education.vic.gov.au

Policy last updated

10 January 2024

Scope

  • Schools
  • All Department staff

Date:
January 2020

Policy

Policy

The purpose of this policy is to ensure that schools support eligible families to receive financial assistance with the cost of transporting students to and from school where the student:

  • lives in rural and regional Victoria and attends their nearest appropriate school/campus or
  • attends an eligible specialist school.

This policy applies to both government and non-government schools.

Summary

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 conveyance allowance may be available to students attending government or non-government schools and:

  • travelling by public transport or by private car, motorbike, bicycle or bus, and
  • whose nearest school is not serviced by a free school bus provided under the School Bus Program

Schools are responsible for the day-to-day administration of the conveyance allowance.

Schools are responsible for communicating to parents/carers the travel options that are available for students in the area.

Schools administer applications for the conveyance allowance and must:

  • provide to families information about eligibility and allowance rates
  • provide to families relevant application forms (refer to Resources tab)
  • take steps to ensure, as far as is practicable, that all applications from families for the conveyance allowance are received by the school in the year prior to the year in which the families are seeking to have the conveyance allowance paid
  • submit claims received from families to the department through the online Student Conveyance Allowance System (SCAS)
  • where applications for the conveyance allowance are approved through Student Conveyance Allowance System, disburse monies received to parents/carers (unless otherwise arranged in agreement with a student’s parents/carers)

Details

VRQA registration

Schools must ensure the school and each campus and/or special setting is registered with the Victorian Registration and Qualification Authority (VRQA) on the VRQA State RegisterExternal Link and that the school/campus physical and postal address is correctly listed. If details are not correctly entered into the VRQA State Register, or for further information:

Victorian Student Number

Schools must capture a student's

  • Victorian Student Number (VSN) – VSNs are 9-digit numbers
  • identifying details – name, date of birth and gender
  • enrolment date.

and ensure the correct data is sent to the Victorian Student Register (VSR) via the software management system they use.

If a VSN is not presented, schools will need to determine:

  • whether the student has previously been assigned a VSN
  • whether the student is a prep student or enrolling in a Victorian school for the first time.

The ongoing operation of the VSN is managed by the Victorian Curriculum and Assessment Authority (VCAA). For enquiries about Victorian student numbers contact the VSN Operations Team on the VSN hotline 1800 822 635 or email victorian.student.register@education.vic.gov.au

The Student Conveyance Allowance System (SCAS) uses the VRQA database for certain school information and VSN so any incorrect entry may result in applications being inaccurately assessed or delayed.

Communication with parents

Schools must:

  • familiarise themselves with this policy and the Guidance in order to respond to general enquiries made by parents about the program
  • communicate the travel options that exist in the area to parents at enrolment
  • provide application forms (in Resources) to eligible families
  • communicate closing dates for applications applicable each term. Closing dates for applications apply each term and are listed below under the heading ‘Application Processing’ as well as on the SCAS homepage (accessible by staff with user access).

Communication with the Conveyance Allowance Unit

Schools must respond to any queries or requests for information from the Conveyance Allowance Unit (CAU) within 7 days of the request.

Eligibility

Schools must submit applications for the conveyance allowance through SCAS.

Prior to submitting the applications, schools must check all information in the application is accurate. SCAS will then assess, based on the information in the application, whether the student satisfies the eligibility criteria established by the Minister for Education and Training. Further detail about the eligibility criteria is set out under the Guidance tab.

Instrument of Specification: Transport Services and Travelling Allowances

Criteria for determining whether a school is appropriate for a student have been specified by the Minister under section 104(1) of the Education and Training Reform Regulations 2017 (the Regulations) – Instrument of Specification: Transport Services and Travelling Allowances. Further information about eligibility criteria is set out in the Guidance tab.

Eligibility for students attending a non-government school

The eligibility criteria include the requirement that a student attending a non-government school is attending the nearest appropriate school (that is 4.8km or more from the student’s residence).

However, a student attending a non-government school that is not the student’s nearest school may apply to the CAU for a determination that the nearest religious non-government school, which has compulsory religious instruction, is not considered ‘appropriate’ for that student where that student does not belong to or associate with the school’s particular religion or engage in religious activities associated with that school’s religious doctrines. Please see the Guidance tab for information on how to request a CAU review of this criteria.

Refer to Instrument of Specification — Transport Services and Travelling AllowancesExternal Link

Application processing

There are four claim periods with each period corresponding to one of the 4 terms of the school year.

Schools must process all applications through the SCAS prior to the closing dates for each claim period as set out below. This means that a school must submit a claim 4 times a year (once in each claim period) if a student is to receive the allowance for the entire year.

Closing dates for 2024

Claim period

Claim submission closing date

Estimated pay run date

*Term 4 2023*24 November 2023*8 December 2023
Term 18 March 202422 March 2024
Term 27 June 202421 June 2024
Term 330 August 202413 September 2024
Term 4 22 November 20246 December 2024

Information about SCAS and the administration of the conveyance allowance is in the Guidance tab in processing applications (using SCAS).

Schools must check, verify and sign each application confirming the information provided by parents/carers is correct including the availability of public transport and distance travelled. Schools must sight and confirm public transport ticket purchase when checking and verifying an application for public transport ticket costs.

Incorrect information may result in the application being declined or payment of the claim being delayed.

Allowance payments

The conveyance allowance is paid by the department to students’ families via the school. Schools are responsible for distributing conveyance allowance funds in a timely manner to families.

Late applications

All claims must be submitted by schools, through SCAS, during the current calendar year. Late applications cannot be accepted after the Term 4 closing date (listed above under the heading ‘Application processing’). Applications cannot be made for retrospective payments for prior years.

Withholding of the conveyance allowance by schools

The conveyance allowance is for the student named on the application form. Schools must not withhold any part of the allowance in lieu of fees or late payments.

Parents/carers may authorise the school to use their conveyance allowance towards procured bus services/tickets by providing written consent. The application form contains a section for parents/carers to provide this consent.

Schools must not withhold the conveyance allowance for the purpose of paying for procured bus services for school excursions.

Record keeping

Schools must retain the application forms signed by parents/carers for a period of seven years. This is required for auditing purposes.

School audit process – audit of school processes

As part of a government school’s School Council Financial Assurance process, or independent audit of non-government schools, schools are to provide information to the auditor about compliance with this policy including any case of overpayment.

Schools must provide their auditor with a sample of 20 applications or 20% of all applications received by the school within the audit period, whichever is the greater.

CAU audit process – audit of school processes by CAU

The CAU will conduct an annual audit of randomly selected schools. The audits will review a sample of completed application forms (including evidence of ticket purchases where applicable).

In addition, schools may be asked to provide a certificate from the school’s auditor or an extract from the school audit concerning compliance with this policy. Schools are required to provide this information on request.

Definitions

Designated Neighbourhood School (DNS)
Designated neighbourhood schools can be identified at Find My SchoolExternal Link .

Nearest appropriate school
The nearest ‘appropriate’ school for government school students is the nearest government school/campus to a student’s primary residence that is suitable at their year level, measured by the shortest practicable route, or the student’s DNS.

The nearest ‘appropriate’ school/campus for students attending non-government schools is determined by the denomination of the school. The nearest ‘appropriate’ school/campus for non-government school students is the nearest non-government campus to a student’s primary residence of their chosen denomination that is suitable at their year level, measured by the shortest practicable route.

PTV
Refer to Public Transport VictoriaExternal Link

Shortest practical route
Using residential property coordinates, SCAS determines a route between the student’s address and the school/campus attended. SCAS uses the shortest distance between two points using all-weather public roads drivable by car.

Student Transport and Allowance Branch
The STAB branch oversees the policy development and operational delivery for the School Bus Program, Students with Disabilities Transport Program, and the Conveyance Allowance Program.

CAU
Conveyance Allowance Unit, located within STAB, Financial Services Division, Finance, Policy and Infrastructure Services

STU
Student Transport Unit, located within STAB, Financial Services Division, Finance, Policy and Infrastructure Services

SCAS
Student conveyance allowance system

VRQA
Refer to Victorian Registration and Qualifications AuthorityExternal Link

Relevant legislation


Guidance

Guidance

This guidance contains the following chapters:

  • Eligibility criteria
  • Criteria 1 to 3 — Applicable to all students
  • Criteria 4 to 5 — Applicable to students attending a mainstream school
  • Criterion 6 — Applicable to students attending specialist schools for students with disabilities
  • Criterion 7 — Applicable to students attending other specialist settings
  • Application forms for the conveyance allowance
  • Processing applications (using SCAS)
  • Change of address
  • Sibling entitlement
  • Adjustments to a conveyance allowance
  • Payments for students who reside at more than one address
  • Appeals and special case consideration
  • Types of assistance available
  • Responsibilities of parents/carers
  • Training for school staff
  • Conveyance allowance rates
  • Public transport accessibility measures

Eligibility criteria

Eligibility criteria

Students must meet certain criteria depending on the type of school they attend.

Students must meet criteria 1, 2 and 3 in all cases. Additional criteria (criteria 4 to 7) apply depending on the type of school or setting attended.

For the purposes of assessing eligibility for a conveyance allowance, each school or campus is considered a separate entity. Students attending a multi-campus school have their eligibility assessed based on the campus they are attending.


Criteria 1 to 3 — Applicable to all students

Criteria 1 to 3 — Applicable to all students (whether attending mainstream or specialist settings in the government or non-government sector)

Criterion 1 — Reside 4.8km or more from the school

To be eligible for the conveyance allowance a student must reside 4.8km or more from the school/campus they attend. This distance is measured as the shortest practicable route from the student’s residence to the school/campus using all-weather public roads drivable by car.

The Student Conveyance Allowance System (SCAS) assesses this eligibility criteria by:

  • determining the shortest route between the student’s address and the school/campus attended (whereas other public mapping tools commonly measure the shortest travel time)
  • producing a table showing distances to nearby like schools, for comparison, which assists schools to determine whether the student is attending their nearest school/campus

The distance measured does not include private driveways.

Where families consider the route determined by SCAS cannot be driven or is inaccurate:

  • families may make a written request to their school, addressed to the principal, for their child’s application to be reviewed by the department’s Conveyance Allowance Unit (CAU), which sits within the Student Transport Unit (STU)
  • families wishing to have the application reviewed must provide a document setting out the proposed alternative route. Schools are encouraged to support families to identify the correct shortest route
  • the school must submit a new application on SCAS together with the revised route provided by the family

Criterion 2 — Be of school age and reside in Victoria

Students must be eligible to attend school. School is compulsory for all Victorian children aged between 6 and 17 years but children commonly attend school between 5 and 18 years old. In some circumstances, students may be as young as 4 or aged up to 20 and eligible to attend school. Refer to the Enrolment Policy for information on age eligibility.

Criterion 3 — Be enrolled in a school for 3 or more days per week

Students must be enrolled at and attend school for 3 or more days per week.


Criteria 4 to 5 — Applicable to students attending a mainstream school

Criteria 4 to 5 — Applicable to students attending a mainstream school

Criteria 4 and 5 apply to students attending mainstream schools. Criterion 4 applies to both government and non-government school students. Criterion 5 applies slightly differently depending on whether the student is attending a government or non-government school — refer to sub-headings.

Refer to Criterion 6 and Criterion 7 for eligibility criteria for students attending a specialist setting.

Criterion 4 — School/campus is located outside the metropolitan conveyance allowance boundary

Students must attend a school outside the metropolitan conveyance allowance boundary, which is shown in the shaded area set out in the Metropolitan Conveyance Allowance Boundary MapExternal Link . Students attending schools within the metropolitan conveyance allowance boundary are not eligible for the conveyance allowance.

The metropolitan conveyance allowance boundary is based on the Urban Growth Boundary, which is determined by the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning. The map is informed by an Accessibility Index, developed by the department, which measures the accessibility of schools based on the proximity to and the frequency of public transport serving each metropolitan postcode area. The Accessibility Index determines whether schools within metropolitan conveyance allowance postcode areas are eligible for conveyance allowance. Schools can contact the CAU if they are unsure whether their school is in an eligible postcode.

Further information about public transport accessibility can be found in the section headed Public transport accessibility measures.

Criterion 5 — Student is attending their nearest appropriate school/campus

Refer to the relevant section below depending on whether the student is attending a government school or a non-government school.

  • To be eligible for a conveyance allowance a student attending a mainstream school must attend:

    • their nearest government school/campus appropriate to their year level — being the closest school determined by the shortest practicable route from the student’s residence, or
    • the student’s Designated Neighbourhood School (DNS) — refer to Find my SchoolExternal Link website to identify a student’s DNS

    Students not attending their nearest government school or DNS may still be eligible under this criterion if they fall within any of the exceptions listed below.

    The eligibility of any sibling of a student receiving or eligible to receive the conveyance allowance is assessed individually and will not be impacted by their sibling’s eligibility.

    Exceptions (where students may be eligible despite not attending their nearest government school or DNS)

    Lack of accommodation at the nearest government school

    If the nearest government school/campus is not a student’s DNS and the student is refused admission on the grounds the school is at capacity, the student will satisfy this criterion if they are attending the next nearest government school.

    Students relying on this exception must provide to their school a letter that:

    • confirms refused entry from all nearer schools
    • is dated prior to the student’s commencement date at the school in relation to which they are applying for the conveyance allowance
    Subject choice for students in Years 11 and 12

    A student will satisfy this criterion if they are in Year 11 or 12 and travelling to a more distant school if 2 or more subjects, available at the more distant school, are not available at their nearest school/campus or DNS.

    Off campus study for students in Years 11 and 12

    A student will satisfy this criterion if they are in Year 11 or 12 and are required to travel 4.8km or more to a TAFE institute, Registered Training Organisation (RTO) or alternate school to access part of their course of study.

    In these circumstances, an off campus conveyance allowance rate is calculated according to the number of days attended away from their main campus. The off campus allowance is set out in the chapter — Conveyance allowance rates.

    Student travel to work placement, work experience or distance education cannot be claimed.

    Single-sex government schools

    A student will satisfy this criterion if they are attending their nearest single-sex government school, even if there is a nearer co-educational government school.

    Attending a department-recognised accelerated learning program

    A student will satisfy this criterion if they are attending a department-recognised Select Entry Accelerated Learning Program (SEAL) provided the school offering the program is located outside the Metropolitan Conveyance Allowance BoundaryExternal Link .

    Progression through a split campus school

    A student will satisfy this criterion if, for continuity of education, they progress from the junior to senior campus of a school even if there is a nearer government school for the same year level. However, the senior campus must be located outside the metropolitan conveyance allowance boundary or in a postcode area deemed eligible based on the Accessibility Index.

    School amalgamation or opening

    A student will satisfy this criterion if they are enrolled at a school that was their nearest school or DNS but in circumstances in which that school then ceases to be their nearest school or DNS due to an amalgamation or new school opening.

    All new enrolments at a new or amalgamated school will be assessed under the criteria that apply at the time of enrolment.

    Next nearest school

    A student may be eligible for a partial allowance to assist with the cost of travel to their next nearest government school if:

    • they reside 4.8km or more from their nearest government school
    • private car is the only means of transport to the next nearest school

    The partial allowance is set out in the chapter — Conveyance Allowance Rates.

    Students who can access spare seats on a government funded school bus or public transport do not fall within this exception and are ineligible for a conveyance allowance.

  • Students attending a non-government school will be eligible to apply for the conveyance allowance if they attend their nearest non-government school/campus appropriate to their year level and, if the student is religious, of their chosen religious denomination.

    The distance by shortest practicable route from the student’s residence to the school/campus is used to determine the nearest school/campus.

    A student attending a non-government school may apply to the department for a determination that the nearest religious non-government school, which has compulsory religious instruction, is not considered ‘appropriate’ for that student where the student does not belong to or associate with the school’s particular religion or engage in religious activities associated with that school’s religious doctrines.

    This exemption from the requirement to attend the ‘nearest’ school is set out in the Instrument of Specification: Transport Services and Travelling AllowancesExternal Link .

    Seeking CAU review of an application

    If a student’s application for the conveyance allowance is assessed as ineligible by SCAS on the ground that the student is not attending the student’s nearest school, but the student does not belong to or associate with the nearest school’s particular religion, or engage in religious activities associated with that school’s religious doctrines, schools can request that CAU consider these circumstances.

    To request a CAU review on this basis, schools must activate the override code in SCAS called ‘Request for STU Consideration’ within SCAS. Schools can then enter a note explaining why the CAU review is required (for example: Parent requests consideration based on religious factors. Please see attached signed letter).

    Parents/carers must attach a signed letter, which the school must upload to SCAS. The letter must clearly address:

    • whether the student does not belong to, or associate with, the relevant nearer school(s)’ particular religion, or engage in religious activity associated with the relevant nearer school(s)’ religious doctrines, and
    • whether the relevant nearer school(s) compulsorily requires its students to engage in religious activity associated with that religion or religious doctrines

    Since 2013, the department, in consultation with Independent Schools Victoria (ISV), the Catholic Education Commission Victoria (CECV) and the Victorian Registration and Qualifications Authority (VRQA), adopted the ‘narrow group’ of denominations to identify religious denominations, as set out in the Australian Bureau of Statistics’ (ABS) Australian Standard for Classification of Religious Groups 2011 (ASCRG) – see the list below.

    If a non-government school wishes to change their current narrow group category or is not included in the narrow group category of denominations listed below, the school’s principal or delegate must confirm in writing on school letterhead the ABS narrow group category to be mapped to, together with written evidence supporting the reason for the change. Schools must email these documents to: conveyance@education.vic.gov.au by the last school day of Term 4 for any change to your narrow group category for the new school year.

    For the purposes of conveyance, the current ABS narrow group category of a school at 1 January for the start of each school year will apply for that school year irrespective of any change to the denomination occurring during the year.

    No inference should be made that this policy applies to other government departments and/or authorities including the Victorian Registration and Qualifications Authority. Refer to the individual policies of any other authority with respect to religious denominations.

    For the most up-to-date religious groups and information from the ABS see the Excel FileExternal Link available at: www.abs.gov.auExternal Link .

    1266.0 Australian Standard Classification of Religious Groups, 2016

    Classification structure, Broad groups, Narrow groups

    Buddhism
    • 101 Buddhism
    Christianity
    • 201 Anglican
    • 203 Baptist
    • 205 Brethren
    • 207 Catholic
    • 211 Churches of Christ
    • 213 Jehovah's Witnesses
    • 215 Latter-day Saints
    • 217 Lutheran
    • 221 Oriental Orthodox
    • 222 Assyrian Apostolic
    • 223 Eastern Orthodox
    • 225 Presbyterian and Reformed
    • 227 Salvation Army
    • 231 Seventh-day Adventist
    • 233 Uniting Church
    • 24 Pentecostal
    • 28 Other Protestant
    • 29 Other Christian
    Hinduism
    • 301 Hinduism
    Islam
    • 401 Islam
    Judaism
    • 501 Judaism
    Other Religions
    • 601 Australian Aboriginal Traditional Religions
    • 603 Baha'i
    • 605 Chinese Religions
    • 607 Druse
    • 611 Japanese Religions
    • 613 Nature Religions
    • 615 Sikhism
    • 617 Spiritualism
    • 699 Miscellaneous Religions
    Secular Beliefs, Other Spiritual Beliefs and No Religious Affiliation
    • 71 No Religion, so described
    • 72 Secular Beliefs
    • 73 Other Spiritual Beliefs

    Students not attending their nearest appropriate non-government school may still be eligible under this criterion if they fall within one of the exceptions listed below.

    The eligibility of any sibling of a student receiving or eligible to receive the conveyance allowance is assessed individually. A student will not be automatically eligible simply because their sibling receives the conveyance allowance or otherwise satisfies any criterion.

    Exceptions (where students may be eligible despite not attending their nearest non-government school)

    Lack of accommodation at the nearest appropriate non-government school

    If entry to the nearest appropriate non-government school/campus is refused on the grounds the school is at capacity, students attending the next nearest appropriate non-government school will satisfy this criterion.

    Students relying on this exception must provide to their school a letter that:

    • confirms refused entry from all nearer appropriate schools, and
    • is dated prior to the student’s commencement date at the school in relation to which they are applying for the conveyance allowance
    Subject choice for students in Years 11 and 12

    A student will satisfy this criterion if they are in Year 11 or 12 and travelling to a more distant school if two or more subjects, available at the more distant school, are not available at their nearest school/campus.

    Off campus study for students in Years 11 and 12

    A student will satisfy this criterion if they are in Year 11 or 12 and are required to travel 4.8km or more to a TAFE institute, Registered Training Organisation or alternate school to access part of their course of study.

    In these circumstances, an off campus conveyance allowance rate is calculated according to the number of days attended away from their main campus. The off campus allowance is set out in the chapter — Conveyance Allowance Rates.

    Student travel to work placement, work experience or distance education cannot be claimed.

    Single sex non-government schools

    A student will satisfy this criterion if they are attending their nearest single sex non-government school of a particular denomination, even if there is a nearer non-government co-educational school of the same denomination.

    Progression through a split campus school

    A student will satisfy this criterion if, for continuity of education, they progress from the junior to senior campus of a school even if there is a nearer non-government school for the same year level and denomination. However, the senior campus must be located outside the metropolitan conveyance allowance boundary or in a postcode area deemed eligible based on the Accessibility Index.

    School amalgamation or opening

    A student will satisfy this criterion if they are enrolled at a school that was their nearest school but in circumstances in which that school then ceases to be their nearest school due to an amalgamation or new school opening.

    All new enrolments at a new or amalgamated school will be assessed under the criteria that apply at the time of enrolment.


Criterion 6 — Applicable to students attending specialist schools for students with disabilities

Criterion 6 — Applicable to students attending specialist schools for students with disabilities

The Metropolitan Conveyance Allowance BoundaryExternal Link does not apply to specialist schools for students with disabilities.

Government specialist schools for students with disabilities

For each government specialist school for students with disabilities, the department has established a Designated Transport Area (DTA). To be eligible for the conveyance allowance, or other type of travel assistance — such as the Students with Disabilities Transport Program (SDTP), a student must reside in the DTA for the school attended.

The type of travel assistance (the conveyance allowance or the SDTP) available depends on the individual circumstances of the student.

Non-government specialist schools for students with disabilities

To be eligible for the conveyance allowance, students must be attending their nearest appropriate non-government specialist school for students with disabilities.


Criterion 7 — Applicable to students attending other specialist settings

Criterion 7 — Applicable to students attending other specialist settings

Eligible specialist settings

Specialist settings, recognised for the purposes of eligibility for the conveyance allowance, are small and unique settings that provide specialist education to students with particular needs.

Specialist settings recognised by the department for the purpose of eligibility for the conveyance allowance are set out below, together with the specific eligibility requirements for students attending that particular setting.

The Metropolitan Conveyance Allowance BoundaryExternal Link does not apply to these specialist settings.

Note: The Student Transport and Allowance Branch and the Special Case Consideration Panel (refer to the section Appeals and special case consideration) have no authority or responsibility for determining a school’s specialist status.

Deaf facilities

Deaf facilities provide a specialist setting for hearing impaired students within a mainstream school. Students must attend their nearest deaf facility to be eligible for a conveyance allowance.

English language schools and centres

English language schools and centres provide intensive English language courses targeted at students who have recently arrived in Australia. Students must attend their nearest English language centre or school to be eligible for a conveyance allowance.

Re-engagement centres

Re-engagement programs operate outside mainstream school settings and provide tailored education and support for children and young people who are disengaged, or have been identified as at risk of disengaging, from mainstream school.

To be eligible for a conveyance allowance in these settings the re-engagement program must be operating in accordance with the department’s policy on Re-engagement Programs.

Only students who are attending a re-engagement program and have been referred to the re-engagement program in accordance with the process outlined in the department’s policy on Re-engagement Programs will be eligible for a conveyance allowance.

Students do not have to attend their nearest re-engagement program but must attend the program specified in their re-engagement plan developed in association with the department’s regional office. Evidence of this must be provided with the application, such as a letter from the relevant regional office, or other relevant division of the department, confirming the student’s re-engagement plan.


Application forms for the conveyance allowance

Application forms for the conveyance allowance

Families can complete the relevant application form (refer to list below) and submit it to their school, or the school can complete the form on their behalf and ensure the parent understands and signs the completed application form.

Note: Form 3 Application for public transport travel must include evidence of ticket purchase. If public transport is also indicated on Form 4 and Form 5, include evidence of ticket purchase.

Schools then lodge the application via the Student Conveyance Allowance System (SCAS) which assesses the application against eligibility criteria.

Relevant forms (also in the Resources tab):

Information about processing applications is set out in the chapter — Processing Applications.


Processing applications (using SCAS)

Processing applications (using SCAS)

School Conveyancing Allowance System (SCAS)

Schools must submit applications for the conveyance allowance on the Student Conveyance Allowance System (SCAS).

Schools can also use SCAS to:

  • retain records of conveyance allowance application forms
  • access student information from CASES21 and check student eligibility
  • lodge documentation and claims to the department
  • report payments made to applicants
  • roll forward applications in Term 1 from the previous school year

Non–government schools must do a new import of enrolment data at the beginning of each school year. Further guidance about importing data is set out below under 'Step 3 - Update/import student enrolment data'.

SCAS can be used by government and non-government schools.

School staff using SCAS need to complete and submit a SCAS user ID form (XLSX)External Link to be given access to the system. Staff must email completed forms to conveyance@education.vic.gov.au

Further information is available at:

A small number of interstate schools, teaching units and English language outposts are unable to be provided with access to SCAS and should continue to use the relevant claim spread sheet. Claim forms can be downloaded, see:

How to process applications

Step 1: ‘Roll forward applications’

The ‘roll forward applications’ feature will copy claim applications in bulk from the previous school year, while incrementing the student’s year level.

Schools are recommended to use the 'roll forward' feature to make the process faster.

The ‘roll forward’ feature cannot be used:

  • on new applications (for example, for new students or if a student’s circumstances changed)
  • on applications lodged the year before but assessed as ineligible
  • for students in Year 12 the previous year
  • for students in Year 6 in a primary school the previous year
Action required:
  1. Log into SCASExternal Link using your TO or eduweb ID and password.
  2. On the SCAS homepage under the control panel menu, select 'Roll Forward Applications'.
  3. Tick the desired box(es) to select applications from one or more separate year levels or tick 'Select’ for all year levels.
  4. Select ‘Roll Forward’ and SCAS will schedule this process to be executed overnight.

On the next working day, SCAS will have created a new application with the same profile/information from the previous school year. However, the year level for the student will be incremented by 1 year from last year.

By default, SCAS will set the application travel start and travel end dates for the entire school year.

New public transport ticketing costs are provided by the Department of Transport (previously PTV) and loaded into SCAS at the beginning of the calendar year.

Step 2: Deleting applications

Schools must delete any applications for students who have been rolled forward to the current school year but have exited the school. This will stop conveyance payments being made for students who are no longer attending the school in the current school year.

Action required, delete an application:
  1. On the SCAS home page, select 'Applications Report’ under the control panel.
  2. Locate the application to be deleted, and select ‘Application ID’.
  3. The View Application screen is displayed for the selected application. Select ‘Delete’.
  4. Select ‘Confirm Delete’.
  5. Repeat as required for other applications to be deleted (go back to step 2).

Step 3: Update/import student enrolment data

In order for SCAS to detect any changes that may affect conveyance allowance eligibility:

  • Government schools must ensure that CASES21 (Admin) accurately reflects the current student enrolment details (that all current student enrolments are shown as active on CASES21).
  • SCAS downloads student enrolment data from CASES21 each night. SCAS will subsequently indicate applications with changes detected.
  • Go to ‘Step 4’ on this page.
  • Non-government schools must import their current student enrolment system data file into SCAS in Term 1 of the current school year.
  • The ‘Import student enrolment data’ feature allows non-government schools to enter and amend student enrolment details in bulk.
  • Non-government schools are recommended to import student enrolment data for their students at least once each term to maintain the correct/current student enrolment and exit data.
Action required (non-government schools):
  1. On the SCAS home page under the control panel menu select 'Import student enrolment data’. The template file will assist you to create your import (.csv) file.
  2. Select ‘template’ link and save the template to your computer.
  3. Open the saved template on your computer and populate the columns with your student data or alternatively schools may be able to extract enrolment data in this file format from your school's enrolment system.
  4. Save the populated template as a .csv file type.
  5. In SCAS, select ‘Browse’, select your .csv file and then ‘Import’.
  6. When the import has been completed, go to ‘Student Import History’ under the control panel menu and check to see if your import has been successful (complete).
  7. If not successful (incomplete), review the error message(s) description and amend your .csv file accordingly.
  8. Import the amended .csv file again until the errors are corrected.
  9. For 'SCAS import instructions and template (non-government schools only)' refer to Import instructions and template (DOC)External Link .

Step 4: Modify any applications which have changes detected

SCAS will indicate the number of applications with 'Changes detected' where applicable. Schools can view the Applications Report under the SCAS control panel to review the applications that may be excluded.

Any applications marked as having 'Changes detected' are automatically excluded in the conveyance allowance claim. Typically changes relate to residential address or transport details.

Applications with 'Changes detected' require modification where the details for a student have changed in order to check for conveyance allowance eligibility.

Action required:
  1. On the SCAS home page, click on the link titled: 'Number of applications with changes detected'.
  2. If any applications are listed, select the link to view applications which may require attention.

To reduce your search result with current applications, it is recommended that you filter your search:

  1. From the drop-down box ‘Open or ended applications’ select ‘Open’.
  2. From the drop-down ‘Application Change Detected’ select ‘Yes’. If there are no applications listed, there are no changes required.
  3. Select ‘Search’.
  4. Select ‘Application ID’ link.
  5. Select ‘Modify’.
  6. Review the changes and answer the prompts to finish the modification process.

Step 5: Submit your term claim

A claim represents one or many applications made by a school for the payment of a conveyance allowance for a given period.

There are 4 claim periods with each period corresponding to one of the 4 terms of the school year. A school must submit a claim 4 times a year: once in each claim period.

Claim period dates are found on the SCAS welcome screen control panel. Only a SCAS user with approver access can submit the claim.

Please note: A school can only submit a claim once per term. This should be done just prior to the claim period closing date as any changes or new applications cannot be added after the claim has been submitted for the term.

Action required:
  1. On the SCAS Home page select 'View claim.'
  2. Select 'Submit'.
  3. Tick the box to 'certify' the claim and then 'Submit claim'.

Change of address

Change of address

If a student changes residential address, a new application must be made and assessed against all criteria.


Sibling entitlement

Sibling entitlement

Sibling entitlement does not apply in any circumstances. Each application for a conveyance allowance will be assessed according to the individual student’s eligibility, irrespective of whether an applicant’s sibling receives, or is eligible to receive, the conveyance allowance.


Adjustments to a conveyance allowance

Adjustments to a conveyance allowance

SCAS identifies the travel period for which a student is entitled to the conveyance allowance. If a student leaves a school so that their travel period ends earlier than expected, the school must modify the application in SCAS so that an adjustment to the amount payable may be applied.


Payments for students who reside at more than one address

Payments for students who reside at more than one address

A student who resides at more than one address can be assessed for eligibility from both the addresses. The School Conveyance Allowance System (SCAS) will identify a ‘primary address’ based on data entered into CASES21. Schools must provide a secondary address to Conveyance Allowance Unit (CAU).

For students who are eligible from only one of the addresses, payment will be at a pro-rata amount based on the number of days they reside at the eligible address.

For students eligible from both addresses, the school will claim a full allowance from the primary address and allocate appropriate amounts to the parents/carers.

This also applies for multi-mode allowances so that, where a student is eligible for an allowance for private car travel from one address, the allowance is only available with respect to the eligible address.


Appeals and special case consideration

Appeals and special case consideration

Making an application

Parents/carers wishing to apply for special case consideration or appeal a transport decision must make an application through their school using the following form: Transport special case consideration application form (DOCX)External Link .

Government schools who receive a written application from a parent/carer must:

Non-government schools must submit applications to the Student Transport Unit (STU) by emailing student.transport@education.vic.gov.au

To appeal or seek special case consideration, applications must be made by the dates set out below under ‘Application closure dates and panel sitting dates’.

When are special case applications considered

Special case applications will be considered by the CAU in the following circumstances:

  • a student has commenced the final year of the school they attend and changes residential address and is assessed as ineligible from the new address for conveyance
  • a student is the subject of a specific court order stipulating the student must continue their education at a particular location (copy of court order is required with the application)
  • a student has moved school for reasons of:
    • genuine concern for personal safety or for the safety of other students (documentation from the original school of enrolment and the student welfare coordinator will be required to support the special consideration; information will be also accepted from external welfare agencies)
    • consistent with the staged approach recommended in the Student Engagement policy and guidance, the school has developed flexible learning options for the student, which may include transfer of a student to another school setting (this does not include intercampus movements). This recommendation must be supported by the relevant regional director and the two principals of the schools involved in the student transfer.

CAU endeavours to complete its consideration of the application within the term in which it is made.

Transport special case consideration panel

In all other circumstances, or if the CAU determines that an application is particularly complex in nature, the CAU will refer the application to an independent panel known as the Transport Special Cases Consideration Panel (the panel).

The panel is convened by the department’s chief finance officer. Representation on the panel includes members from the Student Transport and Allowances Branch, practising principals, a representative from the department’s Wellbeing Health and Engagement Division, and a representative from PTV.

The panel meets each month during Term 1 and at least once per term thereafter. Prior to a panel hearing, the CAU may seek further advice from the lodging government school’s regional director. The student’s application must include applicable supporting documentation such as recommendations from school’s student support group, and any individual education plan, behaviour support plans or other student support plans.

Incomplete applications will not be processed; the STU will contact the lodging school and request further information prior to submission of the case to the panel.

Transport assistance is not available to a student until such time as the panel meets and considers their application.

All recommendations of the panel are forwarded to the department’s Deputy Secretary, Financial Policy and Information Services Group, for approval.

The panel informs schools of its decision approximately three weeks after the panel meets.

Schools must inform families of the panel’s decision.

Application closure dates and panel sitting dates

In 2024, applications for appeals and special consideration, and the corresponding panel sitting dates, are as follows.

Application closure dates and panel sitting dates
Term in which application consideredApplication closing datePanel sitting date
Term 1 202415 December 202316 January 2024
Term 1 20242 February 202420 February 2024
Term 1 202427 February 202419 March 2024
Term 2 202426 April 202421 May 2024
Term 3 202428 June 202423 July 2024
Term 3 20249 August 20243 September 2024
Term 4 202418 October 202412 November 2024

Conditions of special case approval

The following applies to special case approval:

  • Special case approval is limited to the student and transport service involved in the application.
  • Special case approval will cease if the student moves residential address, changes school or transport mode, unless the student meets eligibility requirements following the change.
  • Special case approval is not automatic. Each case will be considered on merit with reference to the transport infrastructure in the area.

Types of assistance available

Types of assistance available

The conveyance allowance program provides financial assistance for travel using the following transport modes.

Conveyance allowance for private car or private bus cannot be claimed if the journey to and from school can be made by accessible public transport or a government funded School Bus Program service.

Students eligible for the Students with Disabilities Transport Program should discuss with their school whether the conveyance allowance or Students with Disabilities Transport Program bus service is more suitable for the family’s travel arrangements.

The conveyance allowance rates are set out in the section on Conveyance Allowance Rates.

Public transport

To verify that public transport is available please check the Public Transport Victoria (PTV) site at www.ptv.vic.gov.auExternal Link . The CAU may contact PTV to determine whether the journey could be made using public transport. Public transport is considered available if PTV indicates the service is available in the hours before and after school i.e. 7 to 9am and 3 to 5pm.

The Department will only pay an allowance for the most economical ticket available.

Schools must sight confirmation of ticket/pass purchase before approving any application.

Students who are privately transported 4.8km or more to a public transport or government funded school bus stop may be able to claim a private car conveyance allowance as well to cover this distance (see multi-mode allowances).

Private bus

Where schools assume responsibility for the provision of school buses for students, either by operating their own services or by organising charter services, the student can apply for an allowance based on the distance from a student’s residence to the school/campus attended.

Rates are calculated using the shortest practicable route (measured in kilometres) from the student’s residence to the school/campus attended.

Private car

Where parents/carers drive their child to and from school, a private car allowance can be claimed based on the distance from a student’s residence to the school/campus attended.

Rates are calculated using the shortest practicable route (measured in kilometres) from the student’s residence to the school/campus attended.

Where there is more than 1 student in a vehicle, there are 2 rates claimable: ‘furthermost’ and ‘additional’. The student travelling the furthest distance to school is identified as the ‘furthermost’ student. Any other students are identified as ‘additional’ students. Each student must submit an individual application.

Multimode conveyance allowances

Multimode conveyance allowance applies when a student uses more than 1 mode of transport (for example, private car and public transport) for a journey between home and school.

A conveyance allowance may be granted at the appropriate rate for private transport or public transport where the distance travelled is 4.8km or more for each leg of the journey. This provision does not apply if the journey could have been undertaken using a single mode transport or 1 leg of the journey is less than 4.8km.

Where 2 modes of private transport are used (private car and private bus), the amount payable is based on the distance from the student’s residence to the school/campus at the private bus rate.

Rates are calculated using the shortest practicable route (measured in kilometres) from the student’s residence to the school/campus attended.

Multimode is not applicable under the 'next nearest' school allowance or to attend a more distant school.

Other transport modes

An allowance is available where a student chooses to use other modes of transport including bicycles and motorcycles. A private taxi rate may be available for students with a severe hearing impairment, severe vision impairment or with a moderate to severe physical disability.


Responsibilities of parents/carers

Responsibilities of parents/carers

Parents/carers wanting to apply for a conveyance allowance must:

  • request a conveyance allowance application from the school
  • estimate travel distances using an online mapping tool. Be aware public domain tools may not provide the shortest practicable route between home and the school/campus attended but give a good indication. A student or their parent/carer may request the school to provide the map as produced by SCAS for the purpose of an application
  • validate travel options online at PTV ( www.ptv.vic.gov.auExternal Link )
  • fill in, verify, and lodge the conveyance allowance application form with the school
  • notify the school within 7 days if the student’s residential or travel circumstances change during the year

Training for school staff

Training for school staff

Limited online training, together with system support is available for SCAS by contacting the Conveyance Allowance Unit on 1800 060 970 (select option 1) or at conveyance@education.vic.gov.au.

For some step-by-step SCAS training exercises, see: accessible version of the e-learning courseExternal Link


Conveyance allowance rates

Conveyance allowance rates

Private car conveyance allowance rates

Distance (kilometres)Amount paid annually
4.8 to 10$460
10 to 15$576
15 to 20$690
20 to 25$806
25 to 30$921
30 to 35$1,034
>35$1,152
Additional student$230
Next nearest school (government schools only)$345
Next nearest additional student (government schools only)$173

Private bus conveyance allowance rates

Distance (kilometres)Amount paid annually
4.8 to 10$518
10 to 15$633
15 to 20$748
20 to 25$863
25 to 30$978
30 to 35$1,093
>35$1,209

Other modes of transport for the conveyance allowance

ModeAmount paid annually unless otherwise stated
Bicycles and motorcycles$52.40
Taxi for deaf, blind, or for severely physically disabled
*this amount must be requested via Transport Special Case Consideration Panel including supporting documentation
$7,468*
Students in Years 11/12 off-campus settings$2.36 per day
Victorian Student Pass (first half year, second half year or yearly)Fares set by PTV each year
https://www.ptv.vic.gov.au/tickets/fares/External Link

Public transport accessibility measures

Public transport accessibility measures

Public transport accessibility measures

The department acknowledges that public transport options to travel to and from school may be limited for some postcode areas within the metropolitan conveyance allowance boundary.

A school transport Accessibility Index identifies postcode areas within the boundary where there might be limited public transport options for travel to and from school.

Postcodes areas are given a score. The lower the score the more limited the access.

The standardised accessibility factors are:

  • school catchment — public transport and government funded school buses within a 400m catchment of a school
  • network coverage — the proportion of the population (by postcode) residing within a 400m catchment of transport routes
  • quality of service — if transport services are supplied during periods of peak student demand and the frequency on these routes during that time

The Accessibility Index takes into account school start and finish times and its alignment with a postcode area’s public transport services.

By combining all these factors, the department is able to determine the accessibility of public transport to schools in a postcode area. Students attending schools or campuses located in postcode areas ranked as having limited public transport options may be able to continue to claim the conveyance allowance until such time as public transport improvements are identified in the department’s next metropolitan boundary review.

Changed Accessibility Index score

The department reviews the accessibility of public transport to schools in postcode areas bordering the metropolitan conveyance allowance boundary every four years and will provide schools participating in the Conveyance Allowance Program with at least 6 months’ notice of any change to their students’ eligibility for a conveyance allowance. The next review will be conducted in 2020 for introduction in 2021.

Once a postcode area within the metropolitan boundary is deemed to have an Accessibility Index which indicates an appropriate level of public transport exists for travel to and from school, schools within the postcode area will no longer be eligible to claim the allowance.


Resources

Resources

Contact information

Metropolitan conveyance allowance boundary

Conveyance Allowance Metropolitan Boundary MapExternal Link – this map identifies the metropolitan postcode areas (shaded area) in which students are not eligible to claim the conveyance allowance, and the rural and regional postcode areas (outside of the shaded area) in which students are eligible to claim the conveyance allowance (subject to meeting the other eligibility criteria)

Student conveyance allowance system login

Student conveyance allowance system (SCAS)External Link – (staff login required)

Processing applications for the conveyance allowance

Forms and resources

Claim sheets for schools unable to access SCAS

Form for special case consideration

Transport special case consideration application form (DOCX)External Link


Reviewed 26 May 2020