Local authorities have a statutory duty under Section 508B of the Education Act 1996 to make arrangements for free home to school travel for all eligible children. A child is eligible if they are of compulsory school age, attend their nearest suitable school and live beyond the statutory walking distance (2 miles for children under the age of 8 and 3 miles for children aged 8 and over). Children are also eligible if they cannot reasonably be expected to walk because of their special educational needs, disability or mobility problems, or because the route is unsafe. There are additional rights to free home to school transport for children who are entitled to free school meals or whose parents are in receipt of the maximum working tax credit.
The Department provides statutory guidance for local authorities on meeting their home to school transport duties and is currently consulting on a revised version of this guidance. The consultation can be found at: https://consult.education.gov.uk/home-to-school-transport-and-admissions-team/home-to-school-travel-and-transport-statutory-guid/.