Post-16 Transport Policy Statement 2024-2025


Transport policy statement for students aged 16-18 in further education, continuing learners aged 19 and those young people aged 19-24 with learning difficulties and/or disabilities.

Department responsible: Travel Assistance Service 

Document release: September 2020

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Local authorities do not have to provide any free or subsidised post 16 travel assistance but do have a duty to prepare and publish an annual transport policy statement specifying the arrangements for the provision of transport or other assistance that the authority considers it necessary to make to facilitate the attendance of all persons of sixth form age receiving education or training.

All young people carrying on their education post 16 must reapply for travel assistance. Most young people will be expected to take advantage of the concessionary public transport tickets available throughout West Yorkshire. Students will have to purchase these themselves.

'Sixth form age' refers to those students who are over 16 years of age but under 19 or continuing learners who started their programme of learning before their 19th birthday (years 12, 13, 14).

Local authorities also have a duty to encourage, enable and assist young people with learning difficulties / disabilities to participate in education and training, up to the age of 25.

This policy uses the term ‘Post 16’ to include both learners of sixth form age and those with learning difficulties / disabilities up to the age of 25.

This policy document specifies the assistance that Bradford Council (the council) considers necessary to facilitate the attendance of Post 16 learners receiving education or training.

Education or training refers to learning or training at a school, further education institution, a council maintained or assisted institution providing higher or further education, an establishment funded directly by the Education Funding Agency, learning providers delivering accredited programmes of learning which lead to positive outcomes and are funded by the council, for example, colleges, charities and private learning providers.

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Aims and objectives

The council has the following aims and objectives when assessing transport / travel assistance:

  • to ensure, wherever reasonably possible that Post 16 students are able to access the education and training of their choice; and
  • to have regard to the cost of transport and to alternative means of facilitating attendance
  • to provide solutions that help to develop a young person’s independence, for example through independent travel training, where appropriate.

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Transport and travel assistance

Concessionary tickets for students 16 to 25

All full time students aged 16 to 25 studying within the West Yorkshire boundary, which includes the City of Bradford Metropolitan District, Leeds City Council, Wakefield Council, Calderdale Council and Kirklees Council are able to take advantage of the subsidised concessionary fares or ticket schemes provided by the West Yorkshire Combined Authority (Metro) or other travel providers including First Bus, Keighley and District Buses and Arriva in order to travel to and from their place of learning. In some instances tickets may allow for travel outside of the West Yorkshire boundary at no extra cost. Students will be expected to purchase these subsidised concessionary fares and ticket schemes themselves.

Concessionary tickets provided by Metro include:

  • 16-18 Photocard – card allows travel at half fare on buses and trains throughout West Yorkshire. If you travel into North Yorkshire on Transdev Keighley & District, Harrogate & District and Coastliner services you will receive a third off the fare for your journey in North
  • Under 19 Bus only ticket (5-18) – pre-payment card of 1 week or 1 month allowing unlimited bus travel within West Yorkshire;
  • 19-25 or student Photocard (16-25) – pre-payment card allowing unlimited travel on trains and buses within West Yorkshire.

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The 16-19 Bursary Fund

The 16 to 19 Bursary Fund provides financial support to help students overcome specific barriers to participation so they can remain in education.

There are 2 types of 16 to 19 bursaries:

  1. A vulnerable bursary of up to £1,200 a year for young people in one of the defined vulnerable groups below:
    • in care
    • care leavers
    • in receipt of Income Support, or Universal Credit in place of Income Support, in their own right
    • in receipt of Employment and Support Allowance or Universal Credit and Disability Living or Personal Independence Payments in their own right
  2. Discretionary bursaries which institutions award to meet individual needs, for example, help with the cost of transport, meals, books and equipment

To be eligible for the discretionary bursary students must:

  • be aged 16 or over but under 19 at 31 August 2024 or
  • be aged 19 or over at 31 August 2024 and have an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP)
  • be aged 19 or over at 31 August 2024 and continuing on a study programme they began aged 16 to 18 (‘19+ continuers’)
  • be studying a programme that is subject to inspection by a public body which assures quality (such as Ofsted), the provision must also be funded by either a Government funding agency or the local authority

Schools and colleges are responsible for managing both types of bursary. Students who want to apply for support from the bursary fund should contact their chosen school or college to make an application.

Further information can be found at search for post 16 bursaries.

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Learners with special educational needs or a disability

All Post 16 learners with learning difficulties and/or disabilities that require assistance with travel will be individually assessed to determine their suitability for travel training. If appropriate these young people will receive the training to allow them to travel independently on public transport and allocated an appropriate pass if eligible for assistance.

Students over the age of 16 with learning difficulties and/or disabilities may be eligible for support up to the age of 25 years or, if the 25th birthday occurs whilst on the course up to the age of 26 years. Assistance will usually be made available for a maximum of three years. If further assistance is required beyond 3 years a new application for travel assistance must be made each year.

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Personal budgets

If a student qualifies for travel assistance the parent / carer may opt to receive a personal budget to enable them to arrange their own transport to and from school or sixth form / college. Payments will be made each month / term and are based on the student’s attendance.

Personal budgets are paid at a rate of £7.90 per day. The amount paid will be calculated on the number of days a student attends their college or school. Students will need to provide evidence of their attendance at school or college. All payments are made in arrears, usually at the end of each month / term.

Example – Sharon attends college 3 days per week for 3 terms. If Sharon attends all her days she will be paid:

Start date Costs calculation 

Autumn Term 2023

3 days x £7.90 x 14 weeks = £331.80

Spring Term 2024

3 days x £7.90 x 13 weeks = £308.10

Summer Term 2024

3 days x £7.90 x 11 weeks = £260.70

(If Sharon attended for more or less days she would be paid accordingly)

To be eligible for this assistance the student must be:

  1. Aged 16-19 with a Statement of Special Needs or an Education Health and Care plan and attending a college or a special school in educational Year 12, 13, 14; or
  2. Aged 19-24 with an Education Health and Care plan, having enrolled on the course before their
    19th birthday; or
  3. Aged 19-24 with an Education Health and Care plan, where the Authority, because of the needs of the student, has deemed it necessary they enrol on a course after their 19th birthday; and
    • Attend their nearest college or school 6th form providing facilities and a study programme suitable to their needs, and
    • that school or college is beyond 3 miles from their home

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Pre-payment for dedicated transport (for students 16 to 18)

Independent travellers can access the concessionary fare scheme and purchase one of the many concessionary tickets available. The Council acknowledges young people with learning difficulties and / or disabilities may be unable to take advantage of the concessionary tickets and so the level of charging for non-independent travellers has been designed to ensure there is a level playing field between those who can travel independently and those who cannot.

Those eligible students 16 – 18 can choose to access transport by paying a fee. This is currently £370. The fee is set in line with the cost of an Under 19 Bus Only Ticket which may change each year.

Students and / or parents / carers will be notified of the charges by the Travel Assistance Service in advance and invoiced as soon as possible. Every opportunity will however, be given for students and/or parents/carers to pay the charges by smaller, more manageable payments suitable to the student and/or parent/carer. Payment details will appear on the invoice.

To be eligible for the assistance a student must be:

  1. Aged 16 to 19 with a Statement of Special Needs or an Education Health and Care plan and attending a college or a special school in educational Year 12, 13, 14; and
  2. attending their nearest college or school 6th form providing facilities and a study programme suitable to their needs, and
  3. that school or college is beyond 3 miles from their home

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The amount a parent is asked to pay for transport assistance is a small proportion of the actual cost of the transport provided. The council does not offer refunds where transport has not arrived or is unable to take a student to school or college due to weather conditions or other unforeseen circumstances.

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Travel training

The council currently have an Independent Travel Training Programme which works to promote and implement independent travel for pupils / students attending schools and FE colleges with special educational needs. The aim is to develop the life skills required to travel independently on public transport services.

To be eligible for this assistance the student must be:

  1. Aged 16-19 with a Statement of Special Needs or an Education Health and Care plan and attending a college or a special school in educational Year 12, 13, 14; or
  2. Aged 19-24 an Education Health and Care plan, having enrolled on the course before their 19th birthday; or
  3. Aged 19-24 with an Education Health and Care plan, where the council, because of the needs of the child, has deemed it necessary they enrol on a course after their 19th birthday; and
    • attend their nearest college or school 6th form providing facilities and a study programme suitable to their needs.

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Students placed by the council

Where there is no suitable educational provision available locally, and the council has placed a student with an Education Health and Care Plan (EHCP) at a residential placement, eligibility for travel assistance will be considered on an individual basis.

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Students attending residential schools and colleges

If a student attends school or college on a residential basis because a suitable course is not available within reasonable daily travelling distance, they can receive payment of approved travelling expenses for journeys made to and from the school or college.

Approved travelling expenses will be given for one return journey at the start and end of each full academic term and half terms. The allowance for each return journey will be a 40p per mile allowance by car or the most cost effective available rail fare, whichever is cheaper but not exceeding £500 per term.

Payment will be made only if the student attends the nearest school or college having a place available and offering a suitable course.

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To be eligible for this assistance:

  • the Student’s permanent home address must be in the Bradford District and will normally be the home address enrolled/registered with the school or college;
  • where a Student subsequently moves address the eligibility will be re-determined;
  • where a Student shares equal time between different parental addresses eligibility will be assessed from the property nearest to the school or college attended.

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Students who travel outside the West Yorkshire district boundary

Support will consist of the additional costs of travel to school or college outside of the Bradford District boundary and will be limited to ensure that travel outside of Metro’s West Yorkshire Concessionary Fares Zones is comparable in cost to travel within the zones, using the most cost effective ticketing arrangements available at the time of travel.

Please note: Some concessionary tickets do allow travel across district boundaries and students who live in those areas will be expected to buy these tickets themselves.

To be eligible students travelling across district boundaries must:

  • travel more than 3 miles from their home on a daily basis to attend school or college outside the Bradford district; and
  • Be entitled to Free School Meals in Further Education.

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Young people involved in an apprenticeship and aged 16-18 will be entitled to apply for the Under 19 Bus Only Ticket. Those aged 19 and over can apply for the 19–25 or Student photocard.

More information is available on M-card or visit your local bus station travel centre.

Learning providers are responsible for ensuring that non-employed Programme-led Apprentices have reasonable expenses met in full where these are needed to overcome barriers to learning.

Those not in education, employment or training (NEET)

If you take up the offer of a full time place at a learning provider, you will be entitled, if the eligibility criteria are met, to those benefits listed above for full time students.

Those taking up the offer of an Apprenticeship, Entry to Foundation Learning or employment with training to NVQ level 2 will be able to apply for either an Under 19 Bus Only Ticket or for those aged 19 and over can apply for the 19 to 25 card.

Course information is available on the UCAS pages.

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Young parents / Care to Learn

If you are a young parent under 20, Care to Learn can help pay for your childcare and related travel costs, up to £160 per child per week, while you’re learning.
Care to Learn can help with the cost of:

  • childcare, including deposit and registration fees
  • a childcare ‘taster’ session (up to 5 days)
  • keeping your childcare place over the summer holidays
  • taking your child to the childcare provider

Types of child care

The childcare provider must be Ofsted registered and can be a:

  • childminder
  • pre-school playgroup
  • day nursery
  • out of school club

If your child needs specialist childcare, the provider must also be on the Care Quality Commission’s register for specialist provision.

If you want a relative to get Care to Learn for looking after your child they need to be both:

  • providing registered childcare for children they’re not related to
  • living apart from you and your child


Childcare payments go directly to your childcare provider. Before your childcare provider can be paid:

  • your childcare provider needs to confirm your child’s attendance
  • your school or college needs to confirm that you’re attending your course

Payments for travel costs go to your school or college - they’ll either pay you or arrange travel for you.


Payments will stop if:

  • you stop attending your course
  • you finish your course
  • your child stops attending childcare


You can get Care to Learn if:

  • you’re a parent under 20 at the start of your course
  • you’re the main carer for your child
  • you live in England
  • you’re either a British citizen or a national of a European Economic Area (EEA) country
  • your course is publicly funded (check with your school or college)
  • your childcare provider is registered with Ofsted or the Care Quality Commission

More information is available on Care to Learn eligibility on GOV.UK pages

Type of course

Care to Learn is only available for courses in England that have some public funding. This includes courses that take place in:

  • schools
  • school 6th forms
  • 6th form colleges
  • other colleges and learning providers, including Foundation Learning
  • your community at Children’s Centres

Young parents are also entitled to apply for an Under 19 Bus Only Ticket or for those aged 19 and over can apply for the 19-25 or Student Photocard.

More information is available on care-to-learn GOV.UK pages

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Applying for transport support

Application forms will be available from May each year and should be returned before the end of June for SEN College and sixth form transport.

Students should apply for support as soon as an offer of a place has been made by the school or college by completing an application form available from the Travel Assistance Service.

Full contact details are listed below and in the Council’s Post-16 Transport Policy Statement, which can be found on the Council’s website Assistance with travel to school and college from home page.

For advice about the Policy, application forms for support under the policy, and concerns about transport arrangements contact:

Travel Assistance Service
Margaret McMillan Tower
Princes Way
Telephone: 01274 439450
Office open: Monday to Friday, 9am to 4pm

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Two Stage Process


In cases where an application for travel assistance under this policy is declined, parents / carers can request a review of the decision, which will be carried out by an independent officer who was not party to the original decision. Request for a review should be made in writing within 20 working days of the original decision, and sent to the Travel Assistance Service at the address set out above. The request for a review should include reasons as to why the decision should be reviewed and details of any circumstances the parent believes should be considered in the review, together with any supporting documents.

Within 25 working days of receipt of the request for a review an independent officer will review the original decision and notify the parent in writing of the outcome of the review, and the reasons for it.

Stage 2

If a parent is unhappy with the outcome of a review, the matter can be escalated to an appeal. This must be requested by the parent in writing within 20 working days of receiving the review decision, and sent to Committee Services, Legal and Democratic Services, City Hall, Room 112, Bradford, BD1 1HY, setting out the reasons for the appeal and providing any information in support of it. Appeals are heard by a panel of senior council officers.

Within 40 working days of receiving a request for an appeal, the independent appeal panel will consider written and verbal representations from the parents and officers involved in the case. Written notification of the outcome of the appeal with reasons for the appeal decision will be sent to the parent within 5 working days of the appeal being heard.

Complaints to the Secretary of State

Under certain circumstances the Secretary of State may direct a local authority (‘LA’) to make transport arrangements or provide financial assistance for travelling expenses for individuals or groups of learners, or direct a LA where the LA has exercised its functions unreasonably or failed to discharge a duty.

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