School operations

Students with Disabilities Transport Program (SDTP)


This policy outlines the specific roles and responsibilities for schools involved in the provision and management of disability transport assistance for students.


  • The Students with Disabilities Transport Program (SDTP) provides transport for eligible students to and from school.
  • School principals must ensure SDTP services provided to students at their school are managed in accordance with this policy and the guidance.


Overview of school obligations

Principals must ensure SDTP services are managed in accordance with the requirements in the Guidance.

These requirements include:

  1. ensuring their school has a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with each bus operator providing SDTP services, specific to their school and the service being provided. A template MOU is available under the Resources tab
  2. assessing applications for use of SDTP services in accordance with the eligibility criteria. Applications for travel for the new school year should be received from families by the end of November of the previous year. Late applications may be accepted at the principal’s discretion
  3. entering information from the travel application into CASES21 and retaining a copy of the application
  4. ensuring each student accessing SDTP services has an individual travel plan, specific to the student’s needs, and that steps are taken to prepare for foreseeable risks and any emergencies
  5. ensuring bus operators have up-to-date information about students they are required to transport, including the students travel plans and drop off/pick up arrangements
  6. developing an emergency management plan (EMP) that includes emergency procedures in the event of a bus breakdown, accident, bushfire or other emergency
  7. application of the department’s Risk Management Framework to identify and address risks
  8. providing school specific training on roles and responsibilities, communication processes, student-specific requirements and other relevant information to school and bus operator staff, including through the online learning modules which school and bus staff must complete each year
  9. checking bus operator and taxi invoices (which must be submitted to schools monthly) and confirming with the bus operator or taxi service, within 10 working days of month’s end, if the invoice is accurate (so that the operator can provide invoices to the Student Transport Unit for payment)
  10. advise the Student Transport Unit of any operational issues that may affect students or the provision of a transport service.

Principals may delegate the coordination of the transport services to a member of staff but must maintain oversight over the delivery of SDTP services to ensure compliance with this policy.

All school staff are responsible for ongoing assessment and mitigation of risks associated with SDTP services.


Bus operator
For the purposes of the SDTP, a bus operator is a company or sole trader who is contracted by the department to operate a school bus service along a specified route. Bus operators must be accredited with Transport Safety Victoria (TSV) and meet safety obligations under the Bus Safety Act 2009 (Vic).

Emergency Management Plan – a plan developed by schools to address risks identified at the schools. All schools where students access school bus services must address the student transport risks to students in their EMP.

Integrated school
Co-located mainstream and specialist schools that have an integrated governance model.

Students with Disabilities Transport Program.

The department’s Student Transport Unit – responsible for the administration of the SDTP.

Relevant legislation

Department policy on transport assistance for students with disabilities, including the roles and responsibilities for schools involved in the provision of disability transport services

Reviewed 28 November 2023

Policy last updated

29 November 2023


  • Schools
  • School councils
  • All Department staff


Student Transport Unit GPO Box 4367, Melbourne, VIC 3001

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