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Transport Policy Statement for Students Aged 16-19 in Further Education - Full Policy
Updated May 2018


This policy has been developed to meet its statutory requirements, in respect of transport arrangements for Tameside resident 16-19 year olds in full time, continuing education.
This document has been drawn up using contributions from, and in discussion with, a range of partners, as follows: -

  • Tameside Council’s Inclusion Team and Social Care Service.
  • Tameside Council’s Finance Team.
  • Representatives from all Tameside colleges and post-16 schools.
  • Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM)
  • Young people of sixth form age and their parents
  • The range of support available to students, as set out in the remaining sections of this document is provided through the partners. 
    Whilst every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the detail contained in this document, the partners reserve the right to modify the detailed arrangements over the life of this policy. Provision of transport to students is subject to a range of external legislative and economic factors outside the control of the partners. Any changes that are made during the life of this policy will be subject to consultation, as set out in the Greater Manchester Local Transport Plan.
    In line with the legislation, this policy is primarily aimed at full-time students aged 16-18 inclusive, with support continuing to the end of the course, where the course started before the student reached the age of 19. In this context, full-time is where the student undertakes more than 12 guided learning hours per week. This definition is the same as for child benefit eligibility.
    However, subject to the terms and conditions used by the partners, some of the benefits set out below are also available to part-time students and to students aged 19+. Students should refer to the detail contained in the remainder of this document.
    Financial support through the Learner Support Funds and transport funded through the Council’s Children's Service are exclusively for Tameside residents. All other benefits set out below are available to students studying at post-16 schools and colleges in Tameside, subject to the terms and conditions of each scheme (e.g. UK residence and means-testing requirements).
    This policy relates to provision planned for the academic year 2018/19, from September 2018 to August 2019.
    Overview of Current Transport Provision
    Tameside students are well served by reasonably priced and accessible public transport. Tameside has four rail links through the Borough: -
  • Mossley – Stalybridge – Ashton-under-Lyne – Manchester Victoria (local service).
  • Huddersfield - Stalybridge – Manchester Piccadilly (express regional service)
  • Broadbottom – Hattersley – Hyde (Godley, Newton and Flowery Field) – Audenshaw (Guide Bridge) – Droylsden (Fairfield) – Manchester Piccadilly (local service).
  • Hyde (Central and North) – Audenshaw (Guide Bridge) - Droylsden (Fairfield) – Manchester Piccadilly (local service).These routes are convenient for students travelling from the Hattersley, Mottram and Longdendale areas to students wishing to study at colleges in neighbouring areas (e.g. Manchester, Salford and Marple) and at specialist colleges further afield (e.g. Huddersfield).
    Ashton Sixth Form College and the Ashton Campus of Tameside College have numerous bus services that stop near to the colleges. Both colleges are also relatively near the centre of Ashton-under-Lyne and accessible on foot from the Town Centre.
    As well as regular public bus services, students benefit from the special bus services that are provided for pre-16 pupils from areas of Tameside not having regular direct public bus services. 
    In addition to rail services, Tameside students wishing to study in neighbouring areas are served by frequent bus services to Manchester, Oldham and Stockport.  The Metrolink tram service operates from Ashton u Lyne through Droylsden and into the city centre.
    Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM) offers a range of fare concessions that are available for students. There is also a range of tickets to allow mixed modes of transport, using bus, rail and the Metrolink tram system. Fare concessions are available throughout Greater Manchester, making it possible for students to travel across local authority boundaries to travel to colleges in neighbouring local authority areas.
    Students with special transport needs are considered a priority for the partners in this policy. The Council may fund the provision of transport for students who need it, in conjunction with colleges and providers. Wherever possible, however, efforts are made to provide students with the support they need to travel independently and use the public transport that is available. This is considered an important part of providing young people with the independence they will need after leaving school/college and will continue to be a primary use of the transport partnership funding provided by the local authority during the 2018/19 academic year. All post 16 institutions independently operate their own bursary schemes, and applications made be made to them at any time.
    Monitoring and Review
    The Council may review this policy at any time but will always consult with interested parties if it is proposing changes that affect eligibility.

    Concessionary Fares operated by Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM)
    TfGM Scholars Permit
    Students attending a full-time course may be able to obtain the “Scholars Permit” entitling them to reduced fares from their home to their place of full-time study only, as follows:
  • Bus: TfGM Half adult fare
  • Train: Half adult fare
  • Metrolink: Half adult fare
  •  There is an initial fee of £5 to apply for the permit and an additional fee of £5 for replacing a lost permit.
    Application forms are available online from; or from a TfGM Travel Shop.
    No income assessment is used for TfGM student travel concessions. The only evidence required is likely to be proof of age and/or evidence of enrolment on a full-time course.
    Discounted travel tickets
    System 1 Travel Cards: Student Bus Saver Card
    Students can obtain one of these cards to entitle them to unlimited travel on any bus throughout Greater Manchester. Currently, the costs are: -
  • Weekly Card: from £14*
  • Monthly Card: from £48* 
    * This refers to those buses operating in the System 1 Travel Network
    Users must hold a System One membership photo card. You can join the travel club at any TfGM Travelshop or on line at The System One Travel Card Registering Page 
    . Membership is free.
    System 1 Travel: Bus and Train County Cards
    As for the Bus card, but more expensive to allow unlimited travel on Bus, train and City zone Metrolink, as follows: -
  • Weekly Card (County Card 7): £38*
  • Monthly Card (County Card one month): £118*
  • Annual Card (County Card Annual): £1184**This refers to those buses operating in the System 1 Travel Network.
    Available to holders of System One membership photo card, or Rail Photo Cards.
    Other Concessionary fares and discounted bus tickets
  • Stagecoach Bus Company Unirider Ticket: details of current tickets and offers on Stagecoach Group buses in Greater Manchester can be obtained from the Stagecoach Manchester website Types of discounted tickets for use on Stagecoach and Magic buses include 

    • The Unirider is available on a termly basis and for the summer term 2018 was £75. 
    • Manchester 7 day megarider is £15 that can be used on any Stagecoach or Magic bus at any time 
  • First Group Student Tickets: details of current tickets and offers on First Group buses in Greater Manchester can be obtained from the First Group Manchester website  
    .  Types of discounted tickets for use on First Bus include
    • First week ticket is £10 that can be used on any First bus at any time 
      Additional Support from School and College Learner Support Funds/ 
  • Tameside post-16 schools, colleges and training providers consider applications for additional financial support from their Learner Support Fund or bursary schemes, in cases where: -
  • Students are required to make several bus journeys to reach school/college, because of where they live.
  • Students are in financial difficulty, but are ineligible for the 16-19 Bursary Fund (e.g. Asylum Seekers).
  • Students have a short-term medical condition requiring special transport arrangements. 
    16-19 Bursary Fund
    The 16-19 Bursary Fund is designed to help support those young people who face the greatest barriers to continuing in education or training post-16. If you’re aged between 16 and 19 years, and think you might struggle with the costs for full-time education or training, you may be eligible for a bursary. This can be used to support transport costs. Students in the following groups may receive the maximum bursary of £1,200 a year:
  • young people in care
  • care leavers
  • young people claiming income support in their own name
  • disabled young people who receive both Employment Support Allowance and Disability Living Allowance or Personal Independence Payment in their own name To receive the maximum bursary your course must last for 30 weeks or more. If your course is shorter than 30 weeks, you may receive less.Other students facing genuine financial difficulties may be awarded a bursary at the discretion of their school, college or training provider. Unlike the EMA, schools, colleges and training providers will be responsible for awarding bursaries to students. With the exception of the £1,200 bursaries for students most in need, they decide on the amount.
    Discretionary Learner Support
    The Discretionary Learner Support is available in colleges and school sixth forms to help with learning costs if you are aged 19 or over. The funds are prioritised for those who face financial hardship. They can be used to help with:
  • Financial hardship and emergencies
  • Childcare costs (for Ofsted-registered childcare)
  • Accommodation costs, for those who wish to access specialist courses or who are unable to access courses locally
  • Essential course-related equipment, materials and field trips
  • Travel costsColleges and sixth forms will take into account whether there are alternative sources to help available.
    To be eligible to apply, you must:
  • be 19 or over
  • have been accepted onto and be studying a programme of learning funded by the Skills Funding Agency Colleges determine priority groups and maximum amounts they award. The focus of funds are for financially disadvantaged people aged 19 or over, who need support in areas such as childcare, transport, books and equipment. You have to apply directly to your college or learning provider. Each college or learning provider has its own application process. You should speak to your tutor, student support or welfare officer. For further information visit
    Tameside College Bursary 
    Guaranteed Support
    An award of up to £1,200 per year will be paid to the following groups of students:
  • Young people in care/Care Leavers
  • Young people in receipt of Income Support
  • Disabled young people in receipt of Employment Support and DLA/PIP
  • Disabled young people in receipt of Incapacity Benefit and DLA/PIPGeneral Support
    To receive General Support the student’s total annual household income should not exceed £30,000. Priority will be given to applicants in the following order:-
  • Priority 1 Dependents of people claiming out of work benefits (JSA, IS, ESA or Universal Credit)
  • Priority 2 Students whose annual household income is below the working tax credit threshold of £15,286
  • Priority 3 Students whose annual household income is below £30,000 An award for General Support may be paid to students where one or more of the following applies:
  • specific equipment is needed for the student to attend the course
  • students live more than 2 miles from college and the cost of travel is a barrier to attending college
  • the student is facing unexpected financial hardship. Full details of financial support for students can be found here:
    Ashton Sixth Form College
    There are two bursaries available.
    16 – 19 bursary.  In order to be entitled to the 16 – 19 bursary, students must meet a range of criteria.  Examples of various categories are:
    Category A 
    Students who are Looked After Children (in care), care leavers; those who are on Income Support or Universal Credit Payment in their own name and those registered as disabled and in receipt of Employment Support Allowance and Disability Living Allowance/ Personal Independence Payment.
    Category B
    Students from households with a gross annual income (inclusive of any benefits / tax credits) of less than £25,000 are likely to be awarded a bursary but students from households where the gross annual income in up to around this figure are welcome to apply.  Students who fall near the threshold are advised to apply as we constantly review the bursary.  We require as evidence your FULL up to date letter from the DWP and P60 confirming annual income and allocation of tax credits.  We require a copy of your latest Council Tax Bill and Housing Benefit statement (if appropriate)
    Category C
    Students who may or may not be in the above categories but who are experiencing significant financial hardship due to current / changed circumstances or with an exceptional situation.
    Discretionary Bursary
    This bursary is open for all 16-19* year olds to apply for and is granted normally on household income; however other exceptional circumstances will be considered.
    *Students must be aged under 19 years on the 31st August in the academic year that they start the courses.
    Before making your application it is important that you read the Bursary guidance notes which are available to view on the website including the full eligibility criteria.
    Bursary Amount
    Category A Bursary
    Eligible for up to £1200 per year paid normally at £30 per week. The remaining fund will be used to pay for trips, exam resits or other college expenses.
    Discretionary Bursary
    We will normally pay a weekly amount of £15 per week, subject to the number of successful applicants. The college may also substitute the cash payment for travel passes or lunch vouchers at the college’s discretion.
    All bursaries are paid subject to full attendance.
    Full details of financial support for students can be found here:

    Apprenticeships and Traineeships
    Learning providers are responsible for ensuring that non-employed Programme led Apprentices have reasonable expenses met in full where these are needed to overcome barriers to learning. These may include the cost of travelling to or from the place of learning or work placement. Employers and learning providers should take account of learners’ likely transport arrangements when planning off-the-job training, particularly outside normal working hours. The costs of expenses for Learners can be claimed by learning providers against the Additional Learner Support allocation on the Training Provider Statement.
    Provision for pupils with SEND
    Tameside Council makes special provision for Tameside residents with disabilities and/or learning difficulties. This is set out in detail as part of the wider Tameside Council Transport Policy. In summary, current provision is as follows: -.
  • The Council’s Special Educational Needs Service will consider funding special transport that may be required to attend a further education course for those students with disabilities or learning difficulties aged 16 -18 years inclusive with support continuing until the completion of the course where the course started before the student reached the age of 19.
  • Tameside College identifies students in need of special provision in liaison with Inclusive Services, make arrangements for the transport, and recharge the cost to Special Educational Needs Service. Important: students who are assessed as potentially capable of independent travel are provided with mobility or independence training to assist them to benefit from the free travel available.
  • Students with special educational needs, who are educated in other Tameside post-16 institutions, or outside Tameside, may be provided with transport organised directly by Special Educational Needs Service. This varies from the provision of escorted rail travel for students educated in residential establishments, to the provision of taxis for students attending colleges in neighbouring authorities, where the specific course could not be offered in Tameside. An assessment is made, based on the needs of the individual. Students are encouraged to be independent and use public transport, where they are assessed as potentially capable of independent travel. 
    For further information, students can make contact with Student Services at Tameside College or contact the Council’s Special Educational Needs Service. Contact details are at the end of this document.
    Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM) offer the following services for learners with SEND: -
  • All disabled people can travel for free between 9.30am and 11pm Monday to Friday, and all day at weekends and bank holidays, on local buses anywhere in England as part of the National Concessionary Bus Travel arrangements introduced in April 2008. For residents of Greater Manchester, this is extended to travel on trains, and Metrolink trams in Greater Manchester. If you qualify TfGM will give you a concessionary travel permit.
  • Some disabled people can travel for free at all times. If you qualify, TfGM will give you a “Concession Plus” pass.
  • If you are registered blind or have serious walking difficulties and cannot use ordinary buses, you may be able to get travel vouchers. You can use these to pay for taxis and door-to-door services, like Ring and Ride and Local Link.
  • To apply for a free travel pass, write to or phone TfGM for an application form at:
    • Travel Concessions TfGM
      PO Box 429
      M60 1HX.
      Phone: 0161 244 1050
  • More Information: To ask for this information in other formats, such as in large print, in Braille, on audio tape, on CD and in other languages, please phone 0871 200 22 33 between 8am and 8pm (calls cost 10p per minute from landlines). 

    Help for students who need to travel to a course outside Tameside

  • TfGM Bus Cards and Permits are available to all students for travel throughout Greater Manchester. A detailed map of routes covered is contained in leaflets available from TfGM or on their website: Transport for Greater Manchester website  
  • Specialist Courses outside Greater Manchester are likely to be better served by students attending as “resident” students (e.g. Residential Agricultural Colleges). Such specialist colleges are able to offer a greater level of support from their Learner Support Funds, or through the system of Residential Learner Support Funds run in conjunction with the Learning and Skills Council. 
    Help for students who attend a further education institution, which is beyond daily travelling distance

  • Residential Support Grant: is available at 51 specialist colleges. The scheme is funded by the Education Funding Agency (EFA) and provides support to help with residential costs, depending on where the college is situated and the level of parental income. Further information is available from Money to Learn on Direct Gov.
  • Special Educational Needs: students with special educational needs who have been recommended to study at a residential establishment can be provided with escorted rail travel at the start and end of each term if this is necessary. Further details contained in Section 6.
  • 16-19 Bursary Fund: Students aged 16-19 can apply directly to Colleges to help with the costs of learning. Support is based on the level of household income. Further information is available from the Department for Education website: 

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    Some Special Bus Services are provided for residents to travel to Tameside post-16 schools and colleges from certain parts of the Tameside MBC area. These are under constant review; please refer to the TfGM web site for up-to-date information.

    Telephone Contacts
  • Tameside Council Integrated Transport: 0161 342 3205/3691
  • TfGM General Travel Enquiries: 0161 228 7811
  • Tameside College: 0161 908 6789
  • Ashton Sixth Form College: 0161 330 2330