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School and college travel expenses

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Here you can find information about applying for school and college travel expenses, Transport for Greater Manchester services​​​​​​​​​​​​, travel assistance for children and young people with disabilities and safe travel advice.​

​School travel expenses

Is my child eligible?

School children (up to age 16) can claim school travel expenses if they attend their nearest school when:

  • Under 8 and the distance to school is more than 2 miles.
  • Over 8 and the distance to school is more than 3 miles.

We won't pay travelling expenses for pupils who don't attend their nearest suitable school, unless your family receives free school meals or the maximum level of Working Tax Credit.

In this case the pupil must be attending:

  • A primary school that's more than 2 miles from home.
  • One of their 3 nearest secondary schools that's between 2-6 miles from home.
  • The nearest denominational secondary school that's between 2-15 miles from home.

Eligibility for travel expenses are determined by the School Transport Policy​.

How to apply

If you feel your child is eligible for school travelling expenses, complete the application form.

Please attach a suitable digital photo of the pupil with your application:

  • Only one person in the photo
  • Head and shoulders only, facing forwards
  • Portrait, not landscape
  • Not blurred
  • Taken against a plain background
  • In colour, not black and white

If you're applying on the basis that the pupil is in receipt of free school meals, please attach evidence such as a copy of a letter from the Revenues and Benefits service.

When applying on the basis that you're in receipt of the maximum level of Working Tax Credit, please attach evidence such as a copy of your tax credits award notice, ensuring that you include Part 2 ('How we work out your tax credits'). You'll be receiving the maximum level of Working Tax Credit if the notice shows the 'Reduction due to your income' as £0.00.

Apply for school travel expenses (opens in a new window)

​How to appeal a decision

If your application has been declined you can appeal the decision.

Appeal a Home to School Transport decision (opens in a new window)


If the appeal is unsuccessful you cannot appeal again.

What if my child loses their travel pass?

If your child's free travel pass has been lost, you can download a replacement pass form at Transport for ​Greater Manchester. Or call 0161 244 1050 or email

​​​​​Post 16 Transport Policy

If you're a student aged 16-18 (19-25 with SEND) and live more than 3 miles away from the school or college you can get help with the cost of travelling expenses.

You must be a full-time student and either you or your parent/guardian must receive either Income Support, Job Seeker’s Allowance (Income Based) or Working Tax Credit with a household income of less than £15,910.​​

Refunds of travelling expenses are made at the end of the academic year.

How to apply

​If you think you may be eligible, please email  to request an application form.

Complaints and appeals process

If you wish to complain about or appeal against any aspect of the policy or any decision made about an application, you should first contact the Assistant Director, Early Help and Schools, Rochdale Metropolitan Borough Council, Number One Riverside, Smith Street, Rochdale OL16 1XU. If you're unhappy with the response you receive, you'll be advised of your further right of appeal along with the reply to your initial complaint or appeal.

Students attending AS level and A2 level courses at schools in the Rochdale borough, Rochdale Sixth Form College or Hopwood Hall College

Hopwood Hall College, Rochdale Sixth Form College and schools in the Rochdale borough are collaborating in teaching a few subjects. This means that although you're be registered at one school or Hopwood Hall College, on some days your subject will be taught at another institution. When you need to travel between schools or college you'll be transported there and back free of charge.

Students attending colleges and schools outside Greater Manchester

There are no special arrangements for students attending schools or colleges outside the Greater Manchester boundary. Generally speaking students are not eligible for any lower fares on bus services that cross the county boundary. However, if your parents receive any of the benefits mentioned above, you can get a refund from the local authority of 40p for each single journey undertaken, provided the school or college you attend is more than 3 miles from your home address. You're also advised to ask the school or college that you attend about subsidised buses.

​Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM) services for students and young people

Scholar's Permit

If you're aged 16-19 and in full time further education at school or college situated in the Greater Manchester area you may be able to get a TfGM Scholar's Permit. This allows you to travel to and from school or college at the standard concessionary fare (currently half the adult fare) inside Greater Manchester on buses, and for half fare on trains and the Metrolink tram.

TfGM application forms for travel concessions

Alternatively get an application from the school or college.

​​​System One Bus Saver Travel Cards for young people and students

If you make frequent use of bus services for journeys additional to school or college travel, you should consider the System One Bus Saver Travel Cards. Information is available at the System One website   

You cannot use the System One Bus Saver Travel Cards to pay for journeys on the Metrolink tram or trains.


You can find information about public transport networks, lines, routes, stations and stops at Transport for Greater Manchester. If you would like printed copies of a map to be sent to you can telephone 0161 242 6040.​

Bus services available to post-16 schools and colleges in the Rochdale area​

You can access the school bus timetables on the Transport for Greater Manchester website.

The times of any services published are subject to alteration at short notice in accordance with the requirements of the school or college.

Public transport information

Transport for Greater Manchester provide a whole range of public transport information, in fact all the information that you will ever need to use Greater Manchester's public transport network.

Call them on 0161 228 7811 from 8am-8pm 7 days a week. You can also visit the TfGM website for departure times, journey planning, tickets and travel information.

The Rochdale Travelshop

The Rochdale Travelshop is located in Rochdale Bus Station and is open as follows:

  • Monday-Friday: 7am-5.30pm
  • Saturday: 8am-5:30pm
  • Sunday: Closed

​​​Travel assistance for children and young people with special educational needs and or disability (SEND)

We provide FREE transport to school for pupils with special educational needs and/or disability where it's considered essential. This provision is between home and the nearest school that can address the particular needs of the child. We may also provide transport to college.

If a child or young person chooses to attend a school or college which is further away from home, they'll be required to make their own travel arrangements, unless it's the nearest school or college that can address the particular needs of the child or young person.

If transport is provided it may be a private hire vehicle or specialist vehicle. Any application for concessionary transport of this kind will be considered by the EHC team.

For full details, including contact details if you have a query, please read the Travel Assistance Policy for children and young people with SEND​​.

How to apply for travel assistance for children and young people with SEND

Complete the relevant application form and return it to us using the details listed on the form.

Pre-16 travel assistance application form (454kb pdf)Post-16 travel assistance application form (392kb pdf)

​Concessionary Travel Pass

If you're disabled, whatever your age, you may be able to get FREE or discounted travel on buses, trains and the Metrolink or travel vouchers for discounted taxi travel. Find out if you qualify and apply for a free or low-cost travel pass for disabled people and apply online.
Or write to:

Travel Concessions
Customer Services
PO Box 429
Manchester, M60 1HX.

​Travel safe advice

Travel safe advice from the Greater Manchester TravelSafe Partnership