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4. Eligible children

These are:

  • children under the age of 8 where the nearest suitable school is over 2 miles from the registered home address of the child
  • children between the age of 8 and 16 where the nearest suitable school is over 3 miles from the registered home address of the child
  • children with special educational needs, a disability or mobility problem who cannot reasonably be expected to walk to school because of their mobility problems or because of health and safety issues related to their special educational need or disability
  • children who cannot reasonably be expected to walk to school because the route is deemed unsafe

There are also extended rights for children entitled to free school meals on the basis of income and those of parents in receipt of the maximum Working Tax Credit, as follows:

  • free transport, where the suitable school is beyond 2 miles from the registered home address of the child is extended to include children over 8 and below 11
  • free transport is extended to the suitable secondary school being between 2 and 6 miles from the registered home address of the child, where there are not 3 or more suitable nearer schools for children aged 11-16
  • extended free transport to a school between 2 and 15 miles from the registered home address where the school is the nearest preferred school on the grounds of religion or belief for children aged 11-16

Entitlement to extended rights will be subject to annual assessment.

The nearest suitable and available school is defined as the nearest 'qualifying' school in the Borough of Stockton-on-Tees for mainstream places, although this definition will include schools situated outside the Borough boundary, including independent schools where appropriate, for children and young people with special educational needs.

All children who apply or are referred for transport support will be assessed by the local authority.