Personal Travel Budgets
Page updated: 20/10/2022
A Personal Travel Budget (PTB) is a monthly sum of money, which allows parents/ 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:
- Live outside the statutory walking distance from home to school.
- Live within walking distance but, the nature of the route to school is unsafe
- 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. Personal Travel Budgets (PTB) 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.
What can I use the money for?
Parents/ 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 Personal Travel Budgets have been used include:
- To pay a childminder to look after siblings
- To purchase a travel pass for a parent to get the bus to accompany their child/children
- Arranging shared travel arrangements with other families
- Finance for a vehicle
- Fuel for a vehicle
- Funding breakfast or afterschool clubs
- Where there is split custody, to more flexibly organise travel
How much will my payments be?
The Personal Travel Budget rate is 55p per mile, however this will be reducing to 45p per mile as of September 2023 in line with HMRC guidance. 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 traveling 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 as this is the summer holidays.
How do I make an application?
You can make an application by completing the online form. Please click on the button below.
What if my circumstances change?
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:
- Change of address
- Change of school placement
- Change of school site
- Change in type of travel assistance
- Change in the child or young person’s Special Educational Needs and/ or Disability
- It is agreed that the child or young person no longer requires travel assistance as discussed in their Annual Review
- If a child or young person is medically unfit for a period of time and/ or passes away
Personal Travel Budget mileage calculation
The travel team understand there has been confusion around Personal Travel Budget mileage calculation for the new academic year. Unfortunately there has been an administrative error around calculating the PTBs, whereby the team have calculated this on shortest walking distance when in fact it should be shortest driving distance. It is the eligibility for transport that is calculated on the shortest walking distance. This will be amended and extra payments will be made in the coming days. I can only apologise for this error and can assure you that we are working to fix the error as quickly as possible.
May I also take this opportunity to remind all parents and carers with children who have a PTB, ensure they have completed the PTB agreement and sent to email@example.com without this we will not be able to continue your PTB.
Questions or queries
If you have any questions or queries about a Personal Travel Budget, then please contact the SEND Service by telephone on 01793 464641, or by email at SENDService@swindon.gov.uk.
We aim to log and respond to all queries in 48 – 96 hours.