school bus

Have your say on proposed changes to home to school transport

21 February 2024

Parents, carers, pupils and schools are being urged to share their views on the future of school travel in North Yorkshire.


North Yorkshire Council has launched a consultation today (February 19) on the home to school travel policy, which costs the authority £42 million this current financial year. Providing home to school travel is the third largest item of revenue expenditure for the council, after adult social care and waste management, with figures doubling since 2015-2016.


At an executive meeting held on Tuesday, January 23, the elected member for education, learning and skills approved a consultation to review the policy following updates for DfE guidance.

The cost of school transport has risen from £20.4m in 2014/15 to £35.5 in 2022/23.

The consultation will now seek the views of parents, carers, pupils and schools on reviewing the discretionary elements. Any proposed changes to future transport provision will be implemented over a seven-year phased period.

See Home to school travel policy – consultation

The table below highlights the other key differences in the proposed new policy, including the discretionary areas:

Current 2019 Policy Proposed 2024 policy
No clear index in the 2019 policy In line with the recent department for education guidance a clear introduction and index on what the proposed policy is about and how to find relevant areas of information.
Eligibility spread across 5 sections throughout the document Eligibility is grouped in section A explaining the categories, which is how the national guidance intended
No definition of nearest suitable used for eligibility in the 2019 policy Inclusion of the definition of nearest, suitable, and qualifying schools used to determine eligibility, including the naming of schools within an Education, Health and Care Plan
No explanation on how to apply for travel assistance How to apply is now explained in each category of eligibility
A section (4.3) on transport to a school on the ground of religion or belief This now is included within the low-income section of eligibility to which it applies
Section 6, additional provision for pupils with special educational needs limited to children with education health and care plan (Education, Health and Care Plan) Improved information and guidance for children with SEND, medical and mobility requirements, including individual assessments and not limited to children with education health and care plan
Limited information in the 2019 policy Improved information on suitability of travel arrangements
No sustainable travel section in the 2019 policy New section on sustainable travel
No contact details in the 2019 policy Contact details of local authority travel teams
No glossary in the 2019 policy Introduction of a glossary of terms
No department for education examples in the 2019 policy Inclusion of examples provided by the department for education on how the guidance is applied (Appendix 1)
Transport will be provided to the nearest and/or catchment over the statutory walking distance. Amendment of the eligibility criterion to be nearest suitable school (with places available)
Transport assistance to a second address at full cost recovery where this is 50/50 spilt Removal of eligibility to travel assistance to a second address
Transport to the nearest suitable primary school on the grounds of religion or belief for low-income families where the school is between 2-5 miles Removal of eligibility on primary phase of denominational grounds for low income
Two Transition days where possible for pupils with SEND Removal of set number of transition days for pupil with SEND



North Yorkshire Council’s executive member for education, learning and skills, Cllr Annabel Wilkinson, said:

Our council, like many others, finds itself in a challenging financial climate.

We are in a stronger position than most, but we must strike the right balance to fulfil the competing needs of our statutory services while ensuring other services are sustainable.

The council spends approximately £1m per school week on home to school transport. Any pupil currently receiving home to school transport under the eligibility criteria of the current policy will continue to do so. The consultation will take on board the views of parents, carers, pupils, schools and partners about proposed changes over a seven-year period. We would like to receive as many views as possible.

It is important know what you think of these proposals. Please use this opportunity to have your say by submitting your feedback during the consultation period. Thank you.


The council’s assistant director of education and skills, Amanda Newbold, added:

We would like to reassure parents and carers that no-one will lose what they currently have in terms of home to school transport provision. However, with rising transport costs it is our duty to look at ways to bring down such costs in the future and this calls for careful review due to the challenging financial times we are in.

The review of the transport policy does not affect where your child goes to school – that is still your choice. The review will look at the overall eligibility to access free travel to your child’s nearest school and how that can be delivered in a fair and economical way.


The consultation, which runs until 12 April 2024, includes a survey.

Parents and carers interested in giving their feedback to the consultation on home to school travel are encouraged to complete the survey at

An easy-read version of the survey will also be available online. Paper-based versions of the survey and policy can be requested.

Anyone requiring further information about this consultation should email


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.



Go toTop