This guidance explains what support Cornwall Council offers for young people aged 16 -25 with Education, Health and Care Plans to access their education and training placements. It should be read in conjunction with the Post‐16 Transport Policy, which is available at https://www.cornwall.gov.uk/post16transport.
Beyond the end of Year 11, Local Authorities do not have a legal duty to provide free or subsidised transport for young people aged 16‐19. However, in order to promote access to education and opportunities for all young people in Cornwall, the Council provides a heavily ‐ subsidised transport scheme.
The preparation and publishing of an annual policy statement specifying the arrangements for the provision of Post‐16 Transport is a requirement under Section 509A A of the Education Act 1996.
For young people aged between 19 and 25 who have an EHC Plan, the statutory duty on Cornwall Council to provide transport free of charge is reintroduced.
This statutory responsibility is covered by different legislation – specifically Section 508F and 508G of the Education Act 1996, as inserted by section 57 of the Apprenticeships, Skills, Children and Learning Act 2009.
Am I eligible for transport assistance?
Under the terms of Cornwall’s Post‐16 Transport Policy, to qualify for transport assistance, young people with Education, Health and Care Plans must:
- Live in Cornwall
- Be over 16 years of age but less than 25 years of age on 31 August – i.e. the day before the first day of the relevant academic year
- Attend one of the following types of establishment:
– A school;
– A further education institution;
– A Council‐maintained or assisted institution providing higher or further education;
– An establishment funded by the Education Skills Funding Agency (ESFA);
– A learning provider delivering accredited programmes of learning which lead to positive outcomes and which is funded by the Council – e. g. colleges, charities and private learning providers
- Attend his/her nearest or designated learning/training establishment which offers their chosen course(s) – this includes establishments outside of the county. The establishment’s provision must be an essential requirement to fulfil the learning outcomes identified in the learner’s Education, Health and Care Plan
- Be learning/training on a full‐time basis (approximately 14 hours per week across three academic terms)
- Live at least three miles from the learning/training establishment using the shortest available route, unless:
– He/she has a disability, medical or mobility difficulties, or individual needs which mean that he/she could not reasonably be expected to walk the distance required, even if accompanied
– The nature of the route is such that the student cannot be expected to walk in reasonable safety, even if accompanied.
Where a young person attends an alternative learning/training establishment which is further away on the basis of parental preference, the parent/carer assumes all responsibility for providing appropriate travel arrangements to and from that establishment.
You should therefore note carefully which placement is named in your child’s EHC Plan as his/her nearest suitable learning/training establishment and whether or not an alternative placement is named as a result of parental preference.
How much do I need to pay?
Post‐16 Transport is a discretionary scheme which is heavily‐subsidised by Cornwall Council.
All young people 16 and 19 are required to pay an annual contribution towards the cost of transport. This can be paid in full or termly in advance (in three instalments). For details of costs for this academic year, please visit: www.cornwall.gov.uk/post16transport.
For young people aged between 19 and 25 who have EHC Plan, transport assistance is provided free of charge.
What if I can’t afford to make payment?
16‐19 Bursary Fund
The 16‐19 Bursary Fund is provided by Central Government to support 16‐19 year olds with the cost of staying in education or training. National guidance advises that the money students (or their training/education provider) receive from the 16‐19 Bursary Fund can be spent on the required contribution towards transport costs. Applications for support through the 16‐19 Bursary Fund should be made via the learning/training establishment. This scheme is not managed by Cornwall Council. For more information please contact your chosen establishment or college or visit: 16 to 19 Bursary Fund: Overview – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)
Young Parents / Care to Learn
For young parents under the age of 20, Care to Learn can help pay for childcare and related travel costs of up to £160 per child per week. For more information please visit: Care to Learn: Overview – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)
What type of transport is provided?
Transport is provided via the most cost‐effective suitable method.
This is identified through an assessment of the young person’s needs, taking into account any relevant professional evidence. Types of transport may include:
- Public transport services;
- Taxi or minibus (this will be with or without other children and with/without a passenger assistant according to need);
- Mileage allowance (at the Local Authority’s discretion, usually where this is requested by the parent/carer and is the most cost‐effective solution).
The type of transport provided is regularly reviewed to ensure it continues to meet the young person’s individual needs, taking into account increasing independence over time in order to support transition to adulthood.
Transport Coordination Service officers are happy to speak with individual families about creative transport solutions with view to supporting a young person’s independence and preparations for adulthood. Such examples include providing an additional bus pass to enable an adult to travel with the young person, instead of them traveling via taxi (often referred to as ‘independent travel training’).
Can transport be flexible to meet my timetable?
Provided transport is for one return journey from home to the learning/training establishment during standard academic terms only and at the official start and end of the day only.
Transport is not provided to meet a young person’s individual timetable, including clubs or extra‐curricular activities. Access to courses outside of these times should be discussed directly with the learning/training establishment attended; however, the Council will be unable to support with alternative transport requirements.
How do I apply?
If you believe you are eligible and would like to apply, you can submit an application via the link below.
Information on deadlines for applications and payments can also be found via this link.
Can I appeal the decision not to provide transport?
If your application is refused or you believe that the transport arrangements proposed are unsuitable, there is a right of appeal.
If your child is attending an alternative learning/training establishment other than their designated or nearest placement named in their EHC Plan as being able to meet their needs, the transport appeal will not reconsider whether the nearest learning/training establishment is able to meet your child’s educational needs, as this is determined through the statutory EHC Plan needs assessment and plan process.
If you have concerns about whether the nearest placement named in the EHC Plan could meet your child’s educational needs, you should raise these with the Statutory SEN Service during the statutory EHC processes.
Are there any other transport schemes available?
Some learning/training establishment run their own transport schemes and students (including those ineligible for subsidised transport provided by Cornwall Council) may choose to apply for transport under those schemes instead of via Cornwall Council. Please contact your child’s learning/training establishment for further details.