A personal travel budget (PTB) assists with travel costs from home to an educational establishment for children and young people with a statement of special educational needs (SEN), Education health care plan (EHCP) or a learning difficulty assessment (LDA). It is available if your child is eligible for travel assistance in accordance with the home to educational establishment transport policy.
What happens next?
We will ask you to sign an agreement letter. This sets out your role and our role in the process to keep your child safe and to ensure that their attendance at school/college and ability to learn are positive experiences. We will then make the arrangements to transfer the PTB to your bank account.
You will then be able to arrange and manage your child's travel arrangements in a way that best suits you, your child and your family. If your circumstances change (for example your family moves house) the eligibility will need to be reassessed and may need to be re-calculated or withdrawn.
How much will you get?
The calculation is based on the distance between home and school/college for the days that your child attends school. The distance is measured using the shortest route and is from home to school to home for each journey.
Further information about eligibility and how a personal budget may work for you is available from the Children and Families team, please email Schoolplanningandpolicy@cheshirewestandchester.gov.uk.
What can you use it for?
You can spend it how you like, as long as your child travels in a way that ensures their safety, encourages their attendance and they arrive at on time and in a positive manner ready to learn.
Some ideas for spending include:
- Purchasing a travel pass for yourself or a trusted adult to accompany your child
- Paying for a passenger assistant for your child to walk or to travel by public transport, or arrange to do this yourself
- Covering the cost of driving your child
- Covering the cost of cycling with your child
- Covering the cost of child care for a sibling to enable you to take your child
- Arranging with other parents for shared travel, such as shared driving responsibilities, walking buses or joint taxi bookings.
How is it paid?
They are made from us directly into your (the parent/carer's) designated bank account, in advance, at the beginning of each term, with a final payment at the end of the academic year. You must provide the appropriate bank details at the time of signing the agreement.
Can it be stopped at any time, if it doesn't work out?
Yes, by either us or parent/carer. Should your circumstances change substantially we can arrange alternative forms of travel assistance, usually within a week of your notice. Additionally, in assessing your child's attendance, if this should fall below 80% (this means 64 half day sessions or 32 full days) in a school year.
We are committed to improving outcomes for children and young people and in providing the most appropriate travel assistance including independent travel training. If children and young people are assessed as being ready to learn to travel independently, then our dedicated team can work with families to ensure that a smooth transition takes place.
Does it have an impact on other benefits?
No, they do not have an impact on any other benefits.
Will it continue in future years?
It will be reviewed on an annual basis. As children and young people grow older, it is likely that they will wish to become independent travellers. Independent travel is an important life skill and can help children and young people to access further education, training, social and employment opportunities.
You can enrol your child for travel training at any time with the Children and Families team via email Schoolplanningandpolicy@cheshirewestandchester.gov.uk.
Are receipts of spending required?
No, the scheme leaves the flexibility and control of spending with yourselves. We will monitor your child's attendance and will pick up any potential issues through the school/college record of attendance and fitness.
Why make travel to and from school/college more personal?
To support family circumstances and improve the journey for your child, for example:
- Some families would like to take their child to school but can't afford to.
- Some children find the journey too long, tiring and stressful.
- Some children want to attend after school activities which they can't because the school taxi/bus leaves at the end of the school day.