Guide for Parents
South Ayrshire Council has a policy of providing free school transport to all secondary pupils whose main address is more than three miles and primary pupils whose main address is more than two miles from their catchment school by the recognised suggested suitable walking route. Parents who consider they are eligible for free school transport should complete the online Free School Transport Form which can be obtained via https://www.south-ayrshire.gov.uk/schools/school-transport.aspx. Applications should be completed and submitted by the end of February for those pupils beginning school in August to enable the appropriate arrangements to be made.
Strathclyde Partnership for Transport (SPT) organise mainstream school transport on behalf of South Ayrshire Council. If you have any concerns or complaints relating to the service provided you should contact the school who will forward your complaint to SPT alternatively you can e-mail SPT at school.transport@SPT.co.uk.
Applications may be submitted at any time throughout the year but may be subject to delay whilst arrangements are made. The appropriate officer has discretion in special circumstances to grant permission for pupils to travel in transport provided by the authority, where spare places are available and no additional costs are incurred.
Children who have Additional Support Needs and/or particular medical conditions may also be entitled to free school transport. The school can advise you on how to access this support.
Where free transport is provided it may be necessary for pupils to walk a certain distance to the vehicle pick up point. Walking distance in total including the distance from home to the pick-up point and from the drop-off point to the school in any one direction will not exceed the authority’s limit (see first paragraph). It is the parent’s responsibility to ensure that their child arrives at the pick-up point in time. It is also the parent’s responsibility to ensure their child behaves in a safe and acceptable manner while boarding, travelling in and alighting from the vehicles. Misbehaviour could result in your child losing the right to free transport.
The education authority does not provide transport for those pupils in receipt of a placing request.
All dedicated home to school transport services operating within South Ayrshire and all transport used to provide educational off-site visits must be fitted with seatbelts. All children and young people are expected to use the seatbelt provided and remain seated with their seatbelt fastened for the duration of the journey.
Strathclyde Partnership for Transport will monitor compliance with these requirements on all dedicated home to school transport services through roadside inspections. School staff will monitor compliance with these requirements on vehicles used to provide educational off-site visits.
Signage will be prominently displayed in vehicles or an announcement will be made by drivers to remind children and young people that seatbelts are provided on the vehicle.
South Ayrshire Council, transport contractors and school staff will work in partnership to promote the wearing of seatbelts across the Authority. Parents should also encourage their children to wear the seatbelts provided.
Pupils who are not entitled to free school transport may apply for a privileged seat. A privileged seat is where there is a vacant seat on a dedicated school contract. Parents can make an application for a privileged seat by submitting a letter to Education Support Services, County Buildings, Wellington Square, AYR KA7 1DR at any time during the year. Parents should note that privileged seats are allocated in October and are not available on local service contracts. Privileged seats can be withdrawn if an entitled pupil requires transport and cease at the end of each school session.