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Free school transport

Find out if your child qualifies for free school transport and how to apply.

Who gets free school transport?

  • All assessments are based on your child's main address
  • Your child lives more than two miles walking distance from their catchment primary school using the shortest safe walking route
  • Your child lives three or more miles from their catchment secondary school using the shortest safe walking route
  • Your child has been recommended for free school transport as a result of health issues which may prevent them walking to school safely. Applications on health grounds must be supported by a letter from your child's own doctor which can be emailed to or posted/hand delivered to South Ayrshire Council, Educational Services, County Buildings, Wellington Square, Ayr KA7 1DR
  • Your child's walking route is considered to be unacceptable by us after consultation with the Ayrshire Roads Alliance Road Safety Section

Please note that if your child is attending school as a result of a successful placing request no transport will be provided.

How to apply

Complete an online application for school transport.

When to apply

  • If your child is starting primary school or secondary school, you should apply by April of that year
  • Applications can be made after this date; however, this could result in a delay in arrangements being made
  • If you move house during the year you should notify your child's school, in writing, at least two weeks prior to moving

Privileged seat information

Where there are vacant seats on a "dedicated" school contract i.e. for school pupils only, such seats are referred to as privilege seats.

  • Privileged seats will be allocated, where space is available, from October each year.
  • The provision of the privileged seat will cease at the end of the school year or earlier should an entitled pupil require a place on the bus/taxi
  • Should the number of applications exceed the number of privileged seats available, agreed criteria will be used to determine the successful applicants
  • You are required to submit a new application for a privileged seat every school session.

Transport provided

Free school transport may be provided by:

  • A dedicated school contract bus for pupils only.
  • A bus pass for a local service bus which may also carry members of the public
  • A train pass
  • A taxi, private hire car or minibus

Journeys covered

  • Free school transport normally covers one journey to school in the morning from the child's main address and home at the end of the school day.
  • Parents of the pupils wishing to return home for lunch are responsible for making their own arrangements. Special arrangements are made locally, where possible, for the pupils taking part in school activities after the end of the normal school day.

School transport complaints

You should contact your child's school in the first instance.


If you wish to appeal against any decision made regarding your application for school transport you should do so in writing to Educational Services within 10 working days of receipt of the decision, indicating the grounds on which you wish to make your appeal.