Schools, education and childcare Apply for a primary school travel pass

What we mean by 'nearer, similar' schools

Our rules for who gets free school travel sometimes depend on how far from school you live, and whether there's another school you could go to, nearer to home. We want to be clear and fair about what we mean by these terms.

We measure the distance from home to school along the shortest walking route.

When we say 'similar' we simply mean another primary school.

We do not look for schools with the same faith or single-gender rules or the same 'type' of school – academy, grammar, foundation or community. And we do not look for the same 'specialism' such as specialist technology or sport.

Dates we do the checks for 'nearer, similar' school places

We use a few fixed dates to check if there are 'nearer, similar' places you could go to when you're applying for a free travel pass:

  • Reception class, September 2020: we check on 16 April 2020
  • Other applications(Year 1 to 6) received before the start of Autumn term 2020: we check on 10 July 2020 (used for summer processing period only)
  • Other applications(Reception to Year 6) received in Autumn term 2020: we check on 11 September 2020
  • Other applications(Reception to Year 6) received in Spring term 2021: we check on 8 January 2021
  • Other applications(Reception to Year 6) received in Summer term 2021: we check on 23 April 2021.
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