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Education and Inspections Act 2006

Schedule 8: Travel to schools etc: meaning of eligible child

363.Schedule 8 inserts Schedule 35B after Schedule 35A to the 1996 Act.

364.Schedule 35B defines ‘eligible children’ for the purposes of section 508B, being those categories of children in the area of a local education authority for whom the authority is required to ensure that suitable home to school travel arrangements are made under that section. A condition of each category is that an eligible child is of compulsory school age.

365.Paragraphs 2 and 3 provide that one category of ‘eligible children’ is children with special educational needs, a disability, a temporary medical condition restricting their mobility, or any combination of these. Where such children cannot reasonably be expected to walk to the ‘qualifying school’ at which they are registered, or any other place at which they are receiving education by virtue of arrangements under section 19(1) of the 1996 Act, and where those children meet the other requirements set out in paragraph 2 and 3 (as the case may be), the local education authority will be under a duty to secure that suitable home to school travel arrangements are made for them.

366.Two of the requirements in paragraph 2 are that the qualifying school at which the child is registered must be within walking distance of his or her home; and that the local education authority has not made suitable arrangements for him or her to become a registered pupil at a qualifying school nearer to his or her home. Those requirements do not, however, apply in the case of a child who is receiving education at a place other than a school.

367.Paragraphs 4 and 5 provide for another category of ‘eligible children’. Where children, who meet the other requirements of paragraphs 4 and 5, could not reasonably be expected to walk to a qualifying school at which they are registered pupils or any other place at which they receive education by virtue of arrangements under section 19(1) of the 1996 Act, having regard to the nature of the routes which they could reasonably be expected to take, the local education authority will be under a duty to secure that suitable home to school travel arrangements are made for them.

368.Two of the requirements in paragraph 4 are that the qualifying school at which the child is registered must be within walking distance of his or her home; and that the local education authority has not made suitable arrangements for him or her to become a registered pupil at a qualifying school nearer to his or her home. Those requirements do not, however, apply in the case of a child who is receiving education at a place other than a school.

369.Paragraphs 6 and 7 provide that a further category of ‘eligible children’ is children living outside walking distance of the qualifying school or other place which they attend for whom the local education authority has made no suitable alternative arrangements for them to have boarding accommodation at or near the school or for enabling them to become registered pupils at a qualifying school nearer to their home.

370.In the case of such children, the local education authority will be under a duty to secure that suitable home to school travel arrangements are made for them.

371.Paragraph 8 relates to pupils registered at a school, but attending a place other than the school, following their exclusion from the school. In such circumstances, the duty to make travel arrangements will apply to the other place rather than the school.

372.Paragraphs 9 to 13 provide that certain children who meet the requirements of those paragraphs and the ‘appropriate condition’ contained in paragraph 14 are also ‘eligible children’.

373.Paragraphs 9 and 10 relate to children who have attained the age of 8 but not the age of 11.

374.Underparagraph 9, where such a child is a registered pupil at a qualifying school which is more than two miles from his home and no suitable arrangements have been made by the local education authority for enabling him to become a registered pupil at a qualifying school nearer to his home, if the ‘appropriate condition’ (set out in paragraph 14) is met, the local education authority will be under a duty to secure that suitable home to school travel arrangements are made for him or her.

375.Underparagraph 10, where such a child is receiving education at a place (other than a school) by virtue of arrangements under section 19(1) of the 1996 Act, which is more than two miles from his home, if the ‘appropriate condition’ (set out in paragraph 14) is met, the local education authority will be under a duty to secure that suitable home to school travel arrangements are made for him or her.

376.Paragraphs 11, 12 and 13 relate to children who have attained the age of 11.

377.Paragraph 11 has the effect that a local education authority will be under a duty to secure that suitable home to school travel arrangements are made for such a child where he or she is a registered pupil at a qualifying school which is more than two miles, but not more than six miles, from his or her home, there are not three or more suitable qualifying schools which are nearer to his or her home and the ‘appropriate condition’ (set out in paragraph 14) is met.

378.Paragraph 12 has the effect that a local education authority will be under a duty to secure that suitable home to school travel arrangements are made for such a child where: he or she is a registered pupil at a qualifying school which is more than two miles, but not more than 15 miles from his or her home; the child’s parent has expressed a wish, based on the parent’s religion or belief, for him or her to be provided with education at that school; having regard to the religion or belief on which the parent’s wish is based, there is no suitable qualifying school which is nearer to the child’s home; and the ‘appropriate condition’ (set out in paragraph 14) is met. “Religion” and “belief” are to be read in accordance with the definition of “religion or belief” included in section 509AD(3) of the 1996 Act.

379.Paragraph 13 has the effect that where such a child is receiving education at a place (other than a school), by virtue of arrangements under section 19(1) of the 1996 Act, which is more than two miles, but not more than six miles, from his or her home, and the ‘appropriate condition’ (set out in paragraph 14) is met, the local education authority will be under a duty to secure that suitable home to school travel arrangements are made.

380.Paragraph 14 provides that the ‘appropriate condition’ for the purposes of paragraphs 9 to 13 is met if either (a) the child is within section 512ZB(4) of the 1996 Act (provision of free school meals) or (b) a parent of the child, with whom the child is ordinarily resident, is a person to whom working tax credit is awarded and the award is at the rate which is the maximum rate for his case or, in the case of an award to him jointly with another, at the rate which is the maximum rate for their case.

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