School admissions 2011

Travel to school

The way your child travels to school is an important decision and one you should think about carefully when choosing a school. Choose one close to home and you could walk there in minutes; choose one further away and you could find yourself with a longer journey or stuck in a traffic jam.

Oldham Council is committed to improving children’s health and safety and the local environment. One of the ways we can achieve all these things is by reducing the number of car journeys to and from school, and getting more children walking, cycling or travelling by public transport.

Every council has a duty to produce a Sustainable Modes of Travel Strategy (SMoTS) which contains information on what they are doing to make it easier for parents and pupils to use different types of transport to get to school such as cycling and walking.

Oldham Council’s Sustainable Modes of Travel Strategy can be viewed on the Council’s website:

Below is an outline of how Oldham’s Strategy can help you and your child travel to school in a sustainable and healthy way. This information will help you when deciding which school to choose.

School Travel Plans

Most schools in Oldham have a School Travel Plan that says how a school is going to improve its pupils’ journey to school by increasing safety and encouraging walking, cycling and public transport whilst reducing car use.

School Travel Plans include advice for parents about existing options for travel to school and the school’s plans for improvement. School Travel Plans have benefits for pupils, parents and the wider community because they identify healthy and sustainable transport options to help to reduce the numbers of cars on the road at peak times and improve the local environment.

If you wish to see your prospective school’s Travel Plan speak to the school directly.

Walking

Oldham Council supports and encourages walking to school, not only to reduce car use and improve road safety, but to improve the local environment. Pupils who walk to school are fitter, can make more friends, are more familiar with their surroundings, have better road sense and arrive at school on time and more relaxed and ready to learn. We encourage walking through a number of initiatives including school crossing patrols and road safety improvements.

For a walking journey planner showing calories burnt and carbon saved please go to www.walkit.com/oldham.

Cycling

Cycling helps improve the health of children as well as being a sustainable form of transport.

There are several initiatives in place to encourage cycling to school and to make cycling safer. These include ensuring new and refurbished schools provide cycle parking for pupils, staff and visitors, offering National Standard Cycle Training to schools and the development of the Oldham Cycle Network.

Public transport

Where walking or cycling is not appropriate for your school journey why not consider public transport instead of the car? Oldham has a good network of frequent bus services which offer a convenient and sustainable alternative to the car. Using the bus can also make pupils feel more independent and confident.

For more information on buses that serve schools in Oldham go to the Transport for Greater Manchester website:

For more general bus timetables, journey planning and fares go to www.tfgm.com Pupils aged 5 to 15 years only have to pay the concessionary fare on all buses and trains. Anyone under 16 will need an IGO pass to prove their age.

The IGO pass costs £5 and has replaced the ID-16 card. Under 16s who travel regularly can also buy special season tickets that save more money, but they must have an IGO pass to buy these tickets. Application forms are available from TfGM Travelshops or online www.tfgm.com/igo.

Financial support for school transport

Children who are entitled to free school meals, or those whose families are in receipt of their maximum level of Working Tax Credit (WTC), at the time of the application, are defined as those from low-income groups 

Children aged 11 years or over, from low income groups are eligible for transport support to a) a choice of schools between 2 and 6 miles of the child’s home and b) to the nearest school preferred by reason of a parent’s religion or belief between 2 and 15 miles from the child’s home. Distances beyond 3 miles will be measured along road routes 

The Protocol Defining “Religion or Belief” is available upon request from the Home to School Transport Team. 

To find out if you qualify/are eligible for financial help with transport, please contact the Integrated Transport Team on 0161 770 3209.

Further information about help with transport to and from school or college can be found on the Oldham Council website:

Car

In some cases driving may be the only option. Your prospective school may run a car share scheme as part of their School Travel Plan which you could get involved in. Car sharing could save you time and money and be more sociable for your child. It also helps to cut traffic congestion and air pollution. If you do drive please ensure you respect the speed limits and parking restrictions that are in place; they are there to make the local environment safer for you and your children.

To find out more about travelling to school or to view our full Sustainable Modes of Travel document go to the Oldham Council website or use the contact details below.

School travel pass

Free school travel passes will be issued to children aged between 8 years and 16 years where the distance the child is required to travel to the nearest qualifying school is more than 3 miles, measured by the nearest available shortest walking route and there is no suitable alternative school accommodation available within the 3-mile limit.

If pupils travel over this distance because of parental preference and there is suitable alternative school accommodation available within the 3-mile limit, parent/carers will be responsible for any travelling expenses incurred.

Children who are entitled to free school meals, or those whose families are in receipt of their maximum level of Working Tax Credit (WTC), at the time of the application, are defined as those from low-income groups. 

Children aged 11 years or over, from low income groups are eligible for transport support to a) a choice of schools between 2 and 6 miles of the child’s home and b) to the nearest school preferred by reason of a parent’s religion or belief between 2 and 15 miles from the child’s home. Distances beyond 3 miles will be measured along road routes 

The Protocol Defining “Religion or Belief” is available upon request from the Home to School Transport Team.

Contacts

School Transport Team – 0161 770 3209