Devon County Council has a policy on the provision of school transport. It provides, for example, for free school transport where a pupil of compulsory school age lives beyond the agreed statutory distance from the school designated by the Local Education Authority to serve the home address. The statutory distance is defined as two miles for children up to eight years of age and three miles for those aged eight and over. To qualify, the statutory distance is measured by using the shortest available route between the home and the school.
Transport will also be provided if requested to pupils registered at a school that is nearest to their home where this is not the designated school and if beyond the walking distance and suited to the age, ability and aptitude of the child. There are exceptions to the policy. Some pupils may be given free transport for special reasons when they live within the statutory distance – for example, on medical grounds.
It is a parents responsibility to arrange for children to travel in safety between the home and picking‑up and setting-down points. They are also responsible for their children while they are waiting for transport and when they leave the transport at the end of the day. Where the Authority is not obliged to provide transport ‑ it is the parents’ responsibility to make arrangements for and meet the costs of travel between home and school.
Where spare seats on the County Council’s school transport vehicles or contractors’ vehicles are available, these may be occupied by children not entitled to free school transport on the purchase of a concessionary ticket. Adequate warning will be given to parents should the concession need to be withdrawn. However, no-one who does not normally travel in the school bus/taxi may do so, for any reason, even on payment of the fare. Please bear this in mind when making arrangements for your children to visit other families.
If parents are unhappy about the way in which the policy has been applied, the Divisional Education Office will be willing to discuss any concerns. An appeal procedure exists. Further information is available from the Divisional Education Office. A full policy statement is available from the Divisional Office.
Please inform the school in writing if your child is not going to travel on the school transport for any reason when they normally do. Please make sure the bus or taxi driver is always made aware of any changes to normal routine.