Skip to main content Skip to accessibility
  Non-Javascript users can confirm they have successfully signed out of MyAccount by clicking here

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 youg 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 an application for a replacement pass 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.​​

Post 16 Transport Policy​ 

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 get maps of all bus routes, trains and Metrolink routes from 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 timetables and a journey planner. 

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 c​hildren and young people with disabilities or learning difficulties (SEND)

The local authority provides transport free of charge to school or college for students with disabilities and/or learning difficulties in those cases where it is considered essential. This provision is between home and the nearest school or college that can address the particular needs of the young person. If a young person chooses to attend a school or college with an equally suitable course which is further away from home, then it is understood they will be required to make their own travel arrangements to and from that school or college.

If transport is provided this may involve the provision of private hire vehicles or specialist vehicles. Any application for concessionary transport of this kind will be considered by the SEN and Children with Disabilities Service to establish that the provision of such transport is necessary to enable you to travel between home and college.

Students in Year 11 at Redwood Secondary School or attending the Post-16 provision at Redwood Secondary School may be provided with independent travel training that will reduce the need to rely on private hire vehicles. This training is related to home to school transport and travel to other educational provision including post-19 placements. The training is provided during the school day with the consent of parents. Over time such training will be extended to include young people at other schools and Sixth Form colleges.

If you have a disability and/or learning difficulty and attend a specialist residential college, the local authority will refund the full cost of off-peak public transport between home and college at the beginning and end of each term and each half term holiday. In some cases, the local authority provides transport between home and the specialist residential college.​

For full details, please read the Travel Assistance Policy for children and young people with SEND​​

How to apply

To apply, please complete the relevant application form:

​​​​Please return your completed application form by email to​​ or by post to:​

SEN Assessment Team
Rochdale Borough Council
Number One Riverside – Floor 4, 
Smith Street, 
OL16 1XU​

​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. To apply, get an application form from a Transport for Greater Manchester Travelshop or write to:

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

​Travel safe advice

Travel safe advice from Transport for Greater Manchester

01706 925981

SEN Assessment Team
Number One Riverside
Smith Street
Rochdale OL16 1XU