HC Deb 10 July 1996 vol 281 cc214-5W
Mr. Alton

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment what guidelines her Department issues in respect of the issue of bus passes to schoolchildren who live more than three miles away from their secondary school. [36395]

Mr. Robin Squire

The Department issued guidance on the provision of home to school transport to local education authorities in England in a letter of 21 January 1994, a copy of which is in the Library. This makes it clear that free transport is always necessary for pupils of compulsory school age—five to 16—who attend their nearest suitable school if it is beyond statutory walking distance. LEAs also have a discretionary power to assist pupils whose parents have chosen to send them to a school other than their nearest suitable one, even if it is beyond walking distance, by paying their reasonable travelling expenses either in whole or in part.