Decision details

Proposal to consult on changes to the Council’s Home to School Transport Policy

Decision Maker: Executive Member for Education, Learning & Skills

Decision status: Recommendations Approved

Is Key decision?: Yes

Is subject to call in?: Yes


To seek approval to begin a consultation on proposed changes to the Council’s Home to School Transport Policy following new Department for Education statutory guidance dated June 2023


To agree that:

i) a consultation be undertaken on a new North Yorkshire Home to School Travel Policy 2024 in respect of travel for children of compulsory school age.

ii) the consultation should include these proposals regarding discretionary elements:

• Retention of early eligibility in the Reception year
• Retention of extended eligibility in Year 3
• Amendment to the main eligibility criterion to be ‘nearest school (with places available)’ to match the statutory requirement
• Removal of eligibility on the basis on 50/50 second address
• Removal of eligibility for the primary phase on low-income denominational grounds
• Removal of blanket eligibility to transport support for 2 days SEND transitions

Reasons for the decision:

The Council has a statutory duty to provide home to school travel for eligible children of compulsory school age in accordance with statutory guidance issued by the Department for Education (DfE). In 2023 the DfE published a revision to their statutory guidance entitled ‘Travel to school for children of compulsory school age, statutory guidance for local authorities, June 2023’.

The Council sets out its policy in a document that is currently called the North Yorkshire Council Home to School Transport Policy that was previously subject to consultation and implemented in 2019. The Council is required to consult and implement policy changes to ensure compliance with the revised statutory guidance. In future it is intended to rename the revised policy document to be the ‘North Yorkshire Council Home to School Travel Policy’ in accordance with the language used by the DfE in their statutory guidance.

There is a separate North Yorkshire Council Post 16 Transport Policy Statement 2023-2024 that is supported by stand-alone DfE guidance. The Council is to wait for the next update to that DfE guidance, which is anticipated later in 2024, before considering whether consultation is required on any Post 16 changes. The exception to this will be the subsidised charging rate that is contained in the Post 16 Policy Statement, and which is adopted via a report to the Executive Member in the spring of each year.

In accordance with requirements the public consultation would run for 28 school days from 5 February to 20 March 2024. The consultation would be hosted on the Council’s website with an on-line response form. Written submissions to the Council would also be welcomed via a freepost address.

The consultation will be publicised to a broad range of stakeholders including all North Yorkshire schools and academies and the parents of pupils attending, early years providers and their parents, NYC councillors, parish councils in North Yorkshire and neighbouring local authorities. The public engagement during the consultation period would be a mix of in-person and on-line events, with some provided specifically for schools and some for parents and other stakeholders.

The policy publication is linked to the school admissions round, therefore any changes to the travel policy would apply to new admissions and/or travel applications received on or after 1 September 2024 and would affect new entrants to schools (REC and Y7) with effect from September 2025

Publication date: 23/01/2024

Date of decision: 23/01/2024

Effective from: 01/02/2024

Accompanying Documents: