HC Deb 01 February 2000 vol 343 cc497-8W
Mr. Breed

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment what statutory requirement applies to the provision of transport for children to their nearest state school; and what obligation there is for local education authorities to fund such transport(a) from the nearest bus stop to the school and (b) from the child's home to the bus stop. [107568]

Jacqui Smith

Local Education Authorities must provide free transport for a pupil of compulsory school age who attends his or her nearest suitable school, if it is beyond statutory walking distance from the child's home. These distances are two miles for pupils aged under eight, and three miles for those aged eight and over. If these criteria are not met, a Local Education Authority must still decide whether free transport is necessary, taking account of a pupil's age, the possible routes he or she might take to school, and a parent's wish for denominational education where the parent adheres to the denomination of the school. Free transport may be provided from the child's home or from a bus stop convenient to the pupil's home.