Glasgow City Council

Free School Transport

Get in touch 

  • Phone 0141 287 1056

Is my child entitled to free school transport?

Your child is entitled to free school transport if he/she:       

  • attends the catchment primary school and your home address is more than 1.2 miles away by the recognised safe shortest walking route
  • attends the catchment secondary school and your home address is more than 2.2 miles away by the recognised safe shortest walking route
  • has been assessed to attend specialist provision to meet the requirements of his or her additional support needs (ASL)
  • would have to walk a route to school which our Road Safety Officers consider unsuitable
  • has been recommended for free school transport on medical grounds.


School transport can mean

  • Bus passes which children use on local bus services
  • Rail passes which children use on local train services
  • Underground passes
  • Dedicated school bus (service solely for pupils)
  • Taxis or private hire cars
  • The council's own transport

Our policy on providing free school transport is slightly more generous than the law requires and therefore this service may be reviewed or changed at any time.

Transport is provide to the nearest reasonable pick up/drop off point.  The walking distance to pick up/drop off point will be no further than 1.2 miles for primary and 2.2 miles for secondary school children.

Home to school transport normally covers one return journey, to school in the morning and home at the end of the school day.  No transport provision is made for children who only attend school in the mornings from August to September.

If your child attends a school as a result of a successful placing request the authority will not meet transport costs unless an application for transport due to "exceptional circumstances" is successful.

Please note that if your child changes school to a school in a different denominational sector a placing request is required and transport will not be provided.

No transport or assistance with transport is provided for those pupils under the statutory school leaving age in attendance at further education college.


When should I apply?

If your child is starting primary school you should apply when you register him or her for school in November or January.

If your child is transferring to secondary school you should apply in February of his or her last year in primary school.

You can apply at a later time but there could be a delay while arrangements are made.

If you move house at any time during the year, a fresh application for transport should be made.

How do I apply?

Application form should be completed and returned to our postal address available at bottom of page.

Applications are also available from schools or by calling the Corporate Integrated Transport Unit (CITU) 

What happens once my application is received?

Consideration will be given to the application and whether this meets the above criteria as outlined.  A letter is then sent to parents to confirm the decision.


Transport for children with Additional Support Needs (ASL)

We may provide supported transport arrangements for children and young people who have been assessed as requiring it because of additional support needs.

We place a strong emphasis on including pupils with additional support needs within their local schools and communities and the transport policy reflects that commitment.

The distance criteria applies to all children however, some children who live within the distance criteria may be considered for free school transport depending on their additional support needs as detailed below.

  • the child has a physical or sensory impairment or a severe, profound or multiple learning difficulty which requires specialist transport arrangements for supervision
  • the child has a disability which prevents them from accessing the transport generally available to take other children from that area to school
  • the child attends a specialist provision or establishment as agreed by the City Inclusion Group.
    (Please note: the distance criteria also applies to children attending specialist provision, but transport may be provided on the basis of need)
  • parents/carers are unable to transport their child to school

Strathclyde Passenger Transport (SPT) arranges transport for mainstream primary and secondary schools on behalf of the authority. The authority makes its own arrangements for children with additional support needs.


Health applications

In certain circumstances requests for transport for a pupil who has a significant medical condition and who requires transport to enable him/her to attend their mainstream catchment school can be made.

Requests for such should be made in writing to the Corporate Integrated Transport Unit and returned to our postal address available at bottom of page, providing appropriate documentation and information

Consideration will be given to the ability of the parent/carer to transport their child to school.  An assessment by the community paediatrician may be requested.  This only applies for children and young people that attend their catchment school.


Code of Conduct for Pupils

The head teacher will establish with parents/carers and pupils the importance of good behaviour on school transport.  Where necessary, examples of unacceptable behaviour will be emphasised to pupils.

The responsibility of ensuring safe and acceptable behaviour remains with the parents or carers of a child travelling on a school transport vehicle.  Misbehaviour or action which could put the safety of others at risk may result in the removal of the provision of transport by the authority.  This may be temporary or permanent.

In circumstances where a pupil's behaviour is unacceptable, the driver may retain the pupil's ticket/pass for identification purposes.  Initially SPT along with Education Services will carry out an investigation, if appropriate.  The head teacher will invite the parents or carer and the pupil to a meeting and ask the pupil and parents/carer to respond to the report of the incident.

The head teacher will ask for an assurance of the pupil's good conduct prior to the resumption of previous travel arrangements.  It is important that the school keeps a record of any such incident and details the responsive action taken.  During the interim, alternative arrangements, where necessary involving parents, will require to be made in order that the pupil attends school.

In cases of serious misbehaviour, the head teacher can still exercise his or her right to have regard to the discipline policy of the establishment and Education Services.


Privilege seats


If spare seats exist on dedicated mainstream school transport vehicles, a pupil who does not meet the walking distance criteria may be granted a privileged seat as long as there is no additional cost to the Council.

Parents can apply for a privilege pass from June but these will not normally be awarded before the end of September.  Parents should write to Corporate Integrated Transport Unit.

Once the number of seats, if any, available for privilege passes are determined, passes will be allocated.  When there are more requests for passes than seats available, a ballot will be held in order to allocate passes.  The number of spare seats may vary as entitled pupils move into or out of a school and as a result privilege seats may be withdrawn at short notice.  Attempts will be made to give 5 days notice.

Privilege seats are allocated on an annual basis and you will require to submit a new application if you still require a space for your child.


Pre-school children

A child attending a nursery will not normally be provided with school transport except in circumstances where a child with additional support needs will benefit from attendance.  This is not a statutory provision and each case will be addressed individually.



A request to review the decision must be made in writing within 10 working days on receipt of the refusal. This should be made to the Corporate Integrated Transport Unit. Written submissions should include any additional evidence to support the above.  Reviews which lack specification will be rejected.

Written notification of the outcome of the review will be provided within 28 working days of receipt of written submission.



The Council, in discharging its statutory requirements, aims to assist parents/carers in their responsibility of ensuring that a child attends school safely and on time in line with our policy on the provision of school transport.  The Council will also strive to ensure with the services of Strathclyde Partnership for Transport (SPT) and Land and Environmental Services, are the most effective, suitable and economical use of resources by closely monitoring contracts and routes.

We also aim to be responsive to the concerns of parents and carers in the provision of appropriate transport to meet the needs of each pupil. We keep our arrangements for school transport under continuous review.

Parents/carers who have concerns or complaints about any aspect of the provision of mainstream school transport may contact their child's school by telephone giving the details which will then be recorded and submitted to SPT's complaints form.

It is most important for parents/carers to have the opportunity to ask questions about eligibility of their child for school transport and can contact us at any time.


Postal address 

Please post application forms to the address below:

Corporate Integrated Transport Unit
Glasgow City Council
220 High Street
G4 0QW


Share this page:

Help us improve this page:

A to Z:

Council Services