Renfrewshire Council

Home to school transport

Who can get home to school transport. what home to school transport includes, when to apply, what happens after you apply, appealing the decision, your responsibilities, pupil behaviour, privilege passes, feedback about the transport service.

See the updates to school transport on the coronavirus health and safety in schools and nurseries page.

While it is your responsibility as a parent, guardian or carer to ensure that your child receives an education, if your child qualifies for home to school transport we are happy to help get your child to school, safely and on time. 

We operate a home to school transport policy which, for primary pupils, is more generous than the law requires and is in line with current legislation for secondary pupils.

Who can get home to school transport

Home to school transport will be provided if your child:

  • lives more than one mile away from his or her local primary school by the shortest safe walking route
  • lives more than two miles away from his or her local secondary school by the shortest safe walking route
  • has been recommended on health grounds by a designated medical officer
  • has been assessed to attend a school to meet the requirements of his or her additional support needs. (These assessments involve psychological services, who also recommend appropriate transport arrangements.)
  • has to walk a route which, after seeking advice, is considered by children's services to be unsafe for children when accompanied by a responsible adult.

More information is available from the policy document.

To find out if your home address qualifies for school transport, you can check the Transport Eligibility Address List

If your child does not qualify for home to school transport you can find information on bus travel in Renfrewshire from Traveline Scotland website.

What home to school transport is

Children's Services identify the need for the provision. For primary and secondary school pupils, Renfrewshire Council works with Strathclyde Partnership for Transport (SPT) who engage the operators to provide home to school transport. For those pupils with additional support needs, Children's Services make the necessary arrangements.

The chosen forms of transport depend upon a variety of factors and are decided by Children's Services after taking account of all circumstances. 

These decisions may result in any of the following being used:

  • Dedicated school contract bus (service solely for pupils).
  • Bus-pass on a local service bus (either a commercial or subsidised local service also carrying members of the public). This service will only be provided to secondary pupils.
  • Train pass on a public train service. This service will only be provided to secondary pupils.
  • Taxi or private hire car or minibus.
  • The council's own school transport vehicles.

Home to school transport normally covers one return journey, to school in the morning and home at the end of the school day. 

No additional provision is made for home journeys for infants who may have a shorter day at the start of term. 

Children not collected by parents/guardians/carers are supervised until the end of the normal school day. Parents/guardians/carers of pupils wishing to return home for lunch have to make their own arrangements.

When you should apply for home to school transport

If your child is due to start primary school, you should apply when you register him or her for school. 

If your child is going to secondary school you should apply in the February of the last year at primary school. 

You can apply at a later time but there could be a delay while arrangements are being made.

If you move house at any time during the year, you can apply or reapply for home to school transport.

What happens after you've applied

We will tell you the outcome of your application by letter. 

Staff will be happy to discuss any matter connected with your child's application with you. 

If your application relates to a child who is due to start primary or secondary school in August and we receive your application form prior to the end of May then your application will initially be acknowledged. A decision letter will then be issued to you in May/June. 

If your child is already attending the school to which your application relates, we will aim to notify you within 5 working days of receipt of the application of our decision.

Appealing the decision

If you wish to appeal against any decision made regarding your child's application for home to school transport, you may do so by printing and completing the appeals form template within 10 working days of receipt of our letter and returning it to the address below.

You may only appeal against:

  • The application of council policy, not the policy itself
  • The classification of the route as safe for the purpose in terms of section 51 of the Education (Scotland) Act 1980 and the Guidelines on Assessing Walking Routes to and from Schools

Return your complete appeals request form to:

Director of Children's Services
Renfrewshire House
Cotton Street

Your responsibilities

We ask you to encourage your child to behave properly and safely when boarding, travelling on and alighting from the transport. 

As a parent/guardian/carer, you are responsible for ensuring that your child arrives at the pick-up point on time.

Pupil behaviour

Misbehaviour could result in your child losing the right to home to school transport. 

The responsibility of ensuring safe and acceptable behaviour remains yours while your child is travelling in the vehicle provided. 

In the case of misbehaviour, the driver may retain children's passes for the identification of pupils involved. The incident will then be reported to the driver's supervisor and details will be sent to the head teacher. 

Parents/guardians/carers will be invited to an interview with the head teacher and asked to give assurances on their child's future good conduct prior to the return of the travel pass. 

During this period, parents/guardians/carers will be responsible for making their own arrangements for transporting their child to school.

Privilege passes

Privilege passes may be available where there are vacant places on dedicated school transport vehicles. 

The availability of privilege passes will be assessed after places for entitled pupils have been allocated. 

Privilege pass applications, for the start of the new school year, should be submitted by the first day of term and allocations will take place in September / October. Where there are insufficient spaces available for all privilege pass applications a ballot procedure will be followed.

Your application will remain on a waiting list for consideration should subsequent spaces become available at a later date. 

It is important to note that privilege passes can be withdrawn at short notice should a child who is entitled to home to school transport require a seat on the bus.

We will write to you as soon as possible to let you know if your application has been successful.

To apply for a privilege pass, please print out our privilege pass application form available in the Related Documents section.

Feedback about the transport service

Comments on the transport service can be made to Strathclyde Partnership for Transport.

If you have a concern or complaint regarding the provision of school transport should contact the school your child attends by telephoning and providing details, which will be recorded and submitted to SPT.

You can also complain directly to SPT in writing to reinforce your concerns. SPT will respond directly to you and will advise the school on the outcome of their investigations