Personal travel budgets (PTBs)

If you currently receive a PTB for your child or young person then, in line with the PTB Policy and Terms and Conditions you must reapply for these every academic year. This is so the local authority is satisfied, that there are no changes in your personal circumstances and that your child or young person remains eligible under Swindon Borough Council’s Travel Policy for Travel Assistance.

To reapply, go to applying for school travel assistance. A delay in applying could result in a delay in your application being processed. 

The current PTB rate is 45p per mile, as of September 2023, in line with HMRC guidance and as agreed by the Council. New rates will be applied if your annual reapplication meets eligibility criteria and is the best travel option for your child or young person.

In order to ensure that we are using the Council’s budget in the most cost efficient and effective way we will also be assessing if there are other travel options that may be more suitable to meet your child or young person’s needs. Should this be the case, we will contact you directly to discuss the options available.

A PTB is a monthly sum of money, which allows parents and carers to make their own arrangements to enable their child or young person with an Education Health and Care Plan (EHCP) to get to their education setting. 

Children and young people are eligible if they meet one or more of the following criteria: 

  • They live outside the statutory walking distance from home to school
  • They live within walking distance but, the nature of the route to school is unsafe
  • They live outside or within the walking distance but are unable to get to school even if accompanied, because of their SEN or disability 

The local authority calculates statutory walking distance, as the shortest walking distance between the child or young person’s home postcode and the postcode of the education setting. PTBs are calculated using AA Route Planner.  

Where a child or young person lives within statutory walking distance between their home postcode and school, consideration is given to whether or not their disability, or Special Education Needs prevents them from walking to school, even when accompanied by an adult. This is looked at on a case-by-case basis.

Parents and carers can use the PTB as flexibly and creatively as they wish to facilitate their child or young person’s attendance, as long as your child or young person's attendance is not affected, and they travel to school safely.  

The school will monitor punctuality and attendance, and any issues with a child or young person’s attendance will be investigated. 

Examples of how PTBs have been used include: 

  • paying a childminder to look after siblings
  • purchasing a travel pass for a parent to get the bus to accompany their child/children
  • arranging shared travel arrangements with other families
  • financing a vehicle
  • fuel for a vehicle
  • funding breakfast or after school clubs
  • more flexibility to organise travel where there is split custody

The PTB rate is 45p per mile. The local authority calculates the route and the costs for each individual. However, it should be noted that, in cases in which children and young people living together are attending the same school, only one payment will be made as the journey is shared.

Payments are made for the coming month into the agreed bank account of the recipient at the last working day of each calendar month. For example, payments for February are made by the last working day of January.

If a new application is agreed after the second week of the month, then that payment will go onto the following month’s payment run and be backdated.

The calculation is based on the shortest driving distance from the child or young person’s home postcode to their education setting.

For students travelling to and from school every day the distance is multiplied by four to represent journeys to and from home in the morning and afternoon. For students in residential placements, the number of journeys is calculated on an individual basis.

The daily amount is multiplied by 190 (the number of days in the academic year) and divided by eleven to give a monthly figure. There is no payment in August.

PTB example

Mileage from home to school - 4
Number of journeys per day - 16
Total mileage at 55p per mile - £8.80
Total over 190 days average school year - £1,672.00
Total divided equally over 11 months - £152.00

You can make an application by completing the online form below: 

If your circumstances change, your child or young person’s eligibility will be reassessed and you may be asked to reapply.

The reasons for changing eligibility include:

  • a change of address
  • a change of school placement
  • a change of school site
  • a change in type of travel assistance
  • a change in the child or young person’s Special Educational Needs and/ or Disability
  • agreement that the child or young person no longer requires travel assistance as discussed in their annual review
  • a child or young person being medically unfit for a period of time and/ or passes away

If you have any questions or queries about a PTB, contact the SEND Service by telephone on 01793 464641, or by email at

We aim to log and respond to all queries in 48 to 96 hours.

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