Free school transport

How can we help get your child to school?

Whilst it is the parent's/carers responsibility to secure their children's education, North Lanarkshire Council is happy to help you get your child safely and on time.

That is why school-crossing are provided and we operate a school transport policy which is more generous than the law requires. Home to school transport provision is amongst the most generous of any Scottish local authority.

The policy states that we provide free School transport if:

  • Your child lives more than one mile away from their catchment primary school (by the shortest acceptable walking route).
  • Your child lives more than two miles away from their catchment secondary school (by the shortest acceptable walking route).
  • Your child has been recommended on health grounds by a designated medical officer.
  • Your child has been assessed to attend a school to meet the requirements of their additional support needs. (These assessments involve Education, Youth and Communities, Psychological Services who also recommend appropriate transport arrangements)
  • Your child has to walk a route, which after being assessed by Environmental Services, does not meet the acceptable criteria for a walking route. Routes are assessed based on adult accompaniment on the route.

What free school transport means

Education, Youth and Communities identifies the need for provision. For primary and secondary we work through Strathclyde Partnership Transport (SPT) who engage the operators to provide free school transport. For additional support needs Education, Youth and Communities undertakes all arrangements.

The choice of the precise mode of transport depends on a variety of factors and is decided by Education, Youth and Communities after taking all circumstances into account.

This can result in any of the following:

  • Dedicated school contract bus (service solely for pupils).
  • Bus pass on local service bus (which can either be a commercial or subsidised local service also carrying members of the public)
  • Train pass on service train
  • Taxi or private hire cars and minibuses.
  • North Lanarkshire Council's own transport vehicles.

Free transport normally covers one return journey, to school in the morning and home at the end of the school day. Parents of pupils wishing to return home for lunch have to make their own arrangements. Special arrangements may be available locally to cover pupils taking part in school activities after the end of the normal school day.

Further information is available by downloading pdf icon School transport guidance notes [10kb].  To apply for free school transport download pdf icon School transport application form [19kb].

Please use the 'contact us' box if you have any questions. For more information, see 'related pages', 'downloads' or 'other useful websites'.

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