Home to School Transport for Secondary Age Children
Darlington Borough Council has a duty to make the necessary travel arrangements for ‘eligible children’ under Section 508B of the Education Act 1996.
The Council will provide ‘free’ transport in the following circumstances:
In addition to the ‘Free’ School Transport provided by Darlington Borough Council, Hummersknott Academy is able to offer a limited number of additional places on existing routes to parents/carers of secondary age children; however there will be a cost for this provision.
Parents/carers who are not entitled to ‘free’ transport can apply for a fare paying place on an existing school coach, where there are spaces available. The spaces are limited and there is no guarantee that every child who applies will be allocated a place. This offer only applies to children living two miles or more from the school.
It is a parents / carers responsibility to get their child to school and your choice of school should not be affected by the availability of transport.
The Academy will not consider providing additional routes, diversions to existing routes or increase the capacity of a coach to meet an increased demand, unless there are cost effective reasons for doing so. All decisions to provide an additional service will be taken in consultation with School Transport at Darlington Borough Council.
Places on the school coaches will be allocated as follows:
Non-Statutory places will first be allocated to the pupils who currently use home to school transport on a non-statutory basis, and then places will be issued to any new starters or mid-year transfers.
Once pupils are allocated to a route they will all be treated equally regardless of year group.
The calculated distance is measured from the front door of the home address (including flats) to the main school gate, by the shortest walking route. This will be based on the home address of the child where they reside for the majority of the time (where there is shared care the decision will be based on the parent that receives the child benefit). To remain consistent the Academy uses a Geographical Information System to measure all distances. The priority when measuring a route is to identify the shortest route judged to be safe (safe is lit at regular intervals, paved/tarmacked). The Academy accepts there may be exceptions and will treat each case on its merits.
The Academy will decide which route your child should be allocated; thereafter places will be determined on a furthest distance from the school basis; i.e. if there are two children applying for the same route we will allocate the route to the pupil who lives furthest from the school within the route area. No consideration will be given to childcare arrangements, or drop offs due to location of parents workplace.
If your child is successful in obtaining a place on the transport we will attempt to enable your child to access transport for the full five years of their secondary education. However, this cannot be guaranteed as circumstances may change at any time. This transport will be known as non-statutory transport.
Allocations will be made prior to the commencement of the academic year. The application process will stipulate a date by which forms must be returned to the Academy for processing. Any applications made after this date will be treated as late and will not be processed until all other places are allocated. Any applications made mid-year i.e. during September to July of any academic year will be accommodated where possible.
Places will only be made available on each route if there are seats available after all statutory children have been accommodated. If there is sufficient demand then a case will be considered for increasing the size of the coach, if possible and only in circumstances where this is cost effective.
A non-statutory child can be removed at any point in time. The Academy will give 10 working days’ notice to parents for their child to be taken off a route.
The Academy is responsible for issuing bus passes and will undertake periodical checks on coach routes to ensure that passengers are complying with the Travel Rules (copy of the Travel Safely in Darlington is enclosed for your information).
Pupils will be issued one pass for one route; there is not an option for pupils to have multiple passes for different routes. If a pupil wants to change routes a request can be made by parents /carers to the Hummersknott Finance Office, and this will be assessed and accommodated where possible.
Hummersknott Academy will make arrangements with you to collect payment for the transport if you are successful in obtaining a fare-paying place. We offer parents a variety of ways to make payments, including cash, cheque and ParentPay. Passes will not be issued to pupils until payment has been received.