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Getting to school or college - transport
Medway Council, as the Local Authority (LA), offers transport to
eligible pupils up to the age of 19 years. Please read the
information about applying before contacting the Student Services
Operations Team for an application form.
Young people aged four to 16
Children who attend their nearest appropriate school from their
home address and live over the minimum distance will be
eligible for free home to school transport. If the child is under
eight years old the minimum distance is two miles and if the child
is over eight years old the minimum distance is three miles.
The walking distances are measured by the shortest available
walking route and may take into account public footpaths and public
rights of way. The shortest available route is one along which a
child, accompanied as necessary, can walk with reasonable safety to
Eight and 11-year-olds from low-income families will also
qualify if they live more than two miles from their nearest
appropriate school. Eleven-year-olds or older from low income
families will also qualify if they live more than two miles (but
not more than six miles) from one of their three nearest
Low income families are defined as where children are eligible
for free school meals or where their parents receive
the maximum level of Working Tax Credit; proof of this will need to
Attending a church school.
If your child attends a school chosen on denominational grounds,
the council may count this as your nearest appropriate school. To
qualify, your child must be a regularly practising member of a
church of the same denomination as the school concerned. If you
apply for travel assistance on denominational grounds you will need
your vicar or priest to sign the appropriate section of the travel
form. The minimum distances still apply. Medway’s Catholic school
is St John Fisher Catholic
School and the Church of England school is the Bishop of Rochester Academy for
secondary age pupils.
If you are unsure whether you qualify, please phone the number
If you are interested in your child joining other children on a
safety-assessed walking bus route with adult
supervision or wish to discuss safer routes to school in
general please visit the Safer
Journeys Team web pages or contact the team
Young people in Years 12 and 13
Once a young person continues their education into Year 12,
the council will no longer subsidise the cost of travel passes or
provide free travel. Eligible students under 19-years-old can
still apply for a pass, which is charged at cost. For further
information and how to apply please visit Transport for 16+ students.
Raising of the participation age - remaining in education or
The Department for Education (DfE) has raised the participation
age for children to remain in education or training. The
legislation states that young people who are currently in Year 11
will be required to remain in education or training until they are
17 years old and those currently in Year 10 and below will be
required to remain in education or training until they are 18 years
With regards to transport to school the DFE they have confirmed
that there is no legal requirement for the local authority to
provide free home to school transport for these young people and
therefore the current post 16 transport policy guidance will apply.
These young people will need to apply for either the 16+ transport
or the Medway youth pass as per the terms and conditions and no
free travel will be offered.
Find out more on the DfE page:
Useful information: what does raising the participation age mean
Vacant Seats Payment Scheme (VSPS)
Children who do not qualify for free home to school travel can
sometimes be offered a seat under the Vacant
Seats Payment Scheme (VSPS).
To download this pdf you will need Adobe Acrobat Reader. If you
do not have it on your computer, please use our advice page.
Under this scheme any unfilled seats on vehicles hired by the
council to take entitled children to school can be offered to young
people who are not eligible for free travel. Seats cost £173 per
term. Please note that travel under VSPS is not available on public
bus or train services. It is possible that a VSPS seat may have to
be withdrawn at a later date if it is needed for a child who is
entitled to free transport, if the council decides to stop running
that vehicle or if it decides to run a smaller vehicle.
Medway Youth Pass
Previously known as the half price bus fare scheme, a Medway
Youth Pass entitles all young people who live in Medway and
hold a valid pass to pay half the adult fare at all times when
travelling on any local bus service, up to the end of the academic
year after their 18th birthday.
The journeys must start in Medway and can be to any destination
in Medway or Kent, as long as any changes of bus are in Medway.
This pass is not valid on the subsidised yellow buses run by Medway
Council or companies who already offer a child fare.
For further information and how to apply please visit
Youth Pass webpage.
School bus services
There are a number of school bus services serving Medway's
secondary schools. The majority of these services are
provided by the commercial bus companies.
Medway Council also supports MY Yellow bus services which
must be booked in advance and there may be waiting lists. Please
see the school
bus services page for more details.
Sustainable Schools Travel Strategy
The vision of Medway’s
Sustainable School Travel Strategy [SSTS] (pdf 268KB) is that
every child can meet their travel requirements in order to fulfil
their educational potential in a manner that is independent, safe
and sustainable. This is a draft strategy at the current time and
awaits formal approval.
Taking children to and from school by car is an increasing
national problem that has a marked effect on peak hour traffic and
may adversely influence the travel behaviour of future generations.
School travel initiatives have contributed heavily towards a
reduction in the number of children travelling to school by car in
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