Schools - travel grants
Education authorities have a statutory responsibility to provide and finance the transport of school pupils who live specified distances from school. The statutory qualifying distance for pupils of school age under eight is two miles and for those eight years and over is three miles.
West Lothian Council has agreed to provide free transport for all secondary pupils living more than two miles from their designated catchment school and for all primary pupils living more than 1.5 miles from their designated catchment school. The home is defined as that of the parent or legal guardian. The distance is measured as the shortest walking distance from home to school using public footpaths between the house gate (or door where this does not apply) to the school gate.
The provision of transport for pupils attending special schools and classes is not subject to these limitations, but is based on individual pupil need. The Policy "Transport to and from School - Special Education" deals with transport to special schools and classes - see under 'Online Tools' on the right.
Responsibility for the provision of free transport to mainstream schools rests with Transportation, County Buildings, Linlithgow, telephone: 01506 775291.
Education and Cultural Services retains responsibility for transport in support of the curriculum - for more information contact the Customer Services Manager on 01506 281951. For transport for pupils with special educational needs attending special schools and classes telephone 01506 775202.
Where transport is awarded, it is by means of season tickets on public service routes, failing the availability of which, private contracts will be arranged. Any spare seating capacity on private contract routes is used to accommodate non-entitled pupils on a grace and favour basis.
In addition to the distance criteria, other situations where there is entitlement to free travel are:
- on safety grounds
- for medical reasons
- regular use of a childminder
- curricular activities outwith West Lothian
- single parent refuges
- school roll full
- children in-care
- exclusion from a school and compulsory attendance at another
Where a physical disability or other disabling medical condition exists, application for transport is submitted through medical staff indicating where any particular conditions need to be met such as harness, special seat or tail-lift vehicle and whether administration of medication or the provision of an escort is required. Where the medical condition is temporary, a suitable review date (at least one per year) related to the nature of the condition and its likely duration is agreed.
There may be instances where certain specialist subjects are not available in West Lothian schools and the child, subject to the approval of Education and Cultural Services contact the Customer Services Manager on 01506 281951, may need to attend a school outwith West Lothian which may have transport implications. In such cases the cost of travel by means of the cheapest method possible will be reimbursed to the pupil or parent periodically in response to a written claim submitted to Development and Regulatory Services, County Buildings, Linlithgow.
Responsibility for the provision of transport for children in care rests with Community and Support Services.
Frequently Asked Questions
Click a question to see the answer.
Yes, you need to apply every year for Pupil's Concessionary Travel. The number of children entitled to free transport varies from year to year, so a pupil's concessionary travel seat is only valid for the current session.
If your child is attending the school designated by the council and s/he would have to walk more than one mile (primary school) or two miles (secondary school) to get there, s/he will be entitled to free school transport.