Renfrewshire Council

Home to school transport

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

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Who can get home to school transport

We will provide home to school transport for your child if they:

  • live more than one mile away from his or her local primary school by the shortest safe walking route
  • live more than two miles away from his or her local secondary school by the shortest safe walking route
  • have been recommended on health grounds by a designated medical officer
  • have 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.)
  • have 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.

You can find more details in the available in the  home to school transport policy [226KB]  and the  Guidelines on safe walking routes to school [23KB] .

To find out if your home address qualifies for school transport, you can check the transport eligibility address list [3MB] .

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 includes

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:

  • a dedicated school contract bus service solely for pupils
  • a bus pass on a local service bus, either a commercial or subsidised local service also carrying members of the public, only available for secondary pupils
  • a train pass on a public train service, only available for secondary pupils
  • taxi, 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 who are not collected by parents, guardians or carers are supervised until the end of the normal school day.

If you want your child to return home for lunch, you will need to make your own arrangements for this.

When you should apply for home to school transport

If your child is due to start primary school, you should apply when you register them for Primary 1 (P1) class.

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 online 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 or 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 can download and complete the home to school transport appeal form [35KB]  within 10 working days of receipt of our letter and return it to the address below.  Appeals procedure for home to school transport decisions [32KB] .

You can 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 completed appeals request form to:

Director of Children's Services
Renfrewshire House
Cotton Street

Privilege Passes

Privilege passes may be available where there are vacant places on dedicated school transport vehicles. You can apply for a Privilege Pass if your child does not qualify for Home to School Transport.

If there are more applications than there are spaces, we will have a ballot to allocate the spaces. 

If spaces become available at a later date, we will keep your application on a the waiting list.

You should submit your application for a Privilege pass at the start of the new school year, on the first day of term. Allocations will take place in September and October.

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

You can apply online for a privilege pass.

Privilege passes can be withdrawn at short notice if a child who is entitled to home to school transport needs a seat on the bus.

Your responsibilities and pupil behaviour

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 or carer, you are responsible for ensuring that your child arrives at the pick-up point on time.

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 and carers will be responsible for making their own arrangements for transporting their child to school.

Feedback about the transport service

You can give feedback or comments about the school transport service on Strathclyde Partnership for Transport (SPT) website.

If you have a concern or complaint regarding the provision of school transport, you should contact your child's school by phone with your 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.

More information about school transport on the Strathclyde Partnership for Transport (SPT) website.