Free school transport

Free school transport is available for some school children attending primary or secondary school if they live within the school catchment area and if they meet certain criteria.

We use various services to provide school transport:

  • school contract buses hired from private companies where travel passes are issued for pupils only
  • Dumfries and Galloway council school buses (DGC Buses)
  • taxis, private hire cars and minibuses
  • local bus services where travel passes (tickets) are issued for children to use for travel to and from the school (please note that grace and favour transport is not available on these services)
  • a mileage allowance to drive your child to school in your own car if you live remote from other children and away from an established route


Your child is not entitled to transport if they attend an alternative school by parental choice.  It is the responsibility of the parent/guardian to organise transport to the school.

You can  perform an address search if you aren't sure which schools are in your area.

Your child may receive free transport if they are:

  • under 8 years old and live 2 miles away from their catchment school
  • over 8 years old and live 3 miles away from their catchment school
  • Roman Catholic, attending the denominational school for their address and live further than statutory distance from that school

We may consider providing free transport if your child attends their catchment school but wouldn't normally be entitled to free transport and has been recommended transport because of:

  • health grounds identified by a medical officer (speak to the headteacher)
  • additional support needs identified by the Supporting Learners Team

Apply for transport

You should apply through the school.

You or the school will be contacted with the transport arrangements if your application is successful .

Grace and favour places

Pupils who are not normally entitled to travel may get a grace and favour place if they live near a school transport route and there is a seat available on a dedicated school service. Complete an application form and return it to the school your child attends:

You must re-apply each school year and this place may have to be withdrawn at any time should spaces be required for eligible pupils or if the maximum capacity or route of a vehicle is changed.

There is also a historic arrangement that secondary pupils in the catchment areas for Dumfries Burgh schools can get assistance with transport if they are entitled to free transport to their catchment school but decide to go to another school in the Burgh. This is limited to the costs which would be incurred if they'd decided to attend their catchment school. Contact the school if you think a pupil  may qualify for free school transport on this basis.

Page last updated: 23/08/2023
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