the distance being measured by the nearest available walking route.
  • For all other pupils the distance between the home and the school must be more than two miles – the distance being measured by the nearest available walking route.

To receive free travel to and from college:

  • You must reside within Caerphilly County Borough Council.
  • You must be registered with council tax as residing at the property from which you are applying for transport.
  • The student must be enrolled on a full-time course.
  • The student must be aged 16 years, 17 years or 18 years at the start of their course.
  • The student must be attending their catchment establishment/college or nearest place to home offering the course or broadly comparable course, this will be determined by officers.
School Transport Policy

How do I apply for free school/college transport?

Primary School

Parents/carers must apply online to receive transport for primary school pupils.

Please Note: If you have not received confirmation that your child has been allocated a free seat on school transport, you must make your own way into school.

Secondary School

For pupils attending secondary school for the first time at the start of year 7 there is no need to apply for school transport. Details of these pupils will be provided by your child's school to the Integrated Transport Unit (ITU) for assessment in accordance with the School Transport Policy. If your child is eligible for free school transport, the necessary travel arrangements will be made, and you will be notified during the Summer term.

Please Note: Parents/carers of those pupils who do not qualify for free school transport will not be automatically informed. If you have not received confirmation that your child has been allocated a free seat on school transport, you must make your own way into school.

For in-year admissions or transfers to secondary schools, you should apply online for transport.

College

Learners or parents/carers must apply online to receive transport for college.

Does my child need to keep their bus pass?

Yes, DO NOT throw the bus pass away – Your child will need to show their bus pass to the driver every day before every journey for the remainder of their schooling.

Please note: Bus passes are not issued to primary school age pupils. Bus drivers will be issued with lists of entitled pupils (name only) to ensure that only those that have been confirmed as eligible are allowed to travel.

What if my child's bus pass is lost or damaged?

In the event that a bus pass is lost or stolen or destroyed, a replacement will only be issued on receipt of a small charge.

  • £5.00 bus pass issued by the Integrated Transport
  • £10.00 season ticket issued by a Public Transport provider

To arrange a replacement bus pass or season ticket you should contact the Integrated Transport Unit.

What if my child hasn't received a bus pass or letter of authorisation?

If you have not completed the school admission form for your child to attend your chosen school then you will need to do so by contacting the school admissions team

If you have completed the school admission form and received a letter confirming their placement at the school, then you will need to contact the school transport team

Can my school ask the transport provider to allow my child to travel without a bus pass?

No - Seats have been allocated to eligible pupils. If additional learners are travelling, then this may lead to the bus becoming overcrowded.

Can my child’s friend travel on the school bus with them even though they are not eligible?

No - Seats have been allocated to eligible pupils. If additional learners are travelling, then this may lead to the bus becoming overcrowded.

What if my address changes?

If you have recently changed your address you will need to inform the Integrated Transport Unit, and they will verify the address against the transport eligibility criteria. If your child is eligible, the appropriate transport arrangements made. 

What if by moving my child no longer lives in the catchment area of their current school?

If you move to an address outside the local area of the school/college to which transport has been provided you will not continue to receive free home to school transport

School Catchment Areas

What if by moving my child no longer meets the eligibility criteria?

If you move to an address which moves you closer than the 1.5 miles (primary pupils) and 2 miles (secondary pupils) to the school/college to which transport has been provided then you will not continue to receive free home to school transport.

How does parental preference of a school affect entitlement to free home to school transport?

If you choose to place your child in a school other than the nearest or catchment school then you are totally liable to organise, and pay for the cost of transport to the chosen school.

Can I apply for school transport support if my child is not eligible?

The Council will reserve the right, using appropriate powers, to make the spare capacity available on an existing contracted school transport route, subject to availability, to learners who are not eligible to receive free school transport to their relevant school (only).

Bus Journey Information

How can I find out information about school bus times and pick up points?

Details of all school transport routes, transport providers, pick-up points and timings are available here.

For details of other commercial routes that are available for those pupils who are not entitled to free school transport, please visit the Traveline Cymru website. The website provides public transport timetable information and allows you to also plan your journey.

Is school transport provided from home to school?

School transport is not normally provided from the pupil’s home address but from an approved pick up point on the main transport routes.

How long should my child have to wait for the school transport?

Pupils are advised to be at the designated bus stop 10 minutes before the scheduled pick up time and wait up to 20 minutes after its scheduled departure. It should be noted that these are approximate times only and can vary due to fluctuations in traffic flow.

How long should the school journey take?

The Council does not specify a time limit for journeys. However, journey times should be reasonable, taking into account the age and individual needs of the learners, and the nature, purpose and circumstances of each journey. Where parents/carers express preferences for their children to attend voluntary aided (faith) schools or Welsh/dual language schools that are some distance away from their homes, journeys may generally be longer.

Can my child be transported to any other address other than the home address?

No - Transport is provided to and from the home address or nearest recognised stop only. No other address or drop off point will be authorised.

Can my child use a different service to the one that has been allocated?

No - Each school vehicle has an individual contract number and only pupils issued with a pass or authorisation for that vehicle may travel. Anyone else will be turned away by the driver.

Do I need to be available to receive my child off school transport?

Yes – for primary pupils only. You, or a responsible adult, are required to be available at least 10 minutes earlier than the agreed pick up and drop off times, as detailed on the school bus timetable, to handover or receive your child off school transport. Additionally, parents must inform the passenger assistant on the vehicle if another person will be collecting their child from the vehicle in the afternoon.

Should parents / carers not be available at the bus stop, transport providers are advised that pupils are to be taken to a place of safety, for example, the nearest police station or social services office.

Where parents fail to be available to collect their child, then transport may be removed until appropriate arrangements are in place for the child to be collected by a responsible adult.

Parents / carers should also note that transport providers are not permitted to accept written or verbal instructions allowing their child to be dropped at the stop unsupervised.

Are seat belts fitted to all school buses?

All contracted school bus routes are fitted with seat belts. All children must wear a seat belt when travelling to and from school. The passenger assistant will assist primary aged children where necessary to ensure that they are seated comfortably and that their seat belts are secured. 

Transport for Children with Additional Needs

Does my child have a right to special educational needs transportation?

Free transport is provided to all pupils attending Special Resource Centres and our Special School - Trinity Field School and Resource Centre, which are not held in their own schools, regardless of distance and family circumstances. Special provision includes classes for children with profound and multiple learning difficulties, physical disabilities and additional learning difficulties, complex learning needs, hearing impairment, speech and language difficulties, social communication and autism, behavioural difficulties, and pupil referral units.

Do I need to apply for my child's transportation?

No way. Once your child's admission has been confirmed by the Council's Access and Inclusion panel, they will notify the Integrated Transport Unit.

When will I find out about my child's transportation arrangements?

After receiving notification from the Access and Inclusion service, the Integrated Transport Unit will strive to arrange the most suitable transport within 3 weeks. Where there are delays beyond this, the Integrated Transport Unit will contact the parent/carer to provide an update.

A letter or email will be sent to parents/carers when transport is scheduled. This letter states which transportation provider will transport your child and also gives their phone number. If transportation is required for the new academic year, the school transport team will arrange and advise you during the summer holidays.

What form of transportation will be provided?

The Council is committed to providing the best and most appropriate transport system that will transport learners safely, comfortably and without unreasonable levels of stress. Transportation is generally provided by contracted taxi or minibus, but if it is more cost effective to do so, parents may be offered a fuel rebate.

As the parent or carer of a child going to a school/class AAA, what am I responsible for?

Parents or carers should be aware that transport to and from the home address will be provided only and no other pick-up and drop-off point will be authorised. It is your responsibility to take your child to and from the vehicle.

Every effort will be made to pick up/drop off your child on the roadside outside your home. Parents or caregivers should therefore be ready at least 10 minutes prior to the pick-up/drop-off time specified by the contractor. If parents or carers are not at the home address to receive their child, then unfortunately contractors are advised to take pupils to a place of safety, for example the nearest police station or social services office.

Will I meet the driver and passenger assistant before my child starts school?

All drivers and passenger assistants are instructed to meet all new pupils and their parents/carers before they are taken to school. At this time, they will also confirm pick-up and drop-off times.

What if my new transportation provider hasn't visited me and my child?

You will need to notify the Integrated Transport Unit if the transport provider has failed to book a date to visit you, either by reporting the problem online or calling 01443 815588.

The driver and/or passenger assistant is constantly changing, which is upsetting to my child. What should I do?

Continuity and continuity of passenger drivers and assistants is important, especially when transporting pupils with special needs. We ask all our transport providers to keep changes for drivers and passenger assistants to a minimum, and not to use alternative drivers and passenger assistants except when necessary in times of illness and holidays. If you find that the driver and/or passenger assistant changes regularly, please let the Integrated Transport Unit know either by contacting online or by calling 01443 815588.

Why is my child's transportation provider changing?

From time to time, it is necessary for the transport provider to change. Any changes to school transport will be communicated to parents/carers and the school immediately and disruption to the child will be kept to a minimum.

Can I keep my child's current transportation provider?

When tendering for school transport contracts, the Council must ensure that it adheres to the relevant procurement legislation. As such, it may not always be possible to stick with your previous transportation provider.

What do I need to do if my child is sick or not attending school?

If your child does not attend school, due to illness or other reasons, then you need to contact your transport provider to notify them as soon as possible. This will avoid any unnecessary trips. If your child is travelling alone, or the absence continues for more than 5 days, please also report it to the Integrated Transport Unit by calling 01443 815588. You will also need to contact the school to inform them of the absence.

What do I need to do if we are moving in a new direction?

If you move direction, you will need to report it to the Access and Inclusion Service, which will determine if your child is still eligible to attend the same school and learning support class. When the right is confirmed, the Integrated Transport Unit will review your previous transport information should also be discussed with the transportation provider when you meet them.

If equipment does not meet a reasonable standard, transport can be withdrawn until the wheelchair/buggy meets the minimum safety standard.

application and attempt to establish the most suitable transport arrangement. This can take up to 15 working days.

As the parent or carer of a child travelling in a wheelchair or buggy, what am I responsible for?

As a parent/carer, you are required to ensure that the wheelchair/buggy is properly maintained and suitable for transport.