Assisted School Travel Program for School Students with Disability

The department manages the Assisted School Travel Program through the efficient and effective procurement, co-ordination and management of travel support services for eligible school students with identified disability to travel to and from school.

Changes since previous version

2020 Jul 21 - updated contact details, text, style and formatting to policy and implementation document and repaired broken links in the implementation document and the related document.

Document history

2019 Sep 06 - new guidelines published. Typographical changes and updates to contact details.

Program name changed from School Student Special Transport Scheme to Assisted School Travel Program.

Superseded documents


  1. Policy statement
    1. The department's Assisted School Travel Program provides support for eligible students with identified disability to travel to and from school. Assistance is provided at no cost to families for eligible students to access a formal education program.
    2. Travel support services under the Assisted School Travel Program are targeted to assist students with disability who may not otherwise be able to access education. Applications for access to travel support services will be assessed in accordance with approved eligibility criteria and the assessed individual support needs of a student.
    3. The department has an obligation to ensure that the funding allocated for this program is managed effectively, through the efficient coordination and management of travel support services for eligible NSW students to attend school.
    4. The department is also accountable for the efficient and cost-effective engagement of contractors to provide services in accordance with the NSW Government Procurement Policy Framework (Policy Framework).
    5. Travel arrangement supporting students with disability are to be safe for the students, drivers and any student supervisors.
  2. Audience and applicability
    1. This policy and associated guidelines apply to departmental officers responsible for assessing student travel support needs, processing applications for access to travel support services, and implementing and monitoring provision of services to eligible students with disability.
    2. The Policy Framework is applicable to all department procurement functions, including travel support services.
  3. Context
    1. NSW Government procurement requirements
      1. The engagement of contractors under this program must conform to the requirements of the Policy Framework. The Policy Framework provides a consolidated view of government procurement objectives and the Procurement Board's requirements as they apply to each step of the procurement process. The department must comply with its mandatory requirements.
    2. Public Works and Procurement Act 1912 Part 11 Procurement of Goods and Services
      1. This provides the legislative framework for procurement for NSW government agencies. This includes the establishment of the NSW Procurement Board, including the designation of its functions. This also provides the obligations of government agencies in the exercise of its functions in relation to the procurement of goods and services
      2. This covers the role and responsibilities of the State Contracts Control Board, provision for regulations for the acquisition and disposal of goods and services for the public service, and the referral of complaints to the board regarding competitive neutrality in tendering.
    3. Public Finance and Audit Act 1983
      1. Under this Act, agencies are required to be accountable and to use monies efficiently and effectively. Treasurer's directions are issued in terms of section 9 of the Act.
    4. Work Health and Safety Act 2011
      1. Under this Act, employers must ensure the health, safety and welfare at work of all their employees and must ensure that other people are not exposed to risks to their health and safety arising from the conduct of the employer's undertaking while they are at the employer's place of work.
  4. Responsibilities and delegations
    1. The Deputy Secretary Educational Services and the Learning and Business Systems directorate are responsible for approving departmental guidelines for procuring and providing services under this program.
    2. The Assisted School Travel Program is responsible for:
      1. coordinating logistical arrangements for eligible students attending government and non-government schools, who are approved for access to travel support services to attend school
      2. maintaining a register of contractors approved to provide these services to the department
      3. engaging contractors from the list of Eligible Service Providers in a cost-effective manner to ensure that suitable services are provided for eligible students
      4. determining eligibility criteria for assessing applications for access to travel support services under this program
      5. collaborating with the Learning and Engagement directorate and other departmental officers as required to assist with the needs-based assessment process for determining the eligibility of students seeking access to assistance under the program
      6. processing authorised payments to contracted service providers in accordance with the appropriate contract conditions and rates.
    3. The Learning and Engagement directorate is responsible for liaising with the Assisted School Travel Program regarding policies and practices in relation to services for students with disability. This includes changes to disability criteria, program delivery and needs-based assessment processes as they may relate to or impact on the provision of travel support services under this program.
    4. For advice on interpreting and implementing this policy, contact the Director, Assisted School Travel. See section 6 for contact details.
  5. Monitoring and review
    1. The Director, Assisted School Travel is responsible for coordinating the preparation of budget and expenditure reports relating to this program.
    2. Staff of the Assisted School Travel Program are responsible for:
      1. monitoring contractor/driver conduct and performance through information provided by school staff and parents
      2. monitoring program expenditure on a monthly cycle
      3. preparing reports relating to program expenditure and comparative (more than 12 months) analysis of expenditure
      4. monitoring travel distances claimed by contractors by using software systems to map distances of individual services
      5. monitoring ongoing student eligibility to access travel support services by reviewing information provided by school staff, parents and contractors/drivers
      6. enforcing contractor compliance with legislative and administrative requirements set down within the contract terms and conditions
      7. ensuring that the best possible value for public money is derived from the services provided by contracted service providers.
    3. School and departmental staff involved in student assessment and placement processes are responsible for providing timely and accurate advice to the Assisted School Travel Program about applications for access to travel support services under this program.
    4. School staff and staff of the Assisted School Travel Program are responsible for monitoring the arrangements in place to ensure the safety of students, drivers and any supervisors of the students.
    5. The Director, Assisted School Travel monitors the implementation of this policy, regularly reviews its contents to ensure relevance and accuracy, and updates it as needed.
  6. Contact
    Director, Assisted School Travel
    02 4224 9209
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