School travel assistance

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

Travel assistance for ages 16 to 25 in education

At Croydon council we offer a range of services designed to help arrange young people’s travel in a way that builds resilience and allows them to lead a more independent life.

You can find our contact details by clicking on the corresponding tab at the top of the page.

Closing date for applications: 5 July 2024. Travel assistance will not be guaranteed for September term for applications received after the deadline.



You may be eligible for travel assistance if you meet the following requirements:

Basic requirements

✔ The parent/carer and young person both reside in Croydon

✔ The young person’s age is between 16 and 25

✔ The young person is on a course of further education at a school, college or training provider

✔ The course is deemed suitable and will provide an educational benefit to the student

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

  • their special educational needs, disability or mobility problems (evidence to this effect will be required)
  • the nature of the route to school

Additional requirements may apply in accordance with our travel assistance policy. You can download this from the download section at the foot o this page. Read the policy carefully and only apply if you believe the young person meets the outlined requirements. Any applications failing to do so will be automatically rejected.



When applying for travel assistance the council will assess which of the following options is most suitable for your situation. Unfortunately we cannot guarantee in advance which type of support will be available for you.

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 or college safely on their own.

To learn more, visit our independent travel training page.

Travel on trams and buses

Pupils aged 16 or 17 can travel at half the adult rate. The council may offer further assistance with travelling on public transport where this is deemed necessary in light of the pupil's needs.

Young people 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 is 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, 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 identification, their identity can be verified by the school which must stamp and sign the verification letter before it is submitted.

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

Personal transport budget

In most cases students eligible for travel support for post 16 studies who are unable to travel independently will be provided with a personal transport budget.  See the SEN Post 16 factsheet (PDF, 140KB) and the post 16 travel assistance policy (PDF, 400KB) which details the support available and the application process.

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 young people with complex needs will be offered travel assistance arranged by the council.

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

How to apply

If you fulfil all the eligibility 

Download the Application form (word 125KB).

To complete your application you will need to provide the following documentation:

  • evidence that the young person cannot travel independently or in certain cases accompanied by an adult, such as a medical statement or letter from their GP
  • the most recent copy of tax credits award notice from HMRC (including part 2), if you are in receipt of the maximum level of Working Tax credit
  • name of the young person’s allocated social worker, if they are looked after by the local authority
  • evidence of parent’s disability, such as a letter from a GP, if relevant to young person’s travel needs
  • evidence that young person requires a passenger assistant, such as documentation from school/college or a medical professional
  • statement of educational progress from the young person’s course tutor, if returning to college for further study

Send the documentation and completed form (if not applying online) to:

By submitting the application form you agree to our code of conduct and General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR).You can download a full copy of our code of conduct from the downloads section below.

We expect all children to treat the bus driver and their fellow passengers with respect and listen to the drivers and escorts. Children are responsible for looking after their possessions and the vehicles (parents or carers will have to pay for any damage inflicted), and are requested to take any litter home with them. If you see someone behaving badly or bullying others always report it to the driver or your school.

All incidents that occur on the transport will be investigated. Where your child is involved, the passenger transport team and the school concerned will work with you with the aim of resolving the issue. For minor issues we will schedule a discussion with you to find a solution agreeable to all parties. For serious issues that cause a risk to the health and safety of your child or others, your child will be immediately suspended from transport for the duration of our investigation and you will be responsible for your child’s transport to and from school.

Examples of unacceptable behaviours that will result in suspension:

  • physical violence towards staff and other passengers
  • not remaining seated and wearing the appropriate seat belt
  • distracting the driver (except in emergencies)
  • bringing weapons (real or replica), knives, drugs or alcohol onto the vehicle
  • exiting the vehicle at any point during the journey that is not the agreed drop off point
  • failing to follow the requests or instructions of the escort or driver
  • smoking (this is illegal on all vehicles
  • eating and drinking
  • shouting or swearing
  • throwing things
  • behaviour that causes distress to other passengers
  • malicious damage to the vehicle

We expect parents and carers to have the child ready for collection at the specified time. Transport providers have been instructed to wait no more than 3 minutes. If your child misses the transport, you are responsible for ensuring that your child goes to school. If your child is unwell or is sent home at any other time than the regular time you must make your own arrangements for their transport home.

Make sure someone is at home to receive the child, if no one is at home and we cannot contact you, the child will be taken to a place of safety and social services will be informed. It will be your responsibility to collect your child from them.

The personal information contained within the application for travel assistance form is provided in order to arrange travel assistance for your child. We will keep information about you and your child and the services we provide for you on your record. In line with common practice, this data will be retained for 35 years following closure of records.

We have a duty to protect the information you have provided to us and ensure it is kept confidentially. The information may be stored securely, both on paper and electronically, and will only be shared for purposes relating to travel assistance for example with schools, colleges, contractors and communication based systems such as ‘Teachers to Parents’. The purpose of this data sharing is to enable Croydon Council to fulfil its statutory duty to provide travel assistance to eligible students. It will not be shared further with anyone else without your knowledge, unless we are required to do so by law.

By submitting your application for travel assistance you are giving us permission to share the information contained supplied in the application form for the purposes of considering and arranging your request for travel assistance.

By submitting the application form you agree to our code of conduct and General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR). Both of which you can view in the downloads section at the foot of this page.


What happens after you apply

We will review your application and contact you within 30 working days to let you know whether travel assistance is suitable for the young person. If the application is approved, a personalised travel plan coordinator will make arrangements to meet and discuss travel options.

There is an appeal process if the young person does not qualify for travel assistance or you do no not agree with the proposed arrangement. For further details on the appeals process, see the travel assistance policy in the downloads section below.