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

As a parent or guardian you are responsible for getting your children to-and-from school. You may apply for transport assistance if you meet the eligibility criteria. Before enroling your child at a new school it is important to check travel options for your child. This may be explained as part of the the enrolment forms, during information night or in their information packages.

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, see: Victorian Student Pass

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

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 who are not eligible may still use the service by paying 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.

Guide for families

This leaflet will help explain the School Bus Program and assist you in determining your child’s eligibility to travel on a school bus.

2017 bus fare rate

Students and general public who are not eligible for 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.

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)

Transport assistance is available for eligible students attending their designated government specialist school.

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.

Attendance at a specialist school does not automatically entitle a student to assistance or stop a parents/guardians from being primarily responsible for their child’s transport arrangements.

The program aims for substantive equality for students with a disability and is a contribution and acknowledgement of the additional costs families may incur as a result of attending a specialist school.

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.

Policy and procedures

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