Personal Transport Budgets for eligible children and young people with SEND
A Personal Transport Budget (PTB) is a sum of money that is paid at our discretion to parents or carers of students with special educational needs or disabilities (SEND) and who are eligible for travel assistance.
You can use a PTB in any way you want to make sure your child gets to school everyday.
You can apply for a PTB if we’ve confirmed that the student is eligible for transport due to their special educational needs or disabilities (SEND) and who:
- live within the area where Buckinghamshire is the local council
- have an Education, Health and Care Plan
- attend the school (s) or educational setting (s) outlined in their Education, Health and Care Plan
There might be circumstances where a PTB is not appropriate. This could include where we can arrange transport for your child at a lower cost. This will be assessed as part of the application process. We’ll make the final decision based on all the available information.
How you can use a PTB
PTB's can be used in many ways. Some examples are to:
- pay for fuel or running costs on a family vehicle to drive your child to school
- hire a vehicle if you do not have one
- pay for a shared taxi with other pupils
- pay for a trusted adult to take another child in the family to school to allow you to transport your child with SEND
- pay for childcare for another child in the family to allow you to transport your child with SEND
- buy a public transport travel pass for another child in the family so that they can travel to and from school, allowing you to transport your child with SEND
- buy a public transport travel pass for yourself or a trusted adult to accompany your child
- car share with other parents
How much you could receive
The standard amount that would be offered with a Personal Transport Budget (PTB) is 45p per mile.
This will include the cost of two return journeys to and from the students' school or education setting.
How we'll decide the amount
After you complete the SEND transport application form and ask for a PTB, we’ll contact you to discuss your family’s individual needs and determine your family’s PTB amount.
Factors that will be considered include:
- your child’s special educational needs or disabilities
- your child’s age
- travel distance
- how your child might travel to school
- journey time
- whether your child needs to be accompanied
- specialist equipment needs
PTB’s are paid at our discretion and will not be offered where we can arrange transport at a lower cost.
Students in the same household
If there is more than one eligible student in the same household we will take this into account in the PTB amount we offer.
It might be appropriate for one of your children to receive a PTB and for another child to use transport that is arranged by us.
How payments work
PTBs are usually arranged for the full school year and are reviewed each year. If your child is still eligible, you’ll need to reapply for a PTB each year.
If a PTB is agreed, we’ll:
- set up a monthly payment into your chosen account
- make the first payment at the start of the academic year in September
If your child starts to receive a PTB part way through the school year, or attends school or learning on a part-time basis, payments will be on a pro rata basis.
The final monthly payment in August may be adjusted if a reduction is needed. For example, to account for low attendance or regularly arriving late to school during the year.
How to apply
To find out if you’re eligible for transport assistance, you’ll need to speak with your EHCP coordinator, who will:
- assess the student’s eligibility
- pass the eligible student’s details to the client transport team who will send you a link to the online SEND transport application form
You will need to complete the online application form by the deadline stated.
Only eligible students can apply using the online application form. If you need help to complete the application form please contact us.
If you choose to apply for a PTB, we’ll:
- contact you to discuss your child’s needs to determine the appropriate PTB amount
- assess whether we can arrange transport at a lower cost
If we can offer you a PTB, we'll:
- write to you to confirm your PTB offer
- ask you to sign a parent or carer agreement
- ask you to provide your bank details to receive the PTB payments
- we will set up your PTB and arrange for payments to start at the beginning of the PTB period
Conditions of use
You cannot use a PTB:
- as a short-term alternative while an application for transport arranged by us is being processed
- to buy space on transport services provided by us
- for any purpose that does not enable your child to travel to or from their school or educational setting
- for any activity that is illegal, unlawful or unsafe
- for any purpose that will damage our reputation
If you choose to employ someone
If you choose to use a PTB to employ someone (e.g. for childcare), then you will be responsible for:
- complying with relevant rules regarding Tax and National Insurance
- Employment Law
- Health and Safety or any other relevant rules or legislation in force at that time
It’s good practice for you to check if employed staff have current Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) certificates; and you arrange or pay for those checks if directly employing an individual who doesn’t have one.
If you use the PTB to enter into contracts with organisations, for example:
- after school clubs
- or individuals
you will be responsible for complying with the terms and conditions of those contracts. This may include payment arrangements or notice of cancellation.
When we might withdraw, reduce or reclaim a PTB
We might withdraw a PTB if the student is no longer eligible for home to school or college travel assistance or there is a change to national law or our policies.
We may also need to reconsider the PTB if:
- your child or young person’s attendance falls below 90%. If their attendance is affected by their medical needs, we will take this into consideration.
- your child or young person regularly arrives late or in an unfit state to learn
- if there is evidence that the PTB is not being used appropriately
- you have not made safe travel arrangements for your child
- it is not cost effective for us to continue to provide the PTB
In these circumstances, we would contact you first and work with you to try to resolve any problems. If this is unsuccessful, we will withdraw your PTB.
Poor school attendance
If your child’s attendance is low, we might:
- reduce the final PTB payment of the year
- reclaim payments already made
If you no longer want a PTB
If your personal circumstances change, or you decide that you no longer want to receive a PTB, you should contact the school transport team.
You'll need to give us 28 days notice if you want to cancel your PTB.