Travelling to school

From Term 1 2017, Victorian government and Catholic schools will use the new Victorian Curriculum F-10. Curriculum related information is currently being reviewed and may be subject to change.

For more information on the curriculum, see:
The Victorian Curriculum F–10 - VCAA

Introduction - transport options in your local area

Before finalising your child's enrolment at a new school, it is important to check what options are available for your child to travel to school. Your child's school should may include this information on transport options with the enrolment forms or as part of an information night or in their 'attending our school' information packages.

While parents/guardians have primary responsibility for transporting their children to and from school, the Department does offer different types of transport assistance to eligible families. However, it is important that parents/guardians understand the eligibility criteria of the transport assistance their child is applying for and agree to the conditions of travel as part of accepting transport assistance.

For more information on Victorian Public Transport services, see: PTV Journey Planner

Victorian Student Pass (VSP)

Students residing in metropolitan Melbourne may be entitled to the Victorian Student Pass (VSP), which is administered by Public Transport Victoria (PTV).

For more information about the VSP, see: Victorian Student Pass

School Bus Program (SBP)

The School Bus Program is an extensive school bus network that provides travel at no cost to eligible government and non-government students living in rural and regional Victoria. Students deemed ineligible to travel at no cost may access a school bus service upon payment of a fare.

The school bus network is administered by Public Transport Victoria (PTV) and carries over 65,000 students each school day on approximately 1500 school bus routes at a cost of $205 million per annum.

Below are resources that will assist you in determining your child’s eligibility for the SBP. Your school will also be able to assist you.

SBP resources

2017 SBP bus fare rate

Ineligible students and the general public who wish to access a SBP-provided service are required to pay a fare.

A flat fare of $120 per term/$480 per annum is payable.

SBP application forms

Eligible, exempt and ineligible students must fill in the appropriate SBP application form. These forms are available at your school and below. Parents must use Department-formatted SBP permission to travel application forms. Using the correct forms creates consistency, fairness and ensures parents are aware of their obligations under the program.

Students with Disabilities Transport Program (SDTP)

The Students with Disabilities Transport Program (SDTP) provides transport assistance for eligible students attending their designated government specialist school. The program aims to facilitate substantive equality for students with a disability and is a contribution towards and an acknowledgement of the additional costs families may incur as a result of attending a specialist school. However, attendance at a specialist school does not automatically entitle a student to assistance or preclude parents/guardians from being primarily responsible for their child’s transport arrangements.

SDTP eligibility

To be eligible for transport assistance under the SDTP a student must:

  1. Be eligible for the Program for Students with a Disability (PSD)
  2. Reside in the Designated Transport Area (DTA) of the specialist school attended
  3. Be enrolled at the school for three or more days per week
  4. Be of school-age and reside in Victoria.

SDTP types of travel assistance

Types of travel assistance may include:

  • a conveyance allowance
  • access to the travel education program
  • access to a mainstream school bus
  • access to a specialist school transport service
  • an alternative Department-arranged transport solution.

SDTP resources

Travel education

The Travel Education Framework (TEF) is a resource to assist specialist schools with planning a sequential developmentprogram that gives students the knowledge, skills and confidence to successfully travel independently between home and school using public transport.

For more information, see: Travel Education Framework

Conveyance Allowance Program (CAP)

The Department provides financial assistance in the form of a conveyance allowance to help families in rural and regional Victoria with the cost of transporting their children to and from their nearest government school/campus or nearest appropriate non-government school/campus.

The conveyance allowance is a contribution towards transport costs and is not intended to cover the full cost of transporting children to and from school. The allowance is an acknowledgement of the sometimes limited transport options available outside metropolitan Melbourne and particularly assists students who attend their nearest school/campus but do not have access to a free school bus service.

Your child’s school will be able to advise you eligibility and apply on your child's behalf if they are eligible for the allowance.

For more information, see: Conveyance Allowance

Transport special case consideration

A parent/guardian wishing to apply for special consideration or appeal a transport decision must make an application through their child’s school. The school should assist the parent/guardian to complete the application.

In the first instance all transport special case consideration applications deemed to fall within the Department’s school transport policies are considered by the Student Transport Unit (STU). In most cases a decision can be made and schools informed within 15 working days of the outcome of the application.

Transport Special Case Consideration Panel

More complex and challenging cases are referred to the Transport Special Case Consideration Panel. It considers transport issues that may not be addressed by the Department's transport policy documents and affects a child's ability to travel to school. The panel does not consider applications relating to ineligibility for transport assistance, financial hardship or the schooling and work arrangements of the siblings and parents of the student.

Schools will be informed of the panel's decision in writing approximately three weeks after the panel meets. Parents/guardians will be informed by the school of the outcome of an application to the Panel.

Students will not be granted access to transport support until the panel meets and considers the application.

2017 Panel Dates

  • Tuesday, 24 January
  • Thursday, 16 February
  • Tuesday, 21 March
  • Tuesday, 23 May
  • Thursday, 24 August
  • Tuesday, 21 November

Resources and application forms