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Post-16 students: transport statement

This statement sets out the way in which West Berkshire Council has decided to exercise its powers and duties in relation to the provision of school and college transport for learners aged 16 to 19, in accordance with Section 508 and 509 of the Education Act 1996, as amended by Section 83 of the Education and Inspections Act 2006, and in accordance with the statutory guidance dated October 2017.

The Local Authority only has a statutory duty to provide free home to school transport to eligible pupils of statutory school age. However, the Local Authority also has a statutory duty to formulate a transport policy for young people (over compulsory age) aged 16 to 18, and those continuing learners who started programmes of learning before their 19th birthday. 

The Local Authority has the discretion, under section 5 of the guidance, to determine transport of financial support, and must act reasonably taking into account all relevant matters.

The statement summarises the provision of transport schemes for 16 to 19 year old learners who live in West Berkshire and study in or outside of West Berkshire and supports learners to access the education and training of their choice.


The travel guide for 16 to 19 year old students provides details of all concessionary fares, discounts, subsidies, passes or travel cards available for learners aged 16 to 19, and who provides them. The guide covers colleges, training providers and 6th form at schools, as well as bus and train discounts. The content is applicable to learners at school 6th form, colleges, apprenticeships and traineeships. 

The Icon for pdf Home to School Transport Policy 2024-25 [413KB] outlines the provision for post-16 pupils (including arrangements for post-16 pupils with special educational needs) who wish to access 6th form in school. This includes use of the existing school bus routes provided by West Berkshire Council at a subsidised flat rate.

Students may find the Farepayer Scheme helpful - you can find details of the scheme and the application form on our Farepaying School transport page.

Transport on a school bus is subject to the provisions of the Icon for pdf Behaviour Code [398KB] .

The government provide a 16 to 19 Bursary Fund to support the most financially disadvantaged 16 to 19 year olds with the cost of staying in education and training. The fund is administered by schools, colleges and other establishments and students are advised to contact their school or college in cases of financial hardship. Comments from school and colleges about the 16 to 19 bursary and any financial support they offer for transport are included at the end of this statement.


Exceptional circumstances

The council may take exceptional circumstances into consideration. There is no automatic entitlement, and the phrase "exceptional circumstances" primarily refers to the circumstances of the student rather than those of the parent. However, this could include families on low income (in receipt of maximum working tax credit (with no deductions due to income)). Evidence may be requested.

Parental work commitments are not deemed "exceptional", and the decision of the council is final.

The request for consideration should detail why you believe the decision should be reviewed and give details of any personal and/or family circumstances you believe should be considered when the decision is reviewed.

Please send your application to, or write to:

Service Manager (Early Years, Access, Vulnerable Learners and Families)
West Berkshire Council
Market Street
RG14 5LD

A senior council officer will review the original decision and send you a detailed written outcome within 20 working days of the application.



If you believe that the council's policy for providing help with transport is not objective, clear and fair, please email or post your comments to the address above.



If you feel that the post-16 transport arrangements within this statement and associated documents have not been administered correctly, or do not fulfil the statutory duty, this can be raised through the council's corporate complaints process, using the address above.  

If you are still dissatisfied with the outcome of the complaint and believe that the council has acted unreasonably, you can appeal to the Secretary of State. Your complaint must have been considered by the council in the first instance.



The council consults when it makes changes to its transport policies for pupils and 16 to 19 students. The consultation appears on the council's consultation finder and information is provided to schools to pass on to families to make them aware of the consultation. The Transport policy will be available on the council website by September for the following academic year. The website also contains a link to the GOV.UK 16 to 19 bursary fund webpage.


Sixth form college statement

Sixth Form Colleges in West Berkshire have provided the following statements about how they help students with transport costs.

Kennet School can use the bursary for identified transport costs, where these costs are a specific barrier to participation. Where transport is an issue, it is usually bus routes which the school helps to subsidise.

Trinity School - the post 16 bursary can be accessed for those students who meet the criteria to receive support with transport costs.

The Downs School use the 16 to 19 Bursary funding almost entirely on assisting sixth formers with their transport costs. Most students will come to school on spare places on buses provided by the local authority for the main school, and we will pay the cost of those sixth formers' bus passes. Other sixth form students will be travelling privately and we help with those costs also. The school also regularly reviews the transport available to our sixth formers, particularly as we attract many applicants from outside our main school catchment. We then liaise with private providers to help ensure that as many sixth formers as possible can travel to school by bus.

St Bartholomews can make discretionary awards to cover payment for travel.

Theale Green School students can apply for a Discretionary Travel Bursary if they qualify under the low-income criteria. Bursary payments can cover part of a student's travel costs.

DenefieldLittle Heath, Park House and Willink schools can use the 16 to 19 bursary fund to provide funding which can be used for transportation costs.


Who can get a bursary?

Vulnerable student bursary

You could get up to £1,200 if at least one of the following applies:

  • you are in or recently left local authority care
  • you get Income Support or Universal Credit in your name
  • you get Disability Living Allowance (DLA) in your name and either Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) or Universal Credit
  • you get Personal Independence Payment (PIP) in your name and either ESA or Universal Credit

You may get the full amount if you have expenses and study full-time on a course of at least 30 weeks.

You will usually get less than the full amount, or no bursary, if one of the following apply:

  • your course is shorter than 30 weeks
  • you study part time
  • you have few expenses

Discretionary bursaries

Sixth Form providers set their own criteria for discretionary bursaries, for example: they might look at family income. Ask Student Services or the Head of Sixth Form about their criteria and any evidence you'll need.

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