Proposed changes to the Home-to-School/College Transport Policy are set to go to public consultation

The Cabinet of Bridgend County Borough Council has agreed to a full public consultation for proposed changes to the home-to-school or college transport arrangements.

In a bid to support the medium-term financial strategy efficiency savings of £792k in the 2025-2026 financial year, several changes to educational transport have been suggested – some of these amendments will affect the ‘legacy’ benefits that a number of pupils enjoy from the pre-2015 policy arrangements.

The former policy enabled pupils to receive free transport if they lived further than one and a half miles from their primary school, or two miles from their secondary school.  When the current policy came into effect, these arrangements continued for learners who had always experienced such benefits, but were not accessible to pupils just starting school, either at primary or secondary school level.  Additionally, learners were able to ‘pass on’ this favourable eligibility to their younger siblings.  As part of the new proposals, this will no longer apply – all pupils of statutory school-age will be eligible for free transport only if they live outside of the statutory distances of two miles of a primary school, or three miles of a secondary school.

Another proposed change is the offer of a ‘personal transport budget’ to parents or carers of pupils with additional learning needs (ALN).  For pupils with ALN who are eligible for free transport based on their particular needs, a ‘budget’ of 45p per mile will be offered to provide financial support to parents or carers on an individual basis, giving them the opportunity to arrange their own transport to school for their child if they wish.

The only transport arrangements set to remain unaffected are those for pupils attending Welsh-medium and faith schools.  Although there is a statutory requirement to promote the Welsh language, this is not the case for faith education.  However, supporting individual choice in relation to education is at the heart of national, as well as local policy, consequently, transport provision is proposed to continue without change.

Below is a summary of the proposed changes to the Home-to-School/College Transport Policy:


  • Withdrawal of transport for all learners who live within the statutory distances of two miles of the nearest suitable primary school, or three miles of the nearest suitable secondary school, and can walk to school safely on an identified route.
  • Removal of legacy ‘sibling’ protection for pupils.
  • Removal of all transport for Nursery pupils (excluding those attending their nearest suitable Welsh-medium or faith school).
  • Removal of all Post-16 transport (to all schools and colleges), excluding pupils attending the following schools:

Ysgol Gyfun Gymraeg Llangynwyd; Archbishop McGrath Catholic High School; The Bishop of Llandaff Church in Wales High School.

  • The offer to parents/carers of pupils with ALN the option of a ‘personal transport budget’ providing a mileage allowance of 45p per mile.

Cllr Jon-Paul Blundell, Cabinet Member for Education, said: “The learner transport budget has been under significant financial pressure for many years.  Home-to-school or college transport spend has increased from around £6m at the end of 2020-2021, to a projected £10m at end of 2023-2024, with only a current budget of almost £9m. Since the pandemic, the transport market has been depressed with significantly higher prices year-on-year.

“The suggested changes to the Home-to-School/College Transport Policy have been carefully considered in terms of equity, inclusivity, as well as cost. The proposed amendments still ensure that each and every child, irrespective of circumstances, can access a suitable place of education.

“We very much value the thoughts of pupils and their parents or carers and encourage those potentially affected by the proposals to communicate through the 12-week consultation which is due to commence in April 2024.”