Your local authority (LA) must provide suitable home to school transport arrangements if:

  • your child goes to a school beyond the statutory walking distance from their home, and
  • your LA has not made suitable arrangements for your child to go to a nearer school or boarding accommodation.

The statutory walking distances are:

  • two miles for children under eight, and
  • three miles for those eight and over.

(Section 444(5) of the Education Act 1996)

When your LA assesses whether the distance between your child’s home and their school is further than the statutory walking distance, the route they measure must be the shortest route along which a child, accompanied as necessary, may walk in reasonable safety. This is not necessarily the shortest distance by road. The route may also include footpaths, bridleways, other pathways and alternative entrances to the school.

Remember, however, that if your child meets one of the other criteria – for example, because your child could not reasonably be expected to walk to school because of their special educational needs or disability – then your child could be entitled to transport even if they live within statutory walking distance to their school.

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