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If my child has a Special Educational Need or a Disability, will they receive Transport Assistance?

If my child has a Special Educational Need or a Disability, will they receive Transport Assistance?

The Education Authority has a statutory responsibility for the provision of transport assistance to facilitate attendance at a grant-aided school of pupils for whom fees are not paid and who are resident in Northern Ireland.

Whilst the primary responsibility for getting children to and from school rests with Parents; transport assistance is available for some children to facilitate their attendance at school. Children with disabilities or special educational needs may get additional help.

Eligibility for transport assistance is set out in the Department of Education Circular 1996, (updated September 2009), a copy of which can be obtained at the link Department of Education Circular 1996.

Not all pupils with statements of special educational needs will have special transport needs and may not therefore be entitled to transport assistance.  

Paragraph 8.2 of the above mentioned Circular requires the Education Authority, in the case of children with statements of special educational needs, to give the most careful consideration as to whether the provision of free transport is justified in the particular circumstances of each individual case before indicating it in a statement. 

A special transport need may arise where the pupil has a level of impaired mobility which necessitates the use of a wheelchair or the pupil has a medical condition or severe learning difficulty as determined by the Authority which indicates that special transport arrangements must be made. 

Where pupils have special transport needs, officers of the Authority, drawing upon medical and other advice as required, will assess the pupil’s transport needs and make appropriate arrangements in accordance with this policy. Further guidance for Parents/Carers can be obtained at the link Guidelines - Special Education Pupils - Updated April 2017.

If your child holds a statement of special educational needs, you should contact your local Special Education Section for further guidance in relation to transport. You are not required to complete an application form for transport

If your child does not hold a statement of special educational needs, please complete the transport application form.

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The Education and Library Boards (ELBs) were dissolved on 31 March 2015. The Education Authority was established on 01 April 2015 and is now responsible for all of the operational functions previously carried out by the five ELBs in accordance with the Education Orders.

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