A young person does not need an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP) to be eligible for transport on the grounds of SEND. Also an EHCP does not automatically mean that free transport will be provided.

Transport Criteria

All children of compulsory school age who live outside of the statutory walking distance are entitled to free transport(2 miles for under 8s and 3 miles for over 8s).

The law also states that even if a child lives within statutory walking distance, they may still be entitled to free transport if they:    

  • are from a low income family
  • have an unsafe route to school
  • have SEND

You may want to read the LCC children's transport policy.     

Transport and EHCPs

If a young person has an Educational Health Care Plan (EHCP), they can get free home to school transport if Leeds City Council hasn’t made arrangements for them to attend a setting closer to home.    

If Leeds City Council thinks that they are not attending their nearest suitable school, they will not provide free transport.    

In this case, Section I of the EHCP will name two schools, and will contain a written condition.    

Example of a Section I condition:

Leeds City Council believes the child’s needs can be met at School A. Parental preference is for School B. The child will attend School B on the condition that the parents pay for transport.    

If a nearer school is unable to meet need, or does not have a place available, it does not count as a nearer suitable school.    

You can ask Leeds City Council to name your choice of school unconditionally in Section I, if either:    

  • the EHCP states you need to pay for school transport
  • your young person is attending their nearest suitable school with a place available
  • the difference in cost between Leeds City Council and your choice of school (including the cost of transport) is not unreasonable

If they will not do this, you could appeal to the SEND tribunal, if it is within two months of the plan being finalised.

If you are not within the time limit to make an appeal, you can make the request for the placement to be named unconditionally at the next ECHP review.     

Apply for transport support

For more information about making a transport application, please visit the LCC Travel support for children and young people with SEND page.    

Transport review- Stage one

If you are unhappy with the decision Leeds City Council has made about your transport support, you can request a review by a senior officer.    

  • you have 20 working days from receipt of the decision to make a written request for a review
  • the request should say why you think the decision should be reviewed, including details of personal or family circumstances that should be considered.
  • the local authority then has 20 working days from receiving the written request to have a senior officer conduct the review and send you a written notification of their decision along with a details of how the review was conducted

If you are unhappy with the review decision you could now appeal to an independent appeal panel, known as stage two.    

Transport appeal -Stage two

If you are unhappy with the reviewed decision about your transport support, you can now request an appeal with an independent appeal panel.    

  • you have 20 working days from receiving the stage one decision to make a written request to escalate it to stage two
  • within 40 working days of this request, an independent appeal panel will consider written and verbal representations from both the parents and officers involved in the case
  • within 5 days they will provide you with a written notification of the decision along with details about how the review was conducted, information about other departments or agencies that were consulted with, why they have reached the decision and information about your right to put the matter to the Local Government Ombudsman

If you feel that you have been affected by an unlawful policy and your child should be entitled to home to school transport then you can make a complaint about the local council.    

If you are unhappy with the response from the local council, you can complain to the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman.    

Transport issues

If your complaint or issue is about an exisiting agreed transport arrangement, you will need to contact the passenger transport team directly.    

If you are making a complaint, then clearly mark this on any correspondance and in the subject box for any emails.    

You can contact them on:    

Useful resources

Leeds Sendiass are not responsible for the content of sites or services offered by third parties.

  • Leeds City Council- school transport pages to view more information such as the eligibility criteria, independent travel training, how to apply and the current school transport policy.
  • Leeds City Council- Local Offer SEND Transport

You can find more links on our Useful SEND resource page.