Travel assistance policy for 0-25 year olds in education

Closed 2 Apr 2019

Opened 15 Feb 2019


Birmingham’s Travel Assist Service provides a variety of transport options to over 4,250 children every day, with an additional 1,600 receiving bus passes, and has an overall budget of £18.4m for 2018/19. 

Since 2016 the service has been the subject of a comprehensive review and considerable changes have been made during that time, however there are continuing issues with the delivery of such a large scale transportation operation, which can impact on the service that families receive. 

We want to work more closely with families, alongside other SEND-focused services, early in a child’s life, to support them and plan for the future. It is important the service can offer families enough bespoke options that help to support young people into independence. These can include personal transport budgets and independent travel training.

The new policy is also in line with the findings of the SEND Inspection that took place in June 2018. Our intention is to reflect national good practice and ensure that Birmingham is complying with the latest statutory guidance that has been issued since the current policies were drafted and approved.

Like all councils, Birmingham City Council has a statutory duty to ensure that we use the money and resources we have available in the most effective and efficient manner possible. For the past few years, the Council has overspent on the transport budget, and there is a need to update historical practises and consider how the city is managing rising levels of demand for transport, within a limited pot of funding.

Since the current policies were introduced, there has also been an increased focus at a local and national level of the impact of air quality on the lives of citizens, particularly the most vulnerable. With so many transport routes operating each day (almost 600 minibuses and taxis), the impact of school transport on the quality of Birmingham’s air cannot be ignored.

The changes proposed in the draft policy are set out in the attached summary of changes document.

Various consultation events will be taking place over the consultation period and details of these will be sent to relevant stakeholders. Information on events is available on request from



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