Home to School Transport Consultation

Closed 17 Nov 2023

Opened 12 Oct 2023


Havering Council is launching this public consultation on the draft 2025/26 home to school transport policy.

This consultation is necessary due to the changes in the statutory guidance related to home to school transport as issued by the Department for Education.  There has also been a significant increase in the number of children with an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP) in recent years which has led to an increase in the demand for transport assistance.  In addition, a recent review of the existing home to school transport policy shows that Havering’s policy is not consistent with other local boroughs.  

This draft policy (see the documents section below) makes it clear that sustainable, cost effective levels of support will be promoted and offered to families, and that the first offer of transport assistance would be the option that would incur the least cost to the Council.

The draft policy also introduces flexible models of transport assistance which would allow families to support/share transport – for example car-pooling, so that a parent could escort more than one child. There are many ways to utilise the budget and we can help to create those unique options.   We have added some case studies in the documents section below to help you with your choices.

In addition, the draft policy also promotes the use of personal transport budgets and/or direct payments.  This option already exists in a limited way within the current policy, but we are seeing a growing number of families using personal transport budgets to give them a greater freedom of choice in how their children are able to make the journey to and from school, enabling families to be more creative in their choices.

Through this new policy, we are hoping to promote independence and reduce the number of children and young people accessing a single occupant taxi or a seat on a bus, but the needs of the child will be evidenced through the initial face-to-face assessment.

In line with many other boroughs, the draft policy introduces a model for charging for Post-16 transport assistance.

A final decision on the policy will not be taken by Cabinet until early in the New Year, but the consultation on the draft policy will enable families to give their views so we can consider them when making the decision about the policy.

Please complete all the questions so we can get a fuller picture of your views on our proposed policy to inform our decision-making.

Why your views matter

This is your opportunity for your voice to be heard and help us in shaping this policy. Your opinions matter to ensure we get this right for the citizens of Havering combined with our obligations to support those needing transport assistance.

This also enables you to share your thoughts on how we could do something different that we may not have already thought about.

Havering Transport Assistance Consultation Event

This event took place on 8 November 2023.  For feedback from this event please see the documents at the bottom of this page.

Update from the Department for Education

On Friday 3rd November, the Department for Education published a blog post on free school travel, aimed at parents: Free school transport explained: From who’s eligible to how it works - The Education Hub (blog.gov.uk).

We created the post in response to local authorities’ feedback that they often find it challenging to manage parents’ expectations. It aims to support parents’ understanding of the eligibility criteria and to answer some commonly occurring questions.

What happens next

We will use the analysis of the consultation and the face to face event to consider the proposals in the policy and change if necessary. We will return to Cabinet for a formal approval and endorsement of the policy before it becomes active.


  • Face to Face Consultation Event FEEDBACK AT BOTTOM OF PAGE

    From 8 Nov 2023 at 11:30 to 8 Nov 2023 at 13:30

    Feedback from this event can be found at the bottom of this page.


  • Parents
  • Guardians
  • Carers


  • Social Care
  • Pre-school
  • Early Years
  • Primary school
  • Secondary School
  • Residents
  • Communities