School travel assistance

Travel assistance for ages 5 to 16 and 16 to 25, independent travel training.

Travel assistance for ages 5 to 16 with SEND

We offer a range of services designed to help you arrange your child’s travel in a way that builds resilience and allows them to lead a more independent life.


You may be eligible for travel assistance if the following requirements are met:

✔ The parent/carer and child reside in Croydon

✔ The child’s age is between 5 and 16

✔ The child is registered at a qualifying school (see travel assistance policy for full list of schools)

✔ The child cannot reasonably be expected to walk to school because of:

  • their special educational needs, disability or mobility problems 
  • the nature of their route to school

Additional requirements may apply in accordance with our travel assistance policy (PDF, 259KB) 

Travel Options

When applying for travel assistance we will assess which of the following options is most suitable for your situation. 

Independent travel training

Pupils that have the potential, once trained, to travel to and from school independently may be offered independent travel training (ITT) a personalised, one-to-one program  designed to support young people with special needs or disabilities to learn how to travel from home to school safely on their own.

To find out more please visit our independent travel training page.

Personal transport budget

Where the pupil is eligible for travel assistance and the parents or carers can provide the support necessary, the council may consider paying them a personal transport budget (PTB) to help with the necessary arrangements.

The PTB will be individual to each child or young person, to offer them more choice and control over the support they receive. The current rate is paid at 60 pence per mile from the home address to school (four journeys for each day attended).

Instead of having to work around one mode of transport the PTB will allow you to choose support that best suits your child’s needs. For example you can use the PTB to:

  • drive the young person to school
  • buy a travel pass for a parent or trusted escort
  • pay for an escort or travel buddy service
  • contribute costs to transport shared with other parents
  • purchase childcare for siblings whilst you accompany the child to school

The entitlement is normally paid in advance on a monthly basis and will not affect the parent’s, carer’s or young person’s benefit entitlement. To ensure the young person’s needs are being met, the council will monitor the child’s attendance and punctuality at their school.

Transport arranged by council

Whilst for a large number of pupils getting to school independently or with the help of a parent or carer will be a safe and reasonable experience, a small number of children with complex needs will be offered travel assistance arranged by the council.

When arranging travel, suitability and safety of the routes available will be our priority. The arrangements may include school busses or taxis and will take escort requirements into consideration.

Free travel on trams and buses

All children under the age of 16 in full time education can travel free on buses and trams. Pupils aged 16 and 17 can travel at half the adult rate. The council may offer further assistance with travelling on public transport where the child's needs make this necessary.

All young people aged over 11 are required to carry a ‘Zip’ Oyster photo card, which must be swiped on every journey to take advantage of the young person rates.

To apply for a Zip Oyster Card visit . You will be required to create an account with a valid UK address before you apply.

A recent photograph of the pupil and their passport number will be required to verify their age. If the pupil does not have a valid passport TfL will provide you with a verification letter, which you will need to download, print and take to a London Post Office along with an appropriate proof of age:

  • birth certificate
  • passport
  • European Economic Area ID card
  • or a biometric residency permit. 

If the young person does not have any form of identification, their identity can be verified by the school which would need to stamp and sign the verification letter before it is submitted at a London Post Office.

If you have any questions, contact the Oyster Helpdesk on 0845 330 9876.


Travel Assistance Policy 5-16 2024-2025 (PDF, 259KB)

Travel Assistance Code of Conduct (PDF, 258)

Privacy notice - travel assistance 2023 (PDF, 27KB)