Types of assistance available
The Department offers several different types of transport assistance under the SDTP.
Schools are to discuss with parents/carers the types of transport assistance at enrolment time. It is an opportunity for parents/carers to consider how they may contribute towards their child’s transport needs and also consider their child’s long-term transport-related education goals, which may include learning to be an independent traveller.
There is an expectation that students with access to public transport and assessed as cognitively, emotionally and behaviourally able will or will be taught to travel independently to and from school.
Students travelling independently to and from school will have their public transport ticket (commonly the Victorian Student Pass) reimbursed by the Department through a conveyance allowance.
In discussion with the STU, schools may arrange for students to retain their seat on an SDTP school bus service while they are learning to travel independently.
The Department has developed the Travel Education Framework to assist specialist schools in the development of their travel education program.
The Travel Education Framework can be found at: Supporting students with additional learning .
Conveyance allowance provides financial assistance to parents/carers transporting their child to and from school or to students travelling independently to and from school using public transport.
Students may be eligible for the conveyance allowance if a physical, behavioural or health reason prevents them from accessing the SDTP-provided bus. The STU will require documentation supporting the conveyance allowance claim before it can be submitted to the Conveyance Allowance Unit for payment.
Multimode conveyance allowances
Multimode conveyance allowance applies when a student uses more than one mode of transport (e.g. private car and SDTP school bus) for a journey between home and school.
A conveyance allowance may be granted at the appropriate rate for private car 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 one leg of the journey is less than 4.8km.
Principals are responsible for coordinating applications for conveyance allowance and submitting applications onto the Student Conveyance Allowance System (SCAS) for approval. For more information, please refer to the Conveyance Allowance Program.
SDTP school buses
The Department offers bus services to and from government specialist or integrated schools. Schools are to discuss individual student circumstances with families, as SDTP bus services may not be suitable for all students in all circumstances.
SDTP school taxis
Taxis may be considered as feeder services to a SDTP-provided bus service or in a situation where it can be demonstrated that a taxi service is more cost efficient in the long-term than a bus service. These will be considered on a case-by-case basis and will be strongly weighted by the number of students requesting the service and the cost of the service. Supervision is not provided during taxi travel. Students requiring supervision during transport will generally not be considered for taxi travel.
Taxi travel will not be allowed without the documented authorisation of the STU and students may not access existing taxi services without applying and being approved by the STU.
School Bus Program (SBP)
The SBP provides transport to students attending government and non-government schools in rural and regional Victoria. In some situations it may be deemed appropriate for a student attending a specialist or integrated school to access an SBP service. Specialist and integrated school students are assessed under the SDTP criteria and where deemed appropriate should access SBP services that operate within the DTA of their school.
Students accessing SBP services must be able to travel independently as no supervisors are on the buses or at interchange points.
For more information, please refer to the School Bus Program.
Reviewed 01 December 2022